Jewel Akens

Jewel Akens
Jewel Akens was born on September 12, 1940, in Houston, TX, and began singing in church as a child. In his teens, Akens sang with a group called the Four Dots. Introduced to Eddie Cochran's manager Jerry Capehart, the group recorded a single for Freedom Records in 1959. Later in 1959 Aikens and a friend, Eddie Daniels, recorded as Akens and Daniels for Capehart's Silver and Capehart labels. Eddie Cochran played guitar on 'Opportunity', 'Doin' The Hully Gully' released on Silver 1004, and 'Who Can I Count On' (Silver 1008). Jewel Akens: "Eddie was a good looking guy. That was one thing you noticed when he walked into a room. He had a little ego, but he still was nice". Jewel Akens also did background vocals on releases by John Ashley. The Four Dots recorded singles for Liberty Akens found fame at Era Records with a nursery rhymish song about the birds and the bees 'The Birds and the Bees' which hit number three pop on Billboard's charts in early 1965. Another nursery rhyme-influenced song, 'Georgie Porgie' peaked at number 68 pop during spring 1965. Though Akens kept recording singles there were to be no more hits.
(This article is based on information from Ed Hogan in All Music Guide, Alan Clark's 'Never To Be Forgotten' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
John Ashley

John Ashley
John Ashley, born December 25, 1934 in Kansas City Missouri, died October 3, 1997 in New York City, New York. John Ashley was an American actor who, after a long apprenticeship in schlock cinema, effectively switched to a second career in primetime TV series production.  Ashley began his acting career in the late 1950s when he essayed roles in such less-than-memorable films (mostly for American International Pictures) as 'Suicide Battalion', 'Frankenstein's Daughter' and 'How to Make a Monster' (all 1958).
In early 1958 John Ashley was signed to the Dot label and cut a demo of 'Born To Rock' with Eddie Cochran on guitar. The song was recut at a later session without Eddie. In March of 1958 Ashley cut two songs for the soundtrack of the movie 'Hot Rod Gang' which featured Gene Vincent. On the two songs, 'Hit And Run Lover' and 'Annie Laurie' Eddie Cochran is again present. Sometime later John Ashley cut two demo songs with Eddie, 'Don't Let Them Tear Us Apart' and 'Mean Mean Woman. In September 1958 John Ashley went to Gold Star Studio for the recordings of a single for the Silver label 'Seriously In Love' and 'I Want To Hear It From You', released on Silver 1002.
Continuing with AIP into the 60s he played second leads in several of the studio's "beach party" movies, including 'Muscle Beach Party', 'Bikini Beach' (both 1964) and 'Beach Blanket Bingo' (1965), which co-starred his wife at that time, Deborah Walley. After working with director Eddie Romero on 'Brides of Blood' (1968) and 'Beast of Blood' (1970), Romero and Ashley began to co-produce such modest films as 'Beyond Atlantis', 'Twilight People' (both 1973) and 'Savage Sisters' (1974), most of which starred Ashley and were directed by Romero. Ashley's voice can be heard as the narrator during the opening title sequence of The A-Team
during the show's first four seasons he also served as one of the show's producers. John Ashley died from a heart attack at age 62.
(This article is based on the linernotes from Hydra Records BCK 27114 'Born To Rock' by Klaus Kettner and Tony Wilkinson, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages , The Internet Movie Database, Wikipedia and various sources on the internet).
   
Johnny Burnette

Johnny Burnette
Johnny Burnette, born John Joseph Burnett on March 25, 1934 in Memphis, Tennessee, died August 15, 1964, Clearlake, California. Johnny grew up with his parents and Dorsey in a public housing project in the Lauderdale Courts area of Memphis, which from 1948 until 1954, was also the home of Gladys and Vernon Presley and their son, Elvis. In 1952, the Burnette brothers and Paul Burlison formed a group called The Rhythm Rangers at the time. Johnny Burnette sang the vocals and played acoustic guitar, Dorsey played bass and Paul Burlison played lead guitar. For economic reasons, in 1956, the three young men moved to New York, where they managed to get an audition with the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour. They won the competition three times in a row, which gained them a place in the finals, a recording contract with Coral Records and they officially became The Rock and Roll Trio. They recorded a clutch of singles for Decca in 1956 and 1957 that achieved nothing more than regional success. Featuring the groundbreaking fuzzy tone of Burlison's guitar, Johnny's energetic vocals, and Dorsey's slapping bass, these recordings, highlighted by the first rock & roll version of 'Train Kept a-Rollin', compare well to the classic Sun rockabilly of the same era. After the trio disbanded in 1957 Johnny went solo. In December 1958 Eddie Cochran played guitar on 'Me and The Bear' which was released on Liberty affiliate Freedom (FR 44011). A demo session in 1959 were again Eddie Cochran provided guitar backing resulted in a few songs e.g. 'Ballad Of The One Eyed Jacks' and 'Blue School Days' but no single release. Johnny Burnette found pop success as a teen idol in the early '60s with hits like 'You're Sixteen' and 'Dreamin'. Burnette died in a boating accident in Clear Lake, California, in August 1964. His brother, Dorsey, achieved modest success as a solo act in the early '60s.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and Richie Unterberger in All Music Guide).
   
Jerry Capehart

Jerry Capehart
Jerry Capehart was born in Goodman, Missouri in 1928, he died in Nashville June 7, 1998. Jerry Capehart was the producer and songwriter who, with Eddie Cochran, co-wrote the rock 'n' roll anthems 'Summertime Blues' and 'C'mon Everybody'. Capehart earned his first hit in 1951 with 'Beautiful Brown Eyes'. Rosemary Clooney took the song to No. 11 on the pop charts while Jimmy Wakely reached No. 5 with it on the country charts. Capehart was a music publisher when he met Cochran in October 1955 in Bell Gardens Music Centre in California. "I met him in a small music store," Capehart would tell journalists later. "I was in to buy guitar picks and he was looking for guitar strings. I had been searching for someone to make demonstration records of my songs and the store owner introduced me to Eddie, who I think was 17 at the time." Capehart pitched Dolphin the idea of cutting some Hillbilly sounds and came away with the promise of a one record deal although he had to give away his songs to get it – Dolphins name routinely appeared as the writer of any songs released on his labels. Backed by four black musicians with Hank and Eddie on guitars, Capehart recorded 'Rollin' and 'Walkin Stick Boogie' just before Christmas 1955 released on Cash 1021. Jerry Capehart became the manager of  Eddie Cochran and the two wrote 'Summertime Blues' in May 1958, and Cochran's rendition quickly reached No. 8. The song earned a timeless appeal with one of pop music's definitive teenage expressions of frustration: "I called my congressman and he said, quote, `I'd like to help you, son, but you're too young to vote." Capehart also wrote Glen Campbell's first hit single in 1961, 'Turn Around, Look At Me', and at times managed Campbell and impressionist Frank Gorshen. Jerry Capehart died in 1998, aged 69, at Baptist Hospital in Nashville from brain cancer. He had been in Nashville pitching a new song, 'Summertime Blues No. 2', to record labels on Music Row.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages, 'Don't Forget Me: The Eddie Cochran Story' by Julie Mundy & Darrel Higham and various sources on the internet).
   
Al Casey

Al Casey
Al Casey, born Alvin W. Casey in Long Beach, California, October 26, 1936, died in Phoenix, Arizona September 17, 2006. Al Casey was a top session musician who worked with many leading American performers from the Sixties, including Duane Eddy, the Beach Boys and the Everly Brothers. He was raised in Phoenix, Arizona and began working at the age of 6 as a steel guitar player. Casey grew up with Sanford Clark and together they developed an interest in popular music. Clark sang in school productions, while Casey took guitar and piano lessons. In 1956, a local disc-jockey and wannabe record producer, Lee Hazlewood, started recording with him on his first productions and Sanford Clark's 'The Fool' was a US hit. Casey worked on several more of Hazlewood's singles as well as releasing his own instrumentals, 'Juice' and 'Guitar Man'. In November 1957 Casey went to Gold Star Studios to record 'Willa Mae', Al played lead whereas Eddie Cochran played rhythm. The song was released on Liberty 55117. Al Casey knew a schoolboy called Duane Eddy, and they worked out an arrangement for 'Movin' 'n' Groovin' and they recorded it in November 1957 for Eddy's first single. Casey wrote his hits 'Ramrod' and 'Forty Miles of Bad Road' as well as playing bass or piano on several others. In 1963 he had a minor hit with 'Surfin' Hootenanny'. In the mid-Sixties Casey became a session guitarist in Los Angeles, being featured on 'Sloop John B' and 'Good Vibrations' for the Beach Boys. He had sessions with Frank Sinatra and was part of the resident orchestra for Dean Martin's television series. He opened a guitar store in Hollywood before returning to Arizona in 1983. Casey spent his later years teaching and playing locally. Al Casey died in Phoenix, Arizona on 17 September 2006 .
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and Spencer Leigh in The Independent, Sept 20, 2006).
   
Mike Clifford

Mike Clifford
Mike Clifford signed with Liberty Records in 1959 and worked with Mark McIntire. Mark and mike got some some material together and as Mark was friends with Eddie Cochran, asked him to play on a session Of Mike Clifford. Mike Clifford himself was not on the instrumental session in the Summer of 1959; he sang to the track after it was laid down by the musicians with Eddie Cochran on guitar and Patience & Prudence providing the backing vocals. Mark Clifford: "I went down a few days later and listened to the track after they remixed it. That is when I met Eddie ... He was so nice to me. Singing on this track were Patience and Prudence ... Eddie was so gracious to me, so pleased to be on my record. He gave me such respect I didn't know what to say."
(This article is based on information from Alan Clark's 'Never To Be Forgotten' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Hank Cochran

Hank Cochran


Cochran Brothers (Hank Cochran and Eddie Cochran)
Hank Cochran was born Garland Perry 'Hank' Cochran, August 2, 1935 in Isola, Mississippi, died July 15, 2010 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Hank's parents divorced when he was nine years old. Hank moved to Memphis to live with his father for a while, but the hardscrabble post-Depression-era existence proved too much for them, and Hank was soon placed in an orphanage in Memphis. "I ran off two or three times," Hank recalls. "The last time I run off, he just took me back to Mississippi and took me to my grandparents. What little raising I had was from them." Hank's grandfather was a preacher who also filed saws for a living. At 10 years old, Hank was playing guitar and singing in church. He also had an uncle who played guitar, and like many young hopefuls, tuned in regularly to the Grand Ole Opry for musical inspiration. At 12 years old, Hank and his uncle hitchhiked from Mississippi to Hobbs, New Mexico, to work in the oilfields, working first as roustabouts, cleaning up after the drillers on the oil rigs, then roughnecking, drilling oil wells, for two years. Hank did return to Mississippi for a while, but was soon headed out to California, while still in his mid-teens. Once there he went to work at a Sears & Roebuck store in Los Angeles. With his additional education, a solid work ethic, and success at numerous amateur contests throughout the area under his belt, Hank began entertaining thoughts of forming a group to play at various clubs and events.
His search for a guitar player led him to one Eddie Cochran, who, though not related to him, certainly shared his passion for music. Hank: "Everybody knew Eddie; they said he was young, but he played really good guitar. My first impression was that he was fantastic." The two teens formed a rock 'n' roll duo called The Cochran Brothers. They appeared on KTTV's Town Hall Party and toured with country legend Lefty Frizzell. Hank: "We started off doing real country stuff like the Wilburn Brothers and people like that, then we wrote our own stuff like the Wilburn Brothers and people like that, then we wrote our own stuff which we later recorded for Ekko. Eddie was real easy-going and would run with just about everyone - he was easy to get along with. The girls all screamed and hollered and I just pushed him out there and let him have all of that." When the duo disbanded, Eddie found stardom in rock 'n' roll and Hank soon decided to make the move to Music City.
Hank arrived in Nashville in January 1960, and immediately began working with Pamper Music for a mere $50 a week. Along with his duties as a songwriter, he was also helping the company sign other writers and to acquire songs and get them recorded. Among those he brought on to the company's payroll was Willie Nelson. In April 1961 Hank was able to become a full-time songwriter, with the release of Patsy Cline's No. 1 smash, 'I Fall to Pieces', which he co-wrote with Harlan Howard. In fairly short order Hank was playing guitar with Justin Tubb on the Opry, touring some with Ray Price, had scored his first hit as a recording artist, with the Top 20, 'Sally Was a Good Old Girl', and earned three BMI Awards for songs he'd written on his own. “I always tried to make it short, make it sweet and make it rhyme,” Hank explained, discussing his approach to songwriting in an interview with Nashville’s City Paper in 2007.
Though known primarily as a songwriter, Hank Cochran made records well into his 60s. He released his final recording, 'Livin’ for a Song: A Songwriter’s Autobiography', on the Gifted Few label in 2002. Two of his fondest memories were working with Natalie Cole on a 2003 tribute album to Patsy Cline. Hank Cochran was suffering from pancreatic cancer when he died on July 15, 2010 in his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, near Nashville. He was 74 years old. Hank Cochran is survived by his wife, Suzi; a daughter, Booth Calder; and three sons, all from his first marriage: Garland Perry Cochran Jr., James Lee Cochran and Daniel Cochran.
Hank Cochran's list of awards and honors include 1967: Walkway of Stars – Country Music Association, 1974: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, 2003: Mississippi Music Hall of Fame. Notable artists who have recorded his songs include: Eddy Arnold, Patsy Cline, Elvis Costello, Ella Fitzgerald, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, George Jones, Norah Jones, Loretta Lynn, Brad Paisley, Elvis Presley, Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Linda Ronstadt, Dinah Shore, Nancy Sinatra, Hank Williams Jr, Lee Ann Womack.
(This article is based on articles from www.hankcochran.com, Wikipedia, The New York Times, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and 'Don't Forget Me: The Eddie Cochran Story' by Julie Mundy & Darrel Higham).
   
Riley Crabtree

Riley Crabtree
Riley Crabtree was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas in 1912 on the farm of his parents. He was the youngest of eight brothers and sisters. At the young age of two he contracted polio and depended on crutches for the rest of his life. Riley was a big fan of both Hank Williams and Jimmie Rodgers. In 1945 Riley established his own band, The Hillbilly Ramblers, and in 1949 signed his first recording contract with the Talent label. His first two sessions constisted of Jimmie Rodgers songs with beautiful yodeling, later he seemed to be more impressed with Hank's style. He didn't copy any of the two. He soon developed his own country blues voice with such much feeling that the Grand Ole Opry wanted him as a regular in the early 50s. If he hadn't turned down that offer and not decided to stay near his home in the Dallas area to become a regular at the Big "D" Jamboree he might have been a 2nd Hank Williams. In 1955 he signed up with Ekko records and recorded 'Meet Me At Joes' and 'Don't Turn Away From Me' (Ekko 1019) with the Cochran Brothers as backing musicians. He recorded his last songs in 1965. Towards the end of the sixties Crabtree suffered a stroke and was confined to a wheel chair for the rest of his life. On April 1, 1984 an electric blanket caused a fire in Crabtree's house and took his life and two of his friends. His second wife Jane was able to escape the fire.
(This article is based on the CD booklet of Cattle Compact CD 317 Riley Crabtree 'When Hank Williams met Jimmie Rodgers', the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and various sources on the internet).
   
Darla Daret

Darla Daret
Darla Daret (artist name Patty Saturday) was born in 1937 and grew up in Los Angeles. As early as age 6 or 7, Darla could sing and play the piano and performed at school auditoriums and dances. Influential country music legend Bob Wills decided to hire her as the girl singer for his Texas Playboys and she continued to periodically work with the band throughout the remainder of the 1950s. Following the tenure with Bob Wills, Darla was hired by Cliffie Stoone and became a regular on Hometown jamboree, the famous C&W show out of the West Coast from 1949 to 1959. Then came a stint with Philadelphia-based Swan records. Her vocals on the Sonny James recording, 'Are You Mine', went un-credited. Daret unknowingly became a foot-note in rock and roll history when she recorded her only solo single, 'Don't Cha Wanna' b/w 'Honey Honey'. Released in 1957 on Silver 2001, 'Honey, Honey' featured accompaniment by the Johnny Mann Orchestra and Eddie Cochran on guitar.
(This article is based on information from Craig Harris in All Music Guide, Andrew Merey in Blue Suede News #77 and
the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Don Deal

Don Deal
Don Deal born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 21, 1938, died June 12, 2009. Don Deal was a close friend of Eddie Cochran. The Deal family moved to Claifornia during 1952, first living in Bell, before later relocating to a house on Ajax Avenue, Bell gardens. Don soon found work as an assistant at Bert keiffer's music store, where he later met and became close friends with Eddie. Talent scout Smoky Rodgers was impressed with Don and brought him to San Diego, where he performed at the Bostonian Ballroom three nights a week. As Eddie and Don were living in the same area, they would often meet at aeach others homes and play music, sing each other new songs they had written. Don Deal: "I really liked Eddie, he was a very clean-cut boy.  When I first met him he was like the rest of us, playing country music. I never got into rockabilly like he did, until I started writing songs and got my recording contract. He had what you call 'star-itus', I guess just like the rest of us - maybe more so, because he was very ambitious. He wanted to be a star and I'm thankful he got to enjoy at least a little of that." The Cochran Brothers possibly backed Don Deal on the Cash single 'Cryin' In One Eye' and 'Broken-Hearted Fellow'. Eddie Cochran played on Don Deal's 'My Blind Date' and 'Don't Push'.
His first single on Era "Unfaithful Diane," was a huge success when released in July 1957. Later releases didn't proof that succesful but Don continued to play a role in the growth of country music during the late '50s and early '60s. While he had a regional hit with "A-11," his first single after signing with Capitol in 1958, and continued to record after switching to MGM, sales of his recordings fell short of commercial expectations. Despite numerous performances at sock hops and an appearance on American Bandstand, Deal is best remembered for penning tunes covered by Eddie Arnold, Sonny James, Hank Snow, Perry Como, Dean Martin, and Michael Parks.
(This article is based on the CD booklets of SPRCD 5002 'I'm Ready' (Bill Beard) and RSRCS 028 'Don Deal - The Early Recordings', Craig Harris in All Music Guide,
the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and 'Don't Forget Me: The Eddie Cochran Story' by Julie Mundy & Darrel Higham).
Galen Denny

No picture available
Galen Denny was born in Palmdale, California with the surname Denning, which was altered to Denny. The selfpenned 'What Ya Gonna Do About It' and 'Gonna Build A Rocket' (Liberty 55164) from 1958 feature Eddie Cochran. Galen graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in music. He recorded in many styles - jazz, blues, folk on the Trend/Century 21 label, where he had at least 5 album releases.
(This article is based on the linernotes from CD-55001 'Liberty Rock 'N' Roll' by Kickie McCoy and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Lee Denson

Lee Denson
Lee Denson, born Jesse Lee Denson on August 25, 1932 in Riency, Mississippi. The Denson family settled in a housing project at Lauderdale Courts in Memphis. It was there that Lee gave Elvis Presley his first guitar lessons. Lee was 15, Elvis 13 when the lessons started. When his friend Dorsey and Johnny Burnette won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour in New York Lee went over there to replicate this and won also. This earned him a contract with RCA subsidiary Vik. One of the songs he recorded was 'Heart Of A Fool', written by Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart and Hank Cochran and released on Vik 0251. Lee: "Eddie Cochran and I were friends and got along very well, but were not together an awful lot." In April 1957 Lee recorded 'New Shoes' in the Gold Star Studios with Eddie Cochran on guitar, Guybo on bass and Jerry Capehart banging cardboard drums. The song was released on Vik 0281. In 1958 Lee Denson recorded for Kent and later for Merri, Enterprise and in 1965 for Magic Lamp with which his musical career ended. The two songs on Magic Lamp 'Mississippi Bridge' and 'Sixteen States' featured the harmonies of Richard and Karen Carpenter, the only commercial recording with Karen singing background vocals. Denson had his greatest success as a songwriter when Elvis Presley recorded his hymn 'Miracle of the Rosary'.
(This article is based on the linernotes from CD BCK 27115 'The South's Gonna Rise Again' by Klaus Kettner and Tony Wilkinson, Craig Harris in All Music Guide and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Bob Denton

Bob Denton
Bob Denton, Eddie Cochran's best friend, was born Robert Bull in Moline, Illinois on May 31, 1935 and lived on a farm until he was 10. In 1945 his family moved to Phoenix, Arizona, where he became interested in country music and took up the guitar. The Dentons finaly settled in Norwalk, California where Denton joined Richard Ray and the Shamrock Valley Boys, a local group which played neighbourhood dances and broadcasts on local radio. Denton met Eddie Cochran one night in 1954 when Eddie sat in with the Valley Boys. Denton and Eddie soon became best friends: 'We used to go hunting all the time. He loved to hunt. He was a fantastic shot. We were always together doing things we both enjoyed: hunting, camping, chasing women and a lot of drinking." Bob Denton subsequently introduced Eddie Cochran to an acquaintance of the band, Hank Cochran, a meeting which led to the two unrelated namesakes forming the Cochran Brothers, Eddie's first professional venture. Denton was a spectator at a number of Cochran's sessions including 'Sittin' In The Balcony' and shared the same manager, Jerry Capehart. When Denton finally landed a record deal in his own right with Dot Records, in the spring of 1957, Eddie was "first in, closest to the mike". "He played guitar on my first [Dot] session", Denton recalled, "we recorded a tune called 'On My Mind Again' at Goldstar in 1957'. From the session 'On My Mind Again' was coupled with 'Always Late' and was issued as Dot single 15573. In September 1957 Eddie Cochran again assited Bob Denton on the recordings for a new single 'Love Me So I'll Know' b/w 'I'm Sending You This Record' (Dot 15622). 'Skinnie Minnie' and 'Playboy' were both recorded at Denton's fourth and final Dot session in March 1958 and featured West Coast session stalwart Joe Maphis and not, as is so often mentioned, Eddie Cochran. In April an informal session was held with Eddie again helping out on '24-hour Night' and 'Sick & Tired'. The following month Denton was conscripted into the US Army and spent the next two years in Hawaii. While on home leave in the summer of 1958, he duetted with Cochran on 'Thinkin' About You' for Crest Records though it was not released until 1961. Also recorded at the session was 'Pretty Little Devil'. Both songs were released on Crest 1086. Bob Denton: "I heard about Eddie's death over the radio. I was stunned. He was truly a great friend of mine and I'll never forget him." Following a release on Chancellor, Denton bowed out of music in 1962.
(Article based on linernotes of Rob Finnis from CDCHD 592 'Dot Rock 'n' Roll', Alan Clark's 'Never To Be Forgotten' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Al Dexter

Al Dexter
Al Dexter, born Clarence Albert Poindexter on May 4, 1905 in Jacksonville, Texas, died January 28, 1984 in Lewisville, Texas. Al Dexter was an American country musician and songwriter. He is best known for "Pistol Packin' Mama", a 1942 hit that was one of the most popular recordings of the World War II years and would later become a hit again with a cover by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters. Al Dexter owned a bar and helped to popularize the style of country music known as honky tonk. Other hits from the 1940s include "So Long Pal", "Triflin' Gal", "Guitar Polka" and "I'm Losing My Mind". He was the first country singer to perform on Broadway. In 1955 Dexter re-recorded his signature hit 'Pistol Packin' Mama' backed with 'I Won't Be Number Two' for the Ekko label (Ekko 1020) with among his backing musicians fellow Ekko recording artists the Cochran Brothers. In 1971, Al Dexter was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
Chuck Foreman

Chuck Foreman
Chuck Foreman born in Long beach, California 1933, died in 2009. Chuck Foreman grew up around the Anaheim and Buena park are of Los Angeles. Eddie Cochran lived over in Bell Gardens. Chuck and Eddie met when Chuck was nineteen and Eddie fourteen. Throughout the summer of 1953 Chuck and Eddie began experimenting on Chuck's two-track recorder. They recorded over a period of eighteen months. Chuck Foreman: "Eddie was a little kid, but he sang and he played rhythm guitar and he was lightning fast at learning things. So if you wanted to play one of the instrumentals that was big at the time, Eddie could pick it up real quick. Everybody was so amazed at how quick he went from zero to eclipsing everybody else. It was just outstanding." Foreman later joined the Musician's Union and started to work clubs. He had a long and and succesfull career into the early 1980's, including concerts, tours, television and more than a decade with the Buddy Kendrick Trio. Chuck Foreman would get to see Eddie from time to time but they rarely played together once eddie signed for Liberty Records. Chuck Foreman died in 2009.
(This article is based on booklet Rockstar RSRCD 011 (Derek Glenister and Roger Nunn) and 'Don't Forget Me: The Eddie Cochran Story' by Julie Mundy & Darrel Higham).
   
Tom Forse

Tom Forse
Tom Forse was born Beamon Tom Forse in Augustine, Texas in 1934. Along with his brother Ted he began his career playing a radio show every Saturday at noon, for station KTXI based in Jasper, Texas. He also appeared on the Louisiana Hayride and Grand Prize Jamboree in Houston between 1954/55. During this same period, Tom, his brother ted and Charlie Craddock took off for New Mexico, to work at the Sports Arena in Framington. Tom's job was to book acts, mainly top country & western artists for the Saturday night; one person that Tom booked was Terry Fell, who also well as owning a couple of small record labels, had a few minor hit records at this time. Tom was a talented songwriter; Terry Fell would give him $100 every time he sent him a song. During 1956 Terry persuaded Tom to come to Los Angeles to so some recordings for him. Two of the songs he recorded, 'I'm Gonna Tell Your Conscience On You' and 'They Call You A Small Fry' feature Eddie Cochran on guitar and were released on Rich Vein 101. 'They Call You A Small Fry' was later rewritten to 'Cradle Baby' and recorded by Eddie.
(This article is based on linernotes from SPRCD 5002 'I'm Ready' (courtesy Bill Beard)).
   
Ernie Freeman

Ernie Freeman
Ernie Freeman was born on August 16, 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio, he died on May 16, 1981 in Hawaii. Ernie Freeman was an American pianist and arranger. He played on numerous early rock and R&B sessions in Los Angeles in the 1950s, particularly on the Specialty, Modern, and Aladdin labels, as well as for white artists such as Duane Eddy and Bobby Vee. He also played on a session with Eddie Cochran in February 1956 which produced the instrumental 'Fast Jivin'. Ernie Freeman later overdubbed his piano on an early session of Eddie. He issued a number of instrumental records of his own, including his cover of Bill Justis' 'Raunchy' in 1957, which became his biggest solo success. He also played lead on the B. Bumble and the Stingers records, apart from 'Nut Rocker'. He continued a successful session career in the 1960s, appearing on material by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Connie Francis, and becoming musical director with Reprise Records. He won a Grammy in 1967 for Sinatra's "Strangers In The Night". In 1970 he contributed string arrangements to Simon and Garfunkel's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' album, before his retirement later in the decade.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
The Holly Twins

The Holly Twins
The Holly Twins, real names Jonell McQuaig and Glenell McQuaig were two singing sisters recording for the Liberty label in the 1950's. Their best known single was the novelty 'I Want Elvis For Christmas' b/w 'The Tender Age' (Liberty 55048). Eddie Cochran played guitar on both sides and provided the gimmick Elvis Presley vocals on the former.
(This article is based on information from the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Troyce Key

Troyce Key
Troyce Key, born in 1937 in Jordon Plantation, Louisiana, died November 9, 1992, Oakland, California. Troyce Key, born in a small house fifteen miles from civilisation, the son of white sharecroppers, it is not such a surprise that Troyce became a bluesman. He has known hard times, in fact when his dad worked on the railroad they lived in a box car. In the early fifties Troyce was absorbing the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, The Four Aces, The Crewcuts and Patti Page. He heard Lightning Hopkins and at sixteen was firmly entrenched in blues. It was at this time that he caught TB and had a lenghty spell in hospital that culminated in having a lung and some ribs removed. However, a lot of records were donated to the hospital, among them Johnny Otis, Lowell Fulson and Lightning Hopkins, so upon leaving, a converted Troy picked up guitar. He then started playing in clubs around 1956. A demo resulted and in 1958 and he took it to Hollywood where he was signed by Warner Brothers. Troyce claims to be the first blues singer to sign with Warner's. His first release featured Eddie Cochran on lead guitar, jazz guitarist Howard Roberts on rhythm and Earl Palmer on drums. Warner Bros 5007: 'Drown In My Tears b/w 'Baby Please Don't Go' proved popular with both Alan Freed and Dee Clark with whom he did shows. He performed at the Cow Palace in San Francisco with Eddie Cochran and Ritchie Valens and in New York with Bo Diddley. His second disc was 'Watch Your Mouth', a great side, the background voices being the Four Sharps later to be known as The Olympics and again Eddie Cochran on guitar. Key: "You listen to the record and you'll see he did have it. He made up the solo on 'Watch Your Mouth' right there in the studio". By the third issue Troyce knew he was on the way out and then decided to get closer to the blues. Key teamed up with J. J. Malone in 1961 and they recorded together around three years later; they also had two albums released by Red Lightnin' and enjoyed a near-hit in Britain in 1980 with the single 'I Gotta New Car (I Was Framed)'. He continued, until his death from leukaemia, to present his good-natured, rocking blues in Oakland, California, at his own club called Eli Mile High, which was also the name of his blues record label.
(This article is based on information from the sleeve notes of the USA LP 'Í've Gotta New Car' by Troyce Key, J.J. Malone & The Rhythm Rockers (Red Lightnin RL 0028), Internet site Talk Talk, Alan Clark's 'Never To Be Forgotten' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Baker Knight

Baker Knight
Baker Knight, born Thomas Baker Knight, Jr. in Birmingham, AL, on July 4, 1933, died October 12, 2005. Baker learned to play guitar while serving in the Air Force, and then attended the University of Alabama, where he wrote music in his spare time. In 1956 he founded a rockabilly group, The Knightmares. Knight relocated to Hollywood in 1958 in pursuit of a film career that did not materialize. He nevertheless made fast friends with Eddie Cochran, and according to legend was even asked to contribute to Cochran's immortal 'Summertime Blues', but fell asleep and did not awake until the song was completed. With the aid of Cochran's girlfriend, the songwriter Sharon Sheeley, Knight began peddling his own original compositions, initially hoping to interest the Everly Brothers in his evocative ballad 'Lonesome Town', teen idol Rick Nelson recorded the tune instead with support from the brilliant guitarist James Burton, and the end result was a Top Ten pop hit in 1958. The Knight-penned B-side 'I Got a Feeling' cracked the Top Ten as well. In all, Nelson recorded 21 of his songs. Nelson also wished to cut Knight's 'Just Relax', but Baker refused, opting to record the song himself for Coral, with Eddie Cochran sitting in on guitar. The song was recorded in June 1959 in The Gold Star Studios. The single (Coral 62132) proved a flop, and after a follow-up also went nowhere, Coral dropped Knight from its roster.
Knight wrote 'The Wonder of You' for crooner Perry Como, but Como's arranger, Dick Pierce, instead suggested the tune to pop singer Ray Peterson, whose 1959 version was a Top 30 hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the record's fans was Elvis Presley, who in early 1970 added 'The Wonder of You to his stage repertoire. Presley eventually issued it as a single, topping the U.K. charts and scoring a major U.S. hit as well. By that time, Knight was well established as a songwriter. In 1976, Mickey Gilley topped the country charts with "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time," earning Knight the Academy of Country Music's Song of the Year honor. In all, Knight earned eight Citation of Achievement honors from the publishing organization BMI.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia,
the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and Jason Ankeny in All Music Guide).
   
Jack Lewis

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Jack Lewis was born in Dallas, Texas in 1926. He and his brother Jim moved to California in the late forties, where they are believed to have led a band fronted by vocalist Jim. Both brothers are known to have recorded demo's, individually for American Music, the publishing firm founded by Sylvester Cross in 1946. Jack Lewis teamed up with songwriter and vocalist Stanley at American Music and together were responsible for the Crest label's first four releases. Jack Lewis cut at least five singles for Crest between 1954 and 1957. In the early summer of 1956 he recorded 'Butterscotch Candy & Strawberry Pie' with Ray Stanley on piano and Eddie Cochran on guitar. The song was released on Crest 1025 as Jack Lewis and the Americans. The following he cut 'Someone To Love Me' and 'I.O.U.' Crest 1033) again with Eddie Cochran on guitar. A demo believed to have Eddie on guitar is 'Tood-A-Lou' which was not commercially released at the time. Lewis made a one-off single for the Arwin label in 1958 and moved back to Dallas in the late fifties. More information (or a picture) on Jack Lewis is not available.
(This article is based on the linernotes by Rob Finnis from Rockstar RSRCD 009 'Cruisin' The Drive-In' and Ace CDCHD 768 'Long Gone Daddies' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Liberty Records

Liberty Records
The Liberty Records label started business in 1955 and was based in Hollywood, California. Their first few releases were jazz or pop orchestral oriented, but their sixth release was a winner with Julie London's 'Cry Me A River' (reprised in the classic R&R movie 'The Girl Can't Help It' which also featured Liberty artists Eddie Cochran, Abbey Lincoln and Johnny Olenn). They had success with Patience & Prudence before the king of Liberty appeared in the form of Eddie Cochran. Eddie was the rock & roll start of the label as well as valued session man on a number of releases. The label started their subsidiary Freedom and eventually bought Dolton of Seattle, Washington as they were distributing their product. Liberty acted like any major label in that they recorded the whole spectrum of styles in music. Bobby Vee and Johnny Burnette had huge success with their pop rock styles and the label even tried to break Australia's king of rock & roll Johnny O'Keefe in the U.S. Later business dealings saw the label take over Imperial (with their Aladdin masters) and merge with United Artists and eventually be swallowed up by Capitol (E.M.I.).
((This article is based on information from the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions page, various sources on the internet and CD booklet CD-55001).
   
Yvonne Lime

Yvonne Lime
Yvonne Lime was born Yvonne Glee Lime on April 7, 1935 in Glendale, California. After finishing Junior College, she enrolled in the Pasadena Playhouse. While appearing in the play 'Ah Wilderness', she was noticed by the talent scouts and eventually signed to feature roles in dozens of TV shows. She made her movie debut in 'The Rainmaker', the only woman in the cast besides Katherine Hepburn. Impressed with her talent, Herman Cohen signed her up for the role of Michael Landon's girlfriend Arlene in 'I Was A Teenage Werewolf'. Besides playing alongside Eddie Cochran in 'Untamed Youth' Yvonne Lime recorded 'Ting-A-Ling Telephone' with Eddie in Gold Star Studios. The song was not released at the time. Lime also appeared in other teenage exploitations movie like 'High School Hellcats', 'Dragstrip Riot', 'Speed Crazy' and in Elvis Presley's 'Loving You'.
(This article is based on information from the Internet Movie Database, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and various sources on the internet).
   
Bob Luman

Bob Luman
Bob Luman, born Robert Glynn Luman 15 April 1937 in Nacogdoches, Texas, died December 27, 1978. Bob Luman started out as a rockabilly performer and later switched to country. Through his teens, Luman was primarily interested in singing country music like his idol Lefty Frizzell, but then he saw Elvis, which inspired him to try his hand at the rockabilly sound. Soon after graduating, Luman won a talent contest, leading to his debut on the Louisiana Hayride. He became a regular in the mid-'50s, and had a small role in the 1957 film 'Carnival Rock'; still, his singles did nothing on the charts. In 1958 Luman cut a demo 'Guitar Picker' with Eddie Cochran and Fred Carter on lead guitars. In 1959, the Pittsburgh Pirates offered Luman a contract however, the Everly Brothers talked him into recording the Boudleaux Bryant song 'Let's Think About Living' which became a Top Ten hit on both the country and pop charts. His follow-up, 'The Great Snowman', was also a hit, but he was drafted, and spent the next two years in the military. In 1964, he began recording for Hickory Records, and the following year, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Luman eventually signed with Epic Records and had a string of Top 25 hits over the next ten years. Luman had a major heart attack in 1975. His final chart appearance came in 1977, the following year he contracted pneumonia and died at the age of 41.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia, Sandra Brennan in Allmusic Guide and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Joe Maphis

Joe Maphis
Joe Maphis was born as Otis W. Maphis, May 21, 1921 in Suffolk Virginia, died June 27, 1986. Joe Maphis was a virtuoso American country music guitarist. One of the flashiest country guitarists of the 1950s and 1960s, Joe Maphis was known as The King of the Strings. He was able to play any stringed instrument with great facility. However, he specialized in dazzling guitar virtuosity. Working out of Bakersfield, California, he rose to prominence with his own hits such as 'Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (and Loud, Loud Music)' as well as playing with acts like Johnny Burnette, The Collins Kids, Wanda Jackson, Rose Maddox and Ricky Nelson. Joe Maphis also played on one session with Eddie Cochran in February 1956 in the Capitol Studios in Hollywood. The song was an instrumental called 'Fast Jivin' and was released on Hollywood 1028. He married singer Rose Lee Maphis in 1948. Maphis' playing was an influence on such greats as Merle Travis, Jimmy Bryant and Chet Atkins. He was known for his use of a double-neck Mosrite guitar, specially built for him by Semie Moseley, which was a boon to Moseley's fledgling career as a guitar builder. He was a regular guest on the Jimmy Dean television show in the 1960's ((This article is based on information from Wikipedia and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Lynn Marshall

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Lynn Marshall was the daughter of Hollywood arranger Jack Marshall, best known for scoring the Peggy Lee classic 'Fever'. In a split session with Jack Lewis Lynn lend her vocals to two songs with Eddie Cochran on guitar: 'Borrowed Love' b/w 'You'll Find Out' (Crest 1034).
(This article is based on the linernotes by Rob Finnis from Rockstar RSRCD 009 'Cruisin' The Drive-In' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Skeets McDonald

Skeets McDonald
Skeets McDonald was born as Enos William McDonald on October 1, 1915, in Greenway, Arizona, died on March 31, 1968. Skeets earned his nickname after an incident involving a swarm of mosquitoes. He became interested in music at a young age and when his older brother moved to Michigan several years later, McDonald followed and joined his first band, the Lonesome Cowboys, in Detroit in 1935. He continued to perform on local radio stations until he was drafted to serve in World War II in 1943. After returning from battle, McDonald began performing on a Detroit-area television program and in 1950 cut his first records with fiddler Johnnie White & His Rough Riders. In 1951, McDonald and his family moved to Los Angeles, where he was signed to perform on Cliffie Stone's TV program Hometown Jamboree. Soon after, he joined Capitol Records and in 1952 released "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes," by far his biggest hit. His music's evolution from honky tonk to straightforward rockabilly proved to be influential with other musicians. It was in May 1956 that Wynn Stewart and Skeets McDonald recorded four songs in a split session in the Capitol Tower in Hollywood. Besides playing on on all four sides Wynn and Skeets employed Eddie Cochran as the lead guitarist and Joe Maphis as second guitarist. The songs recorded were the country 'Slowly But Surely' and 'Keeper of The Keys', released as by Wynn Stewart (Capitol 3515) and the hard rocking 'You Oughta See Grandma Rock' and 'Heartbreakin' Mama' by Skeets McDonald (Capitol 3461). In 1959, McDonald signed with Columbiaand in the early '60s, he notched a handful of hits, including 'Call Me Mr. Brown', which reached the Top Ten in 1963. As the decade wore on, he began branching out from the West Coast music scene, recording in Nashville and appearing on the Grand Ole Opry. Despite the country industry's shift towards slicker, more pop-oriented productions, McDonald remained a purist throughout his career; he died on March 31, 1968, after suffering a massive heart attack.
(This article is based on information from Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Ray Stanley

Ray Stanley & Eddie Cochran
Ray Stanley was born Stanley Nussbaum in Dermott, Arkansas in 1924. Songwriter and vocalist Stanley teamed up with Jack Lewis at American Music and were responsible for the Crest label's first four releases.  In May 1956, 'Glendora' a Ray Stanley song was covered by Perry Como whose version made the top ten on RCA. Lewis then left American and founded Sherman Music with Billy Sherman. Ray played piano on Eddie Cochran's early sessions in Gold Star Studio in mid 1956 including 'Skinny Jim', 'Half Loved' and 'My Love To Remember'. Ray Stanley: "I said to him (Eddie) your voice to me is not so good as your guitar playing". In late 1956 Lewis made a couple of demo's of songs he composed. These demo's are now mostly famous as Eddie Cochran sat in on guitar and provided some of his best recorded guitar licks. Songs include: 'Market Place', 'Pushin', 'Love Charms', My Lovin' Baby' and 'Kiss & Make Up'.
(This article is based on the linernotes by Rob Finnis from Rockstar RSRCD 009 'Cruisin' The Drive-In', Alan Clark in 'Never To Be Forgotten' and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Wynn Stewart

Wynn Stewart
Wynn Stewart, born Winford Lindsey Stewart, June 7, 1934 in Morrisville, Missouri, died July 17, 1985, Hendersonville, Tennessee. Wynn Stewart was one of the progenitors of the Bakersfield sound. Although not a huge chart success, he was an inspiration to such greats as Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. The Stewart family moved west from Missouri during World War II and finally settled in Huntington Park, California in 1948. While still in school, Stewart formed a band and started touring clubs. It was at this time that he also made his first recording, a cover of Eddy Arnold's 'Anytime'. After graduating high school in 1951, he began entering talent contests sponsored by a local radio station. It was there that he met long-time collaborator, pedal steel guitarist Ralph Mooney. In 1954 Skeets McDonald set him up with an audition with Capitol Records. His first hit with Capitol was 'Waltz of the Angels', in 1956. It was in May 1956 that Wynn Stewart and Skeets McDonald recorded four songs in a split session in the Capitol Tower in Hollywood. Besides playing on on all four sides Wynn and Skeets employed Eddie Cochran as the lead guitarist and Joe Maphis as second guitarist. The songs recorded were the country 'Slowly But Surely' and 'Keeper of The Keys', released as by Wynn Stewart (Capitol 3515) and the hard rocking 'You Oughta See Grandma Rock' and 'Heartbreakin' Mama' by Skeets McDonald (Capitol 3461). Unhappy with the direction Capitol was taking with the Nashville sound, Stewart left the label after only a few years. He recorded for a few other labels and started his own WIN Records in 1978, but changing tastes in music and problems with alcohol brought his career to a standstill. While preparing to launch a comeback in 1985, Stewart suffered a heart attack and died at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee on July 17, 1985.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Mamie Van Doren

Mamie Van Doren
Mamie Van Doren was born Joan Lucille Olander, February 6, 1931 in Rowena, South Dakota. Mamie Van Doren made her professional debut as a band singer, acting in stock companies before signing a contract with Universal Pictures in 1953. Van Doren's career was mainly devoted to tawdry exploitation programmers and drive-in quickies. She became the resident Marilyn Monroe-type for fast-buck producer Albert Zugsmith in the late 1950s and early 1960s, starring in such films as 'The Beat Generation' (1958), The Big Operator (1959), The Private Lives of Adam and Eve (1960), and her signature film, 'Sex Kittens Go To College' (1960). A drive-in movie called 'Untamed Youth' came out in 1957 starring Lori Nelson and Mamie Van Doren and had a small role for Eddie Cochran playing the character 'Bong'.Eddie sang 'Cotton Picker' in the movie and played guitar on the four songs Mamie sang in the movie: 'Salamander', 'Go Go Calypso', 'Oo Ba La Baby' and 'Rollin' Stone'. The songs were released on Prep EP MI-1. The soundtrack for these songs as heard in the movie soundtrack was later rerecorded without Eddie Cochran. Mamie later howed up in the "musical j.d." epic 'Born Reckless' (singing five songs) and as a neurotic striptease artist in director Tommy Noonan's tickle-and-tease farce Three Nuts in Search of a Bolt (1964). Disappearing from films in the 1970s, Van Doren continued popping up at important Hollywood social functions and awards presentations, as zaftig and exhibitionist as ever, much to the delight of her ever-growing fan club. In 1987 Mamie Van Doren wrote her memoirs, Playing the Field, in which she claims she slept with practically every male star in the entertainment industry.
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia, Hal Erickson in All Movie Guide and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Gene Vincent

Gene Vincent
Gene Vincent, born Vincent Eugene Craddock in Norfolk Virginia on February 11, 1935, died October 12, 1971. As a 20-year-old in the Navy, Gene Vincent suffered a severe motorcycle accident that almost resulted in the amputation of his leg, and left him with a permanent limp and considerable chronic pain for the rest of his life. After the accident he began to concentrate on building a musical career, playing with country bands around the Norfolk area. Demos cut at a local radio station, fronting a band assembled around Gene by his management, landed Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps a contract at Capitol. By this time Vincent had plunged into all-out rockabilly, capable of both fast-paced exuberance and whispery, almost sensitive ballads. The Blue Caps were one of the greatest rock bands of the '50s, anchored at first by the stunning silvery, faster-than-light guitar leads of Cliff Gallup. The slap-back echo of 'Be-Bop-a-Lula', combined with Gene's swooping vocals, first hit the airwaves in mid-1956, on its way to the Top Ten. Brilliant follow-ups like 'Race With the Devil', 'Bluejean Bop' and 'B-I-Bickey, Bi, Bo-Bo-Go' failed to click in nearly as big a way, although these too are emblematic of rockabilly at its most exuberant and powerful. Vincent had his second and final Top Twenty hit in 1957 with 'Lotta Lovin', which reflected his increasingly tamer approach to production and vocals. He recorded often for Capitol throughout the rest of the '50s. His act was captured for posterity in one of the best scenes of one of the first Hollywood films to feature rock & roll stars, 'The Girl Can't Help It'. In March 1958 Eddie Cochran joined the Blue Caps in the studio for their recordings for 'A Gene Vincent Record Date' album. He participated in eight songs as bass vocal the best example being 'Git It'. In between the Blue Cap's sessions Eddie recorded his own classic anthem 'Summertime Blues'.
Vincent continued to rock the house with reckless intensity and showmanship, and he became particularly popular overseas. Eddie Cochran joined Gene in tour of the UK in early 1960. During the tour many TV broadcast and radio shoes were recorded (audio only, the videos were destroyed later in the sixties). The duo sang 'White Lightnin' on 'Boy Meets Girl' TV Show and Eddie accopanied Gene on 'My Heart' and 'Dance In The Street'. The tour brought tragedy when the taxi which brought Eddie, Gene and Sharon Sheeley to Heathrow Airport was involved in an accident. Eddie Cochran died and Sharon Sheeley, Eddie's girlfriend and Gene Vincent were hurt but survived.
By the early '60s, Gene's recordings had become much more sporadic and lower in quality, and his chief audience was in Europe, particularly in England (where he lived for a while) and France. His Capitol contract expired in 1963, and he spent the rest of his life recording for several other labels, none of which got him close to that comeback hit. His medical, drinking, and marital problems were making his life a mess, and diminishing his stage presence as well. He died on October 12, 1971 in Newhall, California at the age of 36 from a ruptured stomach ulcer, one of rock's first mythic figures
(This article is based on information from Wikipedia, Richie Unterberger in All Music Guide and the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages).
   
Jess Willard

Jess Willard 
Jess Willard born Jess Willard Griffin, March 28, 1916, Washburn, Texas. Died May 26, 1959, Auburn, California. Jess was named after the boxing world championship heavyweight Jess Willard. Jess' two biggest musical influences were his father, a skilled guitarist who passed onto his son his love for Western music and his best friend, singer Jack Guthrie (1915-1948), who became Willard's chief musical influence. Guthrie's early death was a great shock to Jess Willard. After Guthrie died of TB in 1948, Willard vowed to carry on his name and music. He travelled to L.A. in 1949 and it was there that Capitol A&R man Lee Gillette heard him sing Guthrie's "Oklahoma Hills" while sitting in with Ole Rasmussen's band. Gillette signed Willard and on June 14, 1950, he had his first recording session with a hand-picked band that included Jimmy Bryant, Cliffie Stone, and Tex Atchison. After over two years at Capitol, (where he scored no hits), Willard toured the Far East with Eddie Hazelwood. In 1955, he toured with Eddie and Hank Cochran (the Cochran Brothers) and joined them for a number of California Hayride shows. The Cochran Brothers backed Willard up on his EKKO release 'Every Dog Has His Day' and 'Don't Hold Her So Close' (Ekko 1018). He recorded his final single in 1959 before dying of a heart attack on May 26, 1959, aged 43.
(This article is based on the linernotes from Bear Family BCD 16256 AH 'Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor' by Kevin Coffey, the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages and Jim Smith in All Music Guide).
   
Gary Williams

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Gary Williams was born in Spokane, Washington in 1938 and moved to Los Angeles in 1955. Gary Williams appeared regularly on the Town Hall Party Show, a televised country music showcase featuring local talent and visiting guest stars among them the Cochran Brothers and later in 1959 Eddie Cochran. Williams was heavily influenced by Jimmie Rodgers, the country music pioneer of the 1930's, and the Jimmie Rodgers fanclub christened him 'The Travellin' Blues Boy'. This became the titel of his first record for the West Coast label, Verve. Having moved back to Spokane in the summer of 1957 Gary Williams and Eddie Cochran were briefly reunited when Eddie visited Spokane on October 27th. After the evening show at Spokane's Coliseum Theatre Eddie spent the late hours jamming with Gary at his home. Gary Williams sang and played guitar whereas Eddie reportedly played guitar and the dobro steel. Of the six songs recorded 'I'll See You In My Dreams' and 'Farewell, My Bluebell' are solo performances on guitar by Eddie Cochran.
(This article is based on the linernotes from Rockstar CD RSR009 'Cruisin' The Drive-In' (Rob Finnis), and
the Remember Eddie Cochran Sessions pages.