Eddie Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960)
Edward Ray Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota and grew up to become a rockabilly singer songwriter, famous for the songs Summertime Blues, C’mon Everybody and Somethin Else. He was also known for his image of being a sharply dressed, good-looking young man with a rebellious attitude which epitomized 1950s rock and roll. While on tour in Britain in April 1960, Cochran was riding in a taxi after performing at Bristol’s Hippodrome Theatre. Cochran, his fiancee songwriter Sharon Sheeley, singer Gene Vincent and the taxi driver were on the A4 travelling through Chippenham. The taxi was speeding when it blew a tire causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crashed into a lamppost on Rowden Hill (a plaque continues to rest there). Cochran who was seated in the centre of the backseat threw himself over Sheeley to shield her and was thrown from the car when the door flew open. Sheeley, the driver and Vincent all survived the crash though Vincent did sustain lasting injuries to an already permanently damaged leg that ended up shortening his career. Cochran was taken to St. Martin’s Hospital in Bath where he died of severe head injuries the following day. The taxi driver was convicted of dangerous driving, fined 50 pounds and disqualified from driving for 15 years. Cochran was only 21 years of age at the time of his death. In 1987, Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.