PopBopRocktilUDrop

From the Land of Band Box Records

A Teen Tragedy…a Teen Talent

Sheeley & Cochran – Hollywood 1950’s

The teenage girl excitedly headed off to England to join her American boyfriend who had summoned her in the Spring of 1960.  He was missing her and wanted her be there with him in England.

She couldn’t wait to be reunited with her boyfriend Eddie Cochran who was in the middle of a long tour throughout the U.K. along with close friend Gene Vincent.  The two were selling out performances and experiencing a tremendous response from the British rock ‘n’ roll fans wherever they went.

Sharon Sheeley was born in April of 1940 in Newport Beach, California Sharon K. Sheeley.  She had taken a shot at being a teenage model before deciding to move to Hollywood and take a shot a composing songs.

Her first shot at the big time came quickly when one of her first compositions came to the attention of Ricky.  The song was Sharon’s “Poor Little Fool” which would become Ricky’s first number 1 hit (his other being “Travelin’ Man” and would have the distinction of being Billboard’s very first number one record on their newly introduced  Hot 100 and also provided Sharon with the distinction of being the youngest female to pen a number 1 hit record.

Sharon first set her sites on the handsome rocker in 1956 in California attending his performances and following his career.  It was during a music business meeting  a few years later in New York City that the two finally came together becoming a couple.

Her next big success came after becoming Eddie’s girl friend when the pair teamed up to compose “Somethin’ Else” a song which reached number 58 in the U.S. and would be fated to be his last Hot 100 recording.  She also composed the “B” side of “Summertime Blues” a tune titled “Love Again” in 1958.

DeShannon & Sheeley and Husband Jimmy O’Neil

Sharon’s trip to England would turn into a tragedy when on April 16th, 1960 Sharon, Eddie and Gene Vincent were riding in a taxi which experienced a tire blow-out resulting in the accident that claimed the life of Cochran, severely injuring Sharon with Vincent receiving injuries which weren’t as bad.

Sharon would spend considerable time in a British hospital being treated and recovering from her injuries.  Accounts of the crash vary – In Eddie Cochran’s biography states that her back and neck were broken and her leg “severed” which was severe but not quite that severe.  Cochran died within a few hours after the accident of mass head wounds having been thrown from the car.

She would make her way back to California.  One additional Eddie Cochran record would be released by Liberty Records in September of 1960, “Lonely” composed by Sheeley – a song which failed to chart.

Sharon continued to compose – working with singer/writer Jackie DeShannon, delivering a couple of hits for Brenda Lee, 1961’s “Dum Dum” (#4) and 1962’s “Heart in Hand” (#15).

The two composers also worked together on The Fleetwoods “(He’s) The Great Impostor” (#30 in the Fall of 1961.

In 1961 Sharon would meet and marry disc Jockey Jimmy O’Neil and together they would create ABC’s “Shindig!” show which ran from 1964 until 1966.  In 1971 Sharon would bow out from her career in music.  She passed away on May 17th, 2002 after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage.  She was 62 years old.

Sheeley documented her time with Eddie Cochran in a book released after her death, “Summertime Blues”.

Sharon Sheeley Discography

Liberty 55144 – Eddie Cochran – “Love Again” – June, 1958

Imperial 5528 – Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool” – #1 Billboard July, 1958

Liberty F-55203 – Eddie Cochran – “Something Else” – #58 Billboard August, 1959

Liberty 55278 – Eddie Cochran – “Lonely” – September, 1960

Madison 135 – Dante and the Evergreens – “Dream Land” – December, 1960

Decca 31272 – Brenda Lee – “Dum Dum” – #4 Billboard June, 1961

London 9362 U.K. – Eddie Cochran – “Cherished Memories” – June, 1961

Dolton 45 – The Fleetwoods – “(He’s) The Great Impostor” – #36 Billboard September, 1961

Liberty 55387 – Jackie DeShannon – “Baby (When Ya Kiss Me)” – October, 1961

Liberty 55398 – Troy Shondell – “Island in the Sky” – December, 1961

Liberty 55425 – Jackie DeShannon – “The Prince” – February, 1962

Liberty 55458 – Jewel Brown – “I Must Be Dreaming” – May, 1962

Liberty 55471 – Pat Carter – “Sweet Young Girl” – June, 1962

Decca 31407 – Brenda Lee “Heart in Hand” – #15 Billboard July, 1962

Liberty 55484 – Jackie DeShannon – “Just Like in the Movies” – July, 1962

Dolton 49 – The Fleetwoods – “Trouble” – September, 1962

Liberty 55505 – P. J. Proby – “The Other Side of Town” – October, 1962

Liberty 10049 U.K.- Eddie Cochran – “Think of Me” – October, 1962

Liberty 55497 – Jackie DeShannon – “You Won’t Forget Me” b/w “I Don’t Think So Much Of Myself Now” – November, 1962

Dolton 74 – The Fleetwoods – “You Should Have Been There” – March, 1963

Reprise 20,176 – Ral Donner – “Don’t Put Your Heart In His Hand” – May, 1963

Reprise 20,201 – Wynona Carr – “Carrying a Torch” – July, 1963

Fairmount – The Dreamers – “Daydreamin’ of You” – September, 1963

Dolton 83 – Dodie Stevens – “You Don’t Have to Prove a Thing To Me” – September, 1963

Imperial 66004 – Rick Nelson – “Thank You Darlin'” – September, 1963

Dolton 86 – The Fleetwoods – “Baby Bye-O” – November, 1963

Imperial 66013 – Irma Thomas – “Break-a-Way” – February, 1964

RCA Victor 8357 – Peggy March – “Takin’ The Long Way Home” – April, 1964

Epic 96987 – Kerri Downs – “You Won’t Forget Me” – June, 1964

Reprise 255 – Thurston Harris – “Dancing Silhouettes” – September, 1964

Liberty 55790 – Bobby Vee – “You Won’t Forget Me” – April, 1965

Warner Bros. 5651 U.K. – Bernie Balentine – “Baby Bye-O” – May, 1965

Liberty 10113 Netherlands & U.K. – Bobby Vee – “Right or Wrong” – November, 1963

Tower 117 – Mary Miller – “Where’s Johnny” – January, 1965

Marteen 1001 – Maylon DeWitt – “Never Never” – February, 1966

Parlophone 5560 – Billy Fury – “Things Are Changing” – January, 1967

MGM 1354 U.K. – Paul and Barry Ryan – “Night Time” – October, 1967

 

Liberty 56018 – Del Shannon – “Runnin’ On Back” – January, 1968

MCA 52385 – Tracey Ullman – “Break-A-Way” – April, 1984

%d bloggers like this: