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Summertime Blues: Wikis


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"Summertime Blues"
Single by Eddie Cochran
Released June 11, 1958
Genre Rock and roll, Blues
Length 1:53
Label Liberty Records 55144
Writer(s) Eddie Cochran
Jerry Capehart

"Summertime Blues" is a 1958 song recorded by Eddie Cochran about the trials and tribulations of teenage life in America.

It was written in the late 1950s by Eddie Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Originally a single B-side, it peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1958 and #18 on the UK Singles Chart. The handclapping is performed by Sharon Sheeley, and the deep vocals at the end of each verse are done by Cochran. The drummer on that recording date was Earl Palmer.

The song was used in the 1980 movie Caddyshack. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at #77 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.

The song is ranked #73 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Part of its lyrics address the controversy surrounding the voting age, which at the time was 21. Such protests would lead to the 26th Amendment, lowering the age to 18.


Cover versions

Beach Boys' version

The Beach Boys's version appears on their album Surfin' Safari.

Blue Cheer's version

Blue Cheer recorded it for their 1968 album Vincebus Eruptum. Their version, which omits all of the response lyrics heard in Cochran's version in favor of instrumental responses by each member of the band, was featured as one of the first heavy metal recordings in the 2005 documentary Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.

During the '80s MTV played a black & white video for the song, taken from a TV program, in their Closet Classics segment. The song was also featured in the 1986 movie Troll and the 1991 movie Night on Earth and the 1996 movie I Shot Andy Warhol.

The Who's version

"Summertime Blues"
Single by The Who
from the album Live at Leeds
B-side "Heaven and Hell"
Released June 1970
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre Rock
Length 3:22
Label Track (UK) Decca (US)
Producer Kit Lambert, Chris Stamp
The Who singles chronology
"The Seeker"
"Summertime Blues"
"See Me, Feel Me"

The Who's version appears on the 1970 album Live at Leeds. Their version is done in a more aggressive style than the original. It is played in the key of A major and on the 3rd verse modulates up to B major. The single peaked at number 37 in the UK and number 28 in the US.

This version features John Entwistle singing the vocal parts of the boss, the father, and the congressman in his trademark baritone growl, in addition to playing the bass guitar and doubling Roger Daltrey's lead vocal on the verses in his normal register. The track features the original four-man Who lineup of Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon, and Pete Townshend.

Other live versions from The Who are featured in the concert and documentary film Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival box set.

"Summertime Blues" was a staple of Who concerts between 1967 and 1976 with intermittent appearances thereafter, but has not been played since Entwistle's death in 2002.

Other Who versions can be found on Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, Odds & Sods, and the CD release of Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Olivia Newton-John's version

On her Clearly Love album, 1975.

T. Rex's version

On his T. Rex album, 1970. Originally a single 'B' side.

Brian Setzer version

Played by Setzer on the La Bamba soundtrack (and on the film in which he performs as Eddie Cochran). Another version appears on Rockin' by Myself, released in 1998.

Cheech Marin's version

Nathan Cavaleri's version

Alan Jackson's version

"Summertime Blues"
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album Who I Am
Released July 4, 1994[1]
Format CD Single
Recorded January 11, 1994[2]
Genre Country
Length 3:13 (album version)
Label Arista Nashville
Producer Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"(Who Says) You Can't Have It All"
"Summertime Blues"
"Livin' on Love"

While so many versions of this song have been recorded, Alan was inspired by Buck Owens' version.[2]

Chart positions

Chart (1994) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks 1
U.S. Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 4
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"Foolish Pride"
by Travis Tritt
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version)

July 23-August 6, 1994
Succeeded by
"Be My Baby Tonight"
by John Michael Montgomery
Preceded by
"Thinkin' Problem"
by David Ball
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single (Alan Jackson version)

August 1-August 8, 1994
Succeeded by
"The Other Side"
by Charlie Major

Gary Allan's version

  • Played in the 1999 TV miniseries Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story.

Rush's version

"Summertime Blues"
Single by Rush
from the album Feedback
Released June 2004
Genre Rock
Length 3:52
Label Anthem (CAN) Atlantic Records (US)
Producer Rush & David Leonard
Rush singles chronology
"Secret Touch"
"Summertime Blues"
"Far Cry"
  • Like the Blue Cheer version, the line "I'd like to help you son..." is not spoken.
  • Played as the theme song for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE)'s SummerSlam pay per view in 2004.
  • In A major like the Who's version (3rd verse likewise modulates up to B major), but guitar intro is that of the Blue Cheer version, transposed to fit new key

The Black Keys' version

  • B-side on the 10 A.M. Automatic single
  • bonus track on the Japanese release of their 2004 album Rubber Factory

Other covers

The song has also been covered by


  1. ^ Alan Jackson Discography at LP link
  2. ^ a b (1995) Album notes for The Greatest Hits Collection by Alan Jackson [CD]. Arista Records (07822 18801).

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