10 facts you may not have known about Eddie Cochran

Music 03/10/2018

Rock 'N' Roll legend Eddie Cochran was best known for his 1958 hit songs 'Summertime Blues' and 'C'mon Everybody'.

But his life was tragically cut short at age 21 when he died in a British road accident on April 16, 1960. But his legacy has stood the test of time, including being inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Here are ten more facts you may not have known about Eddie Cochran:

1. Eddie Cochran's real name is 'Ray Edward Cochran', born October 3, 1938 in Minnesota.

2. The young musician left school at 16 years to become a professional musician, eventually connecting with local club singer Hank Cochran. 

3. Despite being unrelated, Hank Cochran and Eddie Cochran recorded and toured together as the Cochran Brothers, a country-rockabilly act.

4. To launch his solo career Eddie had a cameo in the 1956 film 'The Girl Can’t Help It' in which he sang the song 'Twenty Flight Rock'.

5. 'Summertime Blues' only reached number #18 in the UK chart when it was released in 1958, but #8 in the American charts.

6. Eddie Cochran is credited as becoming one of the first guitarists to use an unwound third string, a musical technique to ‘bend’ notes up a whole tone.

7. Jimmy Hendrix, The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles are among several iconic artists that have covered the young rocker’s songs.

8. 'Three Steps to Heaven' is Eddie's highest charting UK hit, which came #1 following his death in April 1960. In NZ, it reached #6.

9. In early 1959, two of Eddie's friends, Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens, along with the Big Bopper, were killed in a plane crash while on tour. Eddie's friends and family later said that he was badly shaken by their deaths and developed a morbid premonition that he also would die young, wishing to only spend time in the studio rather than touring.

10. When Eddie Cochran died, the taxi and other items from the crash were impounded by local police waiting for a coroner's inquest to be held. David Harman, a police cadet at the station, who would later become known as Dave Dee of the band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, taught himself to play guitar on Cochran's impounded Gretsch. Dave Dee's band found success in 1968 with their hit song 'Legend of Xanadu'.