Eddie Cochran

At Town Hall Party

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Presenting two sets performed by Eddie Cochran on the Los Angeles TV show Town Hall Party on February 7, 1959, this is a real find for fans of both Cochran and 1950s rock & roll in general. Although (like the other DVDs in Bear Family's Town Hall Party series) the picture and sound were taken from kinescopes and are thus not of optimum quality, actually the result is quite watchable and the sound not so bad as to be a distraction. More importantly, the performances are excellent, Cochran delivering the songs with great swagger and good voice, ably backed by Dick D'Agostin & the Swingers. Both of Cochran's biggest hits, "Summertime Blues" (with D'Agostin taking the low-voiced spoken parts of the "adult") and "C'mon Everybody" are on the program; in fact, he does "C'mon Everybody" twice. As another treat bound to please Cochran collectors, four of the numbers were never released by the rockabilly great in studio versions, including covers of Chuck Berry's "School Days" (where, unfortunately, the vocal mike is dead for the first verse), Gene Autry's "Be Honest With Me," Fats Domino's "Don't Blame It on Me," and the Drifters' "Money Honey" (though a live version of "Money Honey" did eventually come out on record after Cochran's death). The interview segment, in which Cochran and band talk with country star Johnny Bond, is actually less banal and more respectful than most Q&As with early rockers, Cochran accurately predicting that rock & roll would be with us for a long time, though he didn't live to see most of that forecast come true. About the only complaint you could offer is that this disc, in the absence of any other Cochran material from Town Hall Party, is too short, running for a mere eight songs (both versions of "C'mon Everybody" included) if you don't count the interview bit and two instrumentals by the backing band.

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