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Curley Cochran
Born:  March 3, 1918
Died:  July 29, 1986

This well-respected steel guitar player on the southern California music scene was born Richard Floyd Cochran, Jr. But fans knew him as Curley Cochran. He grew up in Oklahoma and eventually he found his way to southern California.

A niece of Curley's tells us that he was a performer on one of the Los Angeles radio shows of that bygone era. Curley had a sister known as "Babe Cochran" who also sang on the radio show.

It appears that there was a fire at the home of Curley's mom which destroyed some of the early pictures of the family and Curley's career.

His niece indicated he played at such venues as The Mule Kick, The Palamino Club, Fargo and Four Aces Club in the Los Angeles area.

Some of the artists and bands he played for included Spade Cooley, T. Texas Tyler, Cowboy Sam Nichols, Bob Wills, Cowboy Copas, Merl Lindsay, Al Vaughn, Jimmy Bryant, Doug McGinnis and Billy Hughes.

His work may live on on several recordings on the Starday label, but we're not sure which those were.

According to some comments on the web-based Steel Guitar Forum, he was known for playing jazz-type licks and special effects which a lot of other steel guitar players picked up, including Speedy West. He tended bar at some of the places he played at in the Pico Street area. He was said to be people friendly and willing to explain anything he was doing on the steel guitar. One steel player indicated you did not want to challenge him in a jam session.

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to express its appreciation to Sandra Beck, niece of Curley Cochran for providing information about her uncle's musical career.
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