Daylight Video

On this day in 1956, Eddie Cochran signed his first record contract, beginning a prolific three-and-a-half year public career before his death in a car accident at the age of 21. Here he is performing his first hit, “Twenty Flight Rock,” in the Jayne Mansfield movie The Girl Can’t Help It.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.