Died 17 May 2002, Sherman Oaks Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
Sheeley was a highly accomplished songwriter who helped pave the way for female lyricists to gain recognition in the industry during the 1960's.
In 1958, the same year she was introduced to Eddie Cochran by ex-boyfriend Phil Everly, 18 year-old Sheeley wrote "Poor Little Fool". Recorded by Ricky Nelson (2) it went to No 1 in the States and launched her songwriting career.
Cochran also had a hit that year with "Summertime Blues" and the couple became soulmates, with Sheeley going on to write hits for the likes of Johnny Burnette and Ritchie Valens, her demos aided by Cochran's technical skills and some mentoring from Jerry Capeheart. She also co-wrote "Somethin' Else" with Eddie's brother Bob Cochran. Sheeley & Eddie Cochran were engaged in 1960, the same year that Cochran toured the UK with Gene Vincent. Sheeley met up with Cochran in the UK and they celebrated her 20th birthday. On Sunday 17th April - the day following the tour- Cochran, Vincent and Sheeley were on their way to the airport, to return to the United States, in the back seat of a hire-car. The vehicle crashed. Cochran died from his injuries and Vincent and Sheeley were seriously injured.
Sheeley recovered her health and continued writing songs, also partnering up with Jackie DeShannon. She penned hits for Brenda Lee, The Crickets, The Fleetwoods, The Searchers, and later hits for James Marcus Smith (whom she renamed PJ Proby), Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, Herb Alpert, and others.
Married briefly to 'Shindig' frontman Jimmy O'Neil, Sheeley was honoured by "Sharon Sheeley: Songwriter", a tribute album in 2000 featuring stars for whom she had written. On 12 May 2002 she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, aged 62, and died shortly after.