The legendary Eddie Cochran’s bass player Fred Conrad Smith unexpectedly passed away this morning at 7.20am from a heart attack, according to his wife’s Facebook post.
Connie or “Guybo” was born in 1939 in Los Angeles and was the longest and most important of Eddie Cochran’s bandmates. They’ve met at Bell Gardens Junior High in 1951, shortly after Eddie and his family relocated from Minnesota to California. Two friends shared passion for country music and later on, rock’n’roll. Guybo played upright bass in the school band and also steel guitar and mandolin. One of their earliest performances as a duo was at a local elementary school in March 1954. Soon after, they teamed up with a fellow student Al Garcia to form a country-swing trio the Melody Boys. They also played together in the Cochran Brothers and under Eddie Cochran’s name. Besides Eddie Cochran, Smith had played with other artists such as Glen Glenn, Johnny Burnette, Ray Stanley, Bob Denton, Lee Denson and others.
Guybo’s bass playing on recordings such as Summertime Blues, Somethin’ Else, C’mon Everybody, Sittin’ in the Balcony and others will live forever. He was somethin else!
RIP Guybo (1939 – Feb 04. 2023.)