Joined Dec 26 2012
70 years old
Jerry was born in Jan. 16, 1943 and raised in Beebe, Arkansas. At around age 10, his Uncle Milbourn gave him an old beat-up guitar. That started it all!
He would ride his bareback pony, with guitar in hand, to visit Hollis Allen, a local Professional musician. Hollis would give Jerry guitar lessons and taught him how to play songs such as "The Wildwood Flower", among others.
At age 12 he entered a talent contest at the local annual "Strawberry Festival" and won first place, ($15.-) A lot of money for a 12 year old kid in 1955!
That kinda sealed his fate as far as Jerry wanting to become a Musician.
In 1960, Jerry and his cousin, Gerald Hughes drove over to Memphis to visit Graceland and possibly get a glimpse of Elvis! But.....Elvis was in Hollywood filming "GI Blues" So, Jerry and Gerald hung around Graceland that afternoon talking to Travis Smith who worked as Gate Guard and was Elvis' Uncle.
Jerry mentioned to Travis that he was a musician. Travis then said his son, Billy Smith, was trying to get a band together and asked Jerry if he may be interested in joining Billy's new band.
After meeting with Billy, Jerry decided to go ahead and give it a try. Jerry went back to Beebe and loaded up his Equipment and some clothes and moved to Memphis and lived with Billy and his family there in Whitehaven.
The first night Jerry met Elvis was a very exciting time! Elvis had drove over to pick up Anita Wood when Billy & Jerry arrived at Graceland that first night. He wasn't gone long, and when he got back, Billy & Jerry were standing out front when they drove up. Elvis and Anita got out of the car (a black Rolls Royce) and Elvis came over and Billy introduced Elvis to Jerry. Elvis was wearing a black suit and had on white gloves. Jerry remembers the white gloves from shaking hands with Elvis that first night. A very Vivid memory for Jerry!
One of many highlights of this time was when Elvis called down to Sun Studios and set up a recording session for Billy & Jerry at the old Original "Sun Studios". To top that off, Scotty Moore was in the control room that day! WOW !!!
Elvis was usually home for 6 weeks or so between making movies. Once a week we would go see some movies at a theater (The Memphian). Elvis would rent the entire theater for the night. We would go in around midnight and sometimes it would be daylight when we came out the next day. The movies were free, but we had to pay for our Popcorn & Cokes, etc.. One night, Elvis & Anita Wood were at the concession stand the same time I was and Elvis had no money (with him). He asked me for $1.50 to pay for their Cokes, etc. (things were cheaper in 1961)and he would pay me back! Well.. Elvis NEVER paid me back the $1.50. I started to sue the estate for it, but never got around to it.. };-))
Jerry moved to California in the mid 60's and taught Guitar at Peggy's Music School in Redondo Beach until 1969.
In June of 1969, Jerry was called into the Army and was sent to Ludwigsburg, Germany. After his release from the army, Jerry remained in Germany and married his German sweetheart, Karin. He then started a band "The Trailriders" and played Military and Civilian clubs all over Southern Germany from 1970 until 1979.
In 1972, Jerry opened his Booking/Talent Agency (Cochran Talent Agency). He booked many other Bands & DJ's in Southern Germany.
In 1979, Jerry moved back to the USA. He was totally burnt out on playing music after spending almost 10 years playing 3 to 5 nights a week.
Jerry has met many Artists & Stars over the years and also worked with many of them on their European Tours.
To Name a few:
Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Teddy Riedel
Don Gibson, Carl Perkins, D.J. Fontana, Gene Simmons, Sonny Burgess,
Tommy Overstreet, Barbara Mandrell, Hank Thompson,Tommy Cash,
Little Jimmy Dickins. Dottie West, Red Steagall, Hank Locklin,
Jeanie Pruitt, Diana Blair, Jerry Naylor, Roy Accuff
Shot Jackson, Narvil Felts, Albert Lee, Bill Justice,
Roy Rogers, Scotty Moore, Tex & Dorothy Ritter
Billy Jo Spears, Freddie Douglas,
Freddie Matthews, Larry Miller,
Troy Cook Jr., Ray Benson
& many, many more.