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The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture

COCHRAN, RAY EDWARD (1938–1960).

Rock and roll guitarist and singer Ray Edward "Eddie" Cochran was born on October 3, 1938, to Frank R. and Alice Whitley Cochran in Albert Lea, Minnesota. According to his birth record and census data, his parents were both from Oklahoma. Eddie Cochran claimed Oklahoma City as his hometown, as apparently during the 1940s the Cochran family lived there for a short time before moving to California in 1953.

Cochran's music career began in the mid-1950s during the rock and roll era. His style has generally been identified with "rockabilly." After performing with Hank Cochran, a country music star with the same surname but no relation, he moved into the rock and roll genre. He recorded for several labels, including Liberty. In 1956 he appeared as himself in the Jayne Mansfield movie The Girl Can't Help It, and in 1959 he appeared in rock-and-roll promoter Alan Freed's musical movie Go, Johnny, Go! Cochran's public life was brief. He recorded the hit song "Summertime Blues," a memorable teenage anthem, in 1957. Subsequently, two more of his recordings, "C'mon Everybody" and "Somethin' Else," reached the top of the music charts.

While on tour in England, Eddie Cochran died on April 17, 1960, a victim of an automobile accident near London. In 1987 he was honored by induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dianna Everett


"Eddie Cochran," Vertical File, Research Division, Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Directory, 1920–1950 (Detroit, Mich.: R. L. Polk & Co., 1920–1950.

David J. Wishart, "Eddie Cochran," in Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, ed. David J. Wishart (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004).


The following (as per The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition) is the preferred citation for articles:
Dianna Everett, “Cochran, Ray Edward,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=CO083.

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