Eddie Cochran was born Raymond Edward Cochran in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The small city is a part of Freeborn County in southeast Minnesota at the junction of I-35 and I-90; about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities.
Eddie was an American rock and roll singer/guitarist and an important influence on popular music during the late 50's, early 60's, and beyond. He had an innovative technique of aligning the bass and guitar to the same harmonic frequency. His songs have been covered by everyone from The Beach Boys to The Who, The Sex Pistols, and Paul McCartney.
Cochran's brief career included hits like "C'mon Everybody",
"Somethin' Else", "My Way", "Weekend", and "Nervous Breakdown".
Eddie's most famous hit, "Summertime Blues", co-written with his manager Jerry Capehart, left an indelible mark on the musical landscape of the 1950's, both lyrically and musically.
But when poor Eddie died in a car accident in April of 1960 he left this world with some serious unfinished business: he never closed the quote!
In the final verse of his timeless "Summertime Blues", Eddie sings:
I'm gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation
I'm gonna take my problem to the United Nations
Well I called my congressman and he said Quote:
"I'd like to help you son but you're too young to vote
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues
In the line where Eddie calls the congressman, he never closes the quotation! And therefore one could argue that Eddie and his manager Jerry Capehart were responsible for writing every single rock song ever since, since all the lyrics would fall within Eddie's open quotation!
Every song ever since; from Dylan to The Doors, from ABBA to Black Flag, it all falls within Eddie's ingenious trick!
The man was an absolute genius and his estate is owed some serious fucking residuals!
Eddie was 21 when he died while on tour in the UK. Eddie was riding in a taxi traveling through Chippenham, Wiltshire, England on the A4. The taxi crashed into a lamp post on Rowden Hill, where a plaque now commemorates the event. He was taken to a nearby hospital but died the following afternoon. Cochran's fiancée (songwriter Sharon Sheeley) and singer Gene Vincent survived the horrible crash.
The taxi driver, George Martin, was convicted of dangerous driving, fined £50, had his license revoked for 15 years, and sent to prison for six months.
The taxi and other items from the crash were impounded at the local police station until a coroners' inquest could be held.
At that time, David Harman, later known as Dave Dee of the band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, was a police cadet at the station. He taught himself to play guitar on Cochran's impounded Gretsch and held onto it until it could be returned to Eddie's family.
Is it not wild that Eddie didn't survive the crash but his guitar did and it went on to influence another band and more music? Amazing.