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 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!
This was the first night Elvis was back and word hadn't got out yet that Elvis was in town, so it was just the immediate family and very close friends, ie.,Elvis, Anita, Vernon, Travis, Billy and Jerry, Elvis's gang, (Charlie, Joe, Sonny, etc). I believe Vester and Nancy was also there that first night. We just sit around and talked and I told Elvis I had played with Teddy Riedel over in Arkansas and he told me he had recorded a song of Teddy's, title "Judy". After that first, peaceful, night, Graceland was crowded just about every night with Elvis' friends & family. Elvis and Jerry got along very well from the very beginning. When Elvis was in town, Billy & Jerry were at Graceland every night. A super exciting time in Jerry's life!
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.. };-))
When Billy started to work for, and traveling with Elvis, we broke up our little Memphis Band and I moved back
to Arkansas. It was just about this time Jerry started to work with Arlen Vaden of "VADEN RECORDS". Arlen
sold records & songbooks all over the USA. Mostly records of him and his wife Jackie. They called themselves
"THE SOUTHERN GOSPEL SINGERS". This was in the late '50's & early '60's. Vaden had a few local artists
on his lable, Teddy Riedel, Bobby Lee Trammel, Larry Don, Joyce Green, Freddy Douglas, to name a few.
Vaden also book A-List Artist into venues in the tri-state area. While working with Vaden, Jerry got to meet such
artists as Carl Perkins, Don Gibson, Roger Miller, Conway Twitty, Charlie Rich and many others. One time
we went over to Memphis to record 2 sides on Bobby Lee Trammel at the Hi Recording Studio on Lauderdale.
It was an old movie theater converted into a recording studio. The drummer we brought over from Ark could not
cut it, so Vaden called D.J. Fontana (Elvis' old drummer) to do the session. This was a Sunday afternoon and
when we finished, we took the tape to Pepper Studios to get it mastered and then took the masters down to
the pressing plant and by Friday of the following week, we had 600 copies of the record (45 RPM) to get to
radio stations and Juke Box distributors. Try to get something like that done today in one week, even with all
the new Tech available!!
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 moved to Houston in 1979 and after being away from music for almost 7 years, he opened his "Cove Recording Studio" in 1987. It was a little 16 track studio doing mostly Demos for songwriters. In 1995 another business opportunity came along. Mike Martini, a good friend of Jerry's asked if he would be interested in becoming partners with him in his business of installing Home Theater Systems, Satellite & Phone systems. Jerry agreed and within two years, Jerry had no time for his studio. The studio was not a big money maker, so Jerry sold off most all of his studio equipment in 1997 and devoted full time to the other business (Hi Fi Doc). In 2005, Mike Martini died from ALS so this business was sold and Jerry retired.
Wanting to be in/around music in some way, Jerry started collecting guitars and started "Jerry's Guitar Boutique" as a hobby/business in 2005. That kinda brings us up to the present time.
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.