World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Summertime Blues

Article Id: WHEBN0001166368
Reproduction Date:

Title: Summertime Blues  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Eddie Cochran, Blue Cheer, I Love Rock 'n Roll (album), Live at Leeds, Feedback (Rush album)
Collection: 1958 Singles, 1958 Songs, 1968 Singles, 1970 Singles, 1994 Singles, 2004 Singles, Alan Jackson Songs, Arista Nashville Singles, Billboard Hot Country Songs Number-One Singles, Blue Cheer Songs, Eddie Cochran Songs, Liberty Records Singles, Music Videos Directed by Michael Salomon, Olivia Newton-John Songs, Rpm Country Tracks Number-One Singles, Rush (Band) Songs, Song Recordings Produced by Keith Stegall, Songs Written by Eddie Cochran, Songs Written by Jerry Capehart, The Beach Boys Songs, The Who Songs
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Summertime Blues

"Summertime Blues"
Single by Eddie Cochran
from the album The Eddie Cochran Memorial Album
B-side "Love Again"
Released July 21, 1958 (US),
September 1958 (UK)[1]
Recorded March 28, 1958
Genre Rockabilly
Length 1:53
Label Liberty 55144
Writer(s) Eddie Cochran, Jerry Capehart
Producer(s) Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran singles chronology
"Pretty Girl"
"Summertime Blues"
"C'mon Everybody"

"Summertime Blues" is a song co-written and recorded by American rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran.[2] It was written by Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Originally a single B-side, it was released in August 1958[1] and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1958 and number 18 on the UK Singles Chart. It has been covered by many artists, including being a number-one hit for country music artist Alan Jackson, and scoring notable hits in versions by The Who and Blue Cheer. Jimi Hendrix performed it in concert.[3][4][5][6]


  • Original Eddie Cochran version 1
    • Legacy 1.1
    • Chart performance 1.2
  • Cover versions 2
    • The Beach Boys version (1962) 2.1
    • Johnny Chester version (1962) 2.2
    • Blue Cheer version (1968) 2.3
      • Chart performance 2.3.1
    • The Who version (1970) 2.4
      • Studio version 2.4.1
      • Critical reception 2.4.2
      • Chart performance 2.4.3
    • Alan Jackson version (1994) 2.5
      • Critical reception 2.5.1
      • Music Video 2.5.2
      • Chart positions 2.5.3
      • Year-end charts 2.5.4
  • Other notable cover versions 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Original Eddie Cochran version

"Summertime Blues" was recorded on March 28, 1958 at Gold Star Recording Studios in Hollywood, California. Eddie Cochran sang both the vocal and bass vocal, played all the guitar parts and added the hand clapping with possibly Sharon Sheeley. Connie 'Guybo' Smith played the electric bass and Earl Palmer drums.


The 1958 Liberty Records single by Eddie Cochran was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and the song is ranked number 73 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In March 2005, Q magazine placed it at number 77 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.[7] The song is also on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum list of "The Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll".[8] The song appears on the soundtrack for the movie Caddyshack, as well as opening season 4 of Beverly Hills, 90210.

Chart performance

Chart (1958) Peak
Austrian Singles Chart[9] 18
Canadian Singles Chart 10
Rhodesian Singles Chart (1968)[10] 12
South African Singles Chart (1968)[10] 18
UK Singles Chart[10] 18
UK Singles Chart (1968)[10] 34
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 8

Cover versions

The Beach Boys version (1962)

"Summertime Blues"
Song by The Beach Boys from the album Surfin' Safari
Released October 1, 1962 (1962-10-01)
Length 2:09
Label Capitol
Producer Nik Venet
Surfin' Safari track listing

Recorded four years after the Eddie Cochran original (and some two years after his death), the Beach Boys paid tribute to him on their first album, Surfin' Safari, released October 1962. Lead vocal on the track was jointly sung by lead guitarist Carl Wilson, not yet 16, and rhythm guitarist David Marks, just turned 14. Never released as a single in the US, it gained enough popularity in The Philippines early in 1966 to post no. 7 on that country's hit parade as listed by Billboard in its weekly 'Hits of the World' charts.

Johnny Chester version (1962)

Australian rock'n'roll singer Johnny Chester cited Cochran as one of his idols and had used the track when rehearsing his first band in 1959.[12] Chester released his cover version on W&G Records in 1962 and was backed on the recording by local instrumental group, The Chessmen, with Bert Stacpool on piano, his brother Les Stacpool on guitar, Frank McMahon on bass guitar and Graeme Trottman on drums.[13] In December it peaked at No. 30 on the Kent Music Report.[14][15]

Blue Cheer version (1968)

"Summertime Blues"
Cover of the 1968 Netherlands single
Single by Blue Cheer
from the album Vincebus Eruptum
B-side "Out Of Focus"
Released 1968
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre Heavy metal[16]
Length 3:43
Label Philips
Producer(s) Abe "Voco" Kesh
Blue Cheer singles chronology
"Summertime Blues"
"Just a Little Bit"

The American psychedelic blues-rock band Blue Cheer recorded their version of "Summertime Blues" in 1967 and included it on their 1968 release entitled Vincebus Eruptum. The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100, pushing the sales of the album even higher to #11.[17] It topped the Dutch charts for one week in 1968.[18] While not as widely played or recognized as The Who's version, it certainly is more distorted. This version was ranked #73 on the list of "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time" of Rolling Stone.[19] This version omits the responses and instead has each band member do a quick "solo". A portion of Blue Cheer's version appears in the movie Troll. This was the first heavy metal song to ever make the pop charts, beating both "Born To Be Wild" and "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" by months. Rush did a cover of this version for their Feedback EP. Rush frontman Geddy Lee cites Blue Cheer as the first heavy metal band. The main riff from Foxey Lady has been inserted in various parts of this version.

Chart performance

Chart (1968) Peak
Dutch Singles Chart[20] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[21] 14
Canadian Singles Chart[22] 3

The Who version (1970)

"Summertime Blues"
Single by The Who
from the album Live at Leeds
B-side "Heaven and Hell"
Released 11 July 1970
Format 7" 45 RPM
Genre Rock, hard rock
Length 3:22
Label Track 2094-002 (UK)
Decca (US)
Producer(s) The Who
The Who singles chronology
"The Seeker"
"Summertime Blues"
"See Me, Feel Me"

The Who played "Summertime Blues" as a staple of their concerts from their early days up to 1976, with intermittent appearances thereafter. It has not been played since bassist John Entwistle's death in 2002. It was performed during the 1967 US tour, from which the first known Who recordings of the song were made, including a June 1967 date at the Monterey Pop Festival.

The first version to be released by The Who appeared on the 1970 album Live at Leeds. The single from this album peaked at number 38 in the UK and number 27 in the US.[23]

Studio version

The Who recorded a studio version of this track in London on June 28, 1967, just after the Monterey performance. This was left unreleased until 1976 on the album/LP "THE STORY OF THE WHO (Polydor/Columbia) and 1998 when it appeared on the remastered CD of Odds & Sods. Other live versions from The Who are featured in the Monterey Pop Festival CD box set and the concert and documentary film Woodstock (1970), as well as Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and the CD release of Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Critical reception

Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, saying that The Who gave it a "wild updating" and was "certain to put them right up there at the top."[24]

Chart performance

Chart (1970) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles[25] 8
Dutch Singles Chart[26] 25
UK Singles Chart 38
US Billboard Hot 100 27

Alan Jackson version (1994)

"Summertime Blues"
Single by Alan Jackson
from the album Who I Am
B-side "Hole in the Wall"
Released June 6, 1994
Format CD Single
Recorded January 11, 1994[27]
Genre Country
Length 3:13 (album version)
Label Arista Nashville
Producer(s) Keith Stegall
Alan Jackson singles chronology
"(Who Says) You Can't Have It All"
"Summertime Blues"
"Livin' on Love"

American country music artist Alan Jackson recorded the song for his 1994 album, Who I Am. It was released in June 1994 as the lead single from the album and the song reached Number One on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and number 4 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 (equivalent to number 104 on the Billboard Hot 100). Jackson said that he was inspired by Buck Owens' version.[27]

Critical reception

Deborah Evans Price of [28] Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe reviewed the song unfavorably, saying that Jackson blatantly attempted to recreate the "Chattahoochee" phenomenon. He goes on to say that the "charm of the Eddie Cochran original is lost by forcing those country line-dance beats into the backing track."[29]

Music Video

The video was directed by Michael Salomon and was released in June 1994. It features Jackson mud bogging in a pickup truck and playing guitar in a field.

Chart positions

"Summertime Blues" debuted at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks for the week of June 18, 1994.

Chart (1994) Peak
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[30] 1
US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)[31] 4
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[32] 1

Year-end charts

Chart (1994) Position
Canada Country Tracks (RPM)[33] 3
US Country Songs (Billboard)[34] 7
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

Other notable cover versions

Bobby Vee, The Crickets, Olivia Newton-John, Buck Owens, James Taylor, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Ventures, Dick Dale, Robert Gordon with Link Wray, Skid Row, Johnny Hallyday, T. Rex, Brian Setzer, Alex Chilton, Marty Wilde, and Rush have also recorded the song.[37]


  1. ^ a b Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 152.  
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Interview. Jimi Hendrix: "Like I used to like Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran and Muddy Waters and Elvin James."Rolling StoneJimi Hendrix on Early Influences. 1968
  4. ^ Hopkins, Jerry. The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
  5. ^ Jimi Hendrix Encyclopedia.
  6. ^ Jimi Hendrix performed "Summertime Blues" live on August 27, 1967 at the Saville Theatre in London.
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Guitar Tracks Ever!". Rock List Music. Retrieved 2011-01-25
  8. ^ Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Summertime Blues". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
  9. ^ " - Eddie Cochran: Summertime Blues".  
  10. ^ a b c d "Eddie Cochran". 45cat. Retrieved 16 September 2015. 
  11. ^ "Eddie Cochran – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Eddie Cochran.
  12. ^ Johnston, Chris (26 October 2012). "Our First Rock Star".  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969.  
  15. ^ Ryan (bulion), Gary (26 January 2012). "Chart Positions Pre 1989 Part 4 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  16. ^ Chuck Miller (28 February 2011). Warman's American Records. Krause Publications. p. 103.  
  17. ^ Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 71.  
  18. ^ "Top 40-lijst van week 25, 1968" Top 40 van week 25, 1968 Retrieved 2013-11-17.
  19. ^ "The 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-25. "This power trio's cover of Eddie Cochran's classic was their only hit, sometimes called the first heavy-metal record. It's a showcase for the massive roar of Leigh Stephens' guitar, so fuzzed-up it scrapes like steel wool, dragging the rockabilly riff through the dust."
  20. ^ "Top 40 van week 25, 1968". Retrieved November 17, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Blue Cheer – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Blue Cheer.
  22. ^ " - Blue Cheer: Summertime Blues".  
  23. ^ Strong, M. C. (1995). The Great Rock Discography. Edinburgh: Canongate Books Ltd. p. 897.  
  24. ^ Billboard, July 4, 1970
  25. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada - The Who: Summertime Blues".  
  26. ^ " - The Who: Summertime Blues".  
  27. ^ a b The Greatest Hits Collection (CD). Alan Jackson. Arista Records. 1995. 07822 18801. 
  28. ^ Billboard, June 25, 1994
  29. ^ Song review
  30. ^ "Top RPM Country Tracks: Issue 2548." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. August 1, 1994. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  31. ^ "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Alan Jackson.
  32. ^ "Alan Jackson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Alan Jackson.
  33. ^ "RPM Top 100 Country Tracks of 1994".  
  34. ^ "Best of 1994: Country Songs".  
  35. ^ Rolling Stones Net.
  36. ^ Summertime Bruce. Discogs.
  37. ^ Summertime Blues. Second Hand Songs.

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.