85th anniversary of the birth of American singer and guitarist Eddie Cochran
One of the iconic musicians of early rock ‘n’ roll, American singer and guitarist Eddie Cochran, was born 85 years ago on 3 September 1938 in Albert Lee, Minnesota. This musician adhered to a white-orientated synthesis of rock ‘n’ roll and country music called rockabilly. He was also a major influence on the development of a lighter version of rockabilly, which at the turn of the 1950s and 1960s evolved into twist and Beach Boys-inspired “beach rock”.
Like many iconic figures of the fifties, Eddie Cochran remained young forever – after all, he died in a car crash in the UK at the age of 23. He didn’t have the sex-threat of the indomitable Elvis, but Eddie’s guitar prowess stunned and inspired his contemporaries. During his short career he managed to create an astonishing wealth of material and a distinctive sound with a Gretsch guitar. He had an uncanny flair for the musical needs of teenagers, thanks to which the 19-year-old had his first hit in 1957 with the single “Sittin’ in the Balcony”. Paradoxically, Cochran has always been more popular in the UK than in the US.
At birth, the musician’s name was Edward Raymond Cochran. In the early 50’s his family moved to the suburbs of Los Angeles. In 1954, Eddie dropped out of school and joined the company of his namesake, country music singer Hank. Although there were no family ties between them, the duo began performing as “The Cochran Brothers”. Curiously, most of his songs were released after his death.