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Albert Lea, Minnesota is the birthplace of the great Eddie Cochran. In June 2004 I had the chance to team up in Albert Lea with Bill Beard of the Cochran Connection and Tony Barrett of Rockstar Records. Being in the company of those two authorities on all matters Cochran and meeting the Cochran family was an experience I will never forget. In Albert Lea there are still people who remember Eddie and it's amazing how much of an impact he made even at a very young age. In the Albert Lea pages you can see some of the pictures I took while in Albert Lea. Cherished memories indeed. Memorial Eddie Cochran, Albert Lea, Minnesota
Albert Lea, Minnesota 
Welcome to Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA, birth-place of the great Eddie Cochran ...
 Flyer of Low Bucks Car Club Eddie Cochran Weekend 2004
Flyer of the Low Bucks Car Club presenting The Eddie Cochran Weekend on June 11, 12 and 13. Unfortunately the cruise on Sunday was postponed because of a thunderstorm warning ...
Map of Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA

Albert Lea has a population of 18.356 and many lakes as you can see on the map ... 

 

Albert Lea remembers Eddie Cochran

 

Naeve Hospital, Albert Lea, Minnesota

This is the old Naeve Hospital where Eddie Cochran was born
on 3 October 1938. Now almost 66 years ago ...

Naeve Hospital, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Naeve Hospital was extended in later years but the old part still stands. On the far left you can see the extension ...

Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA

At the time of Eddie's birth in 1938 The Cochran family lived here on 909 Marshall. It is now the site of a parking lot ...

Memorial Eddie Cochran, Albert Lea, Minnesota

This is a memorial stone near the Cochran's home at formerly 230 Charles Street where the family moved to in 1941. This is now the site of a swimming-pool and tennis courts ...

Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA

The whole block where Eddie spent most of his childhood is
 now demolished. On the right you can see the memorial and the swimming pool ...

Fountain Lake, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Fountain Lake - just in front of where Eddie used to live - you can almost imagine the young Eddie Cochran fishing and hunting here ...

Cochran family Reception - 12 June 2004

Tony Barrett, Antoon van Olderen, Patty Hickey and Bill Cochran

From left to right: Tony Barret of Rockstar Records (premium Eddie Cochran label), Antoon, Patty Hickey (Eddie's sister) and Bill Cochran (Eddie's oldest brother). This picture was taken during a reception on saturday in which the Cochran family rendered their thanks to the Low Bucks Car Club and the community of Albert Lea for their hospitality and for keeping Eddie's memory alive. During this reception Patty and Bill were interviewed for television and we got to meet a couple of Eddie's class mates ...

 
Freeborn County Historical Society Museum
 

Eddie Cochran memorial plaque, Albert Lea, Minnesota

This memorial plaque is now in the museum. It is great to see that the the Freeborn County Historical Society Museum has done so well in creating an Eddie Cochran exhibit. I cannot recommend this enough to all you Eddie Cochran fans out there ...

 

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

In the museum you will find some show-cases full of memorabilia. In this picture you can see a very young Eddie in between two of his friends ...

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

 This is a picture of Eddie's 3rd grade class at Ramsey School. The picture was taken in 1947. Can you spot little Eddie?

 

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

More memorabilia - some precious vinyl (including an Ekko 78 rpm with the Cochran Brothers) ...

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Another showcase with one of Eddie's shirts ...

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Ofcourse I had to take this close-up photo of Eddie's shirt ..

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

This showcase has to be my favourite. It contains the clothes Eddie wore in England on the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert - including the famous leather trousers ...

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota 

There are some golden records on display - this one is for 'Sittin' In The Balcony' ...

Eddie Cochran exhibit in Freeborn County Historical Society Museum, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Golden record for the album 'Singin' For My Baby' ...

Tail Fins Malt Shop in Alden, Minnesota - 12 miles from Albert Lea

The Eddie Cochran Room

The Eddie Cochran Room in Tail Fins Malt Shop, Alden, Minnesota

These printings on the wall are all from Albert Lea's artist Eloise Adams who creates an Eddie Cochran print every year for the Eddie Cochran weekend. Eloise started this project in 1993 ...

The Eddie Cochran Room in Tail Fins Malt Shop, Alden, Minnesota 

The Eddie Cochran room ...

The Eddie Cochran Room in Tail Fins Malt Shop, Alden, Minnesota

You can make yourself comfortable surrounded by records of Eddie ...

The Eddie Cochran Room in Tail Fins Malt Shop, Alden, Minnesota 

This collage is also made by Eloise Adams using one of Rockstar's EP's ...

Eloise Adams Eddie Cochran print for 2004

This is Eloise's Eddie Cochran print for 2004. A must have for collectors ...

Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa
 

The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa

When you are in Albert Lea you definitely have to go to The Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. Here at this venue Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper played their last gig on 2 February 1959.The Surf is about an hour drive from Albert Lea. This picture was taken in front of the Surf Ballroom. From left to right: Antoon, Tony Barrett and David Jo (Eddie's Song).

 

The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa

The Surf Ballroom is full of memorabilia ...

The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa

The stage of the Surf Ballroom. Because of preparations for a Beatles tribute (!) the stage lights are lit ...

 

The Surf Ballroom, Clear Lake, Iowa

Antoon, Tony and Terry Cole (who knew Eddie as a kid and was very kind to show us around Albert Lea) with the memorial statue in front of the Surf Ballroom ...

Crash site Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in Clear Lake, Iowa

This is the field where the red Beechcraft Bonanza four-seater carrying Buddy, Ritchie, Big Bopper and pilot Peterson crashed. The memorial is on the right. Nothing is changed in the landscape since that fateful day in February 1959 ...

Crash site Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in Clear Lake, Iowa

Close-up of the memorial. You can see that a lot of fans visit the site ...

Crash site Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in Clear Lake, Iowa

Tony and Antoon at the memorial ...

Crash site Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in Clear Lake, Iowa

The Beechcraft Bonanza came from this direction ... 

Crash site Buddy Holly, Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens in Clear Lake, Iowa

... and was supposed to fly on in this direction ...

Map with route from Surf Ballroom to crash site

This map will get you from the Surf Ballroom to the crash site ...

Ecumenical Service for Eddie Cochran
 

Historical Village Church Ecumenical Service

Sunday 13 June 2004 10:00 a.m.

 

Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

The Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke from 1878 - site of the ecumenical service in honour of Eddie Cochran. It was a beautiful Sunday morning  ...

The church is situated in the Pioneer Village at the terrain of the Freeborn County Historical Museum. On the Historical Museum page you will find some pictures from the permanent Eddie Cochran exhibit inside the museum ...

 

Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

This entrance got us all in the right mood ...

Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Before the service ...

 

Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

The church was filled with fans, friends and family of Eddie. The service was organised by Bev jackson, executive director and curator of the Freeborn County Historical Museum. She wrote an article about the weekend which is for you to read at The Cochran Connection website ...

Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

 On the left you can see pastor Milton Ost talking with the Cochran family. It was a very emotional service, especially when Hank Hickey (married with Eddie's sister Patty) shared some memories of Eddie with us ...

Bruce Himmerich and David Jo in Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

Bruce Himmerich and David Jo singing the gospel and their tributesong 'Eddie's Song' ...

Norsk ev. Luthers Kirke, Albert Lea, Minnesota

After the service coffee and donuts were served for everybody who attended the service ...

With the Cochran Family

With the Cochan family

This picture is taken on friday-evening 11 june in the restaurant at the golfcourse of Albert Lea. Clockwise: Bill Cochran, Antoon, Bill Beard (Cochran Connection), Chris, June, Dave, Hank Hickey (Eddie's brother in law who did such a wonderful job representing the Cochran family during the weekend) and Betty Cochran. On the other table you can see Patty Hickey (Eddie's sister) ...

Patty Hickey, Betty Cochran and Bill Cochran

from left to right: Patty Hickey, Betty Cochran and Bill Cochran. This picture was taken on sunday afternoon 13 june when our little group of England and Dutch fans were invited over to the Hickey family in Austin, Minnesota ...