Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Morning Vault: Eddie Cochran--Summertime Blues (1958)

     When we think of the pillars of rock and roll, Eddie Cochran doesn't immediately come to mind, but the timing of his career, his rebel attitude, and his tragic, early death, had a profound influence on the early days of what was to become rock music.
     Cochran had been charting hits since 1957, but it was his appearance in the 1956 movie, "The Girl Can't Help It" with and the song "Twenty Flight Rock" that got his career off the ground. He didn't write that song, but many a young guitar player picked it up. In Britain, it was that song that impressed a young John Lennon to invite Paul McCartney to join The Quarrymen. The success of that song in the movie led Liberty records to sign him to a contract and his first song on the charts was a top 20 hit, "Sittin' In The Balcony"
     "Summertime Blues' was released in the late summer of 1958, and was his only top 10 hit and has been covered by a multitude of pop, rock, and country artists.  Eddie released only one album in late 1957,  and it showed that Liberty was attempting to turn him into a middle of the road pop star, much like what Col. Tom Parker did to Elvis a few years later. His death in 1960 kept any of that from fully taking hold, and preserved his status as a rock and roll rebel. That status, especially in  the UK made him a hero to more than a few early British rock heroes and made Cochran along with Chuck Berry direct descendents of the early rock of The Who and The Beatles.    


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