Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues - 1958


Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" is an iconic rock and roll song released in 1958. A symbol of teenage angst and rebellion, it has been a staple in the history of rock music. Here, you'll learn about the song's background, its impact on music and culture, and explore the life and career of Eddie Cochran. Let's dive into the world of "Summertime Blues" and understand why it's still celebrated today.

Background and Release

"Summertime Blues" was co-written by Eddie Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Released in 1958, it quickly became a hit, reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song's energetic rhythm, combined with its lyrics about teenage frustration over work, authority, and social norms, resonated with young audiences.

Musical Style and Influence

The song is notable for its pioneering elements in rock and roll. Cochran's use of guitar distortion and overdubbing in the song were innovative for the time. "Summertime Blues" has influenced genres beyond rock, including country and punk. It's also been covered by many artists, including The Who and Blue Cheer, each adding their unique twist to the song.

Eddie Cochran's Career and Legacy

Eddie Cochran was a significant figure in the early days of rock and roll. Known for his skill as a guitarist and his energetic performances, he influenced many musicians. Unfortunately, his career was cut short by a tragic car accident in 1960, making "Summertime Blues" one of his most enduring legacies.

Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Summertime Blues" released? (1958) (!1962) (!1955) (!1960)

Which chart position did "Summertime Blues" reach on the Billboard Hot 100? (Number 8) (!Number 1) (!Number 15) (!Number 23)

Who co-wrote "Summertime Blues" with Eddie Cochran? (Jerry Capehart) (!Buddy Holly) (!Chuck Berry) (!Ritchie Valens)

What was one of the innovative musical elements used in "Summertime Blues"? (Guitar distortion and overdubbing) (!Synthesizers) (!Electronic drums) (!Auto-tune)

Which of these bands covered "Summertime Blues"? (The Who) (!The Beatles) (!Led Zeppelin) (!Queen)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What instrument was Eddie Cochran famous for playing? (Guitar) (!Drums) (!Piano) (!Bass)

How old was Eddie Cochran when he tragically died? (21) (!27) (!30) (!18)

Besides "Summertime Blues," what is another famous song by Eddie Cochran? ("C'mon Everybody") (!"Jailhouse Rock") (!"Johnny B. Goode") (!"Peggy Sue")

In what year did Eddie Cochran pass away? (1960) (!1959) (!1965) (!1962)

Which movie featured Eddie Cochran's performance of "Summertime Blues"? (The Girl Can't Help It) (!Rebel Without a Cause) (!American Graffiti) (!Back to the Future)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

In "Summertime Blues," who does the protagonist complain to about having to work? (His boss) (!His girlfriend) (!His teacher) (!His parents)

What is the protagonist's complaint about his congressman in the song? (He can't vote) (!He doesn't like his policies) (!He never listens) (!He's too old)

What does the protagonist of the song want to do instead of working? (Have fun) (!Sleep) (!Study) (!Travel)

In the song, who tells the protagonist, "You gotta work late"? (His boss) (!His father) (!His girlfriend) (!His friend)

Which lyric from "Summertime Blues" mentions a problem with the protagonist's car? ("I'm gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation") (!"Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do") (!"Well, my mom and pop told me, 'Son you gotta make some money'") (!"I called my congressman and he said, 'I'd like to help you son but you're too young to vote'")


Eddie Cochran "Summertime Blues"
1958 Year of Release
Guitar Distortion Innovative Musical Element
The Who Covered "Summertime Blues"
Teenage Angst Theme of the Song

Open Tasks


  1. Research Eddie Cochran: Find out more about Eddie Cochran's life and other music he created.
  2. Listen to Different Covers: Listen to different covers of "Summertime Blues" and compare them.
  3. 1950s Rock and Roll: Explore other rock and roll songs from the 1950s and how they influenced music.


  1. Create a Playlist: Make a playlist of songs that have a similar theme or sound to "Summertime Blues".
  2. Write a Review: Write a review of "Summertime Blues" discussing its musical style and impact.
  3. Guitar Techniques: Learn about the guitar techniques Eddie Cochran used in his music.


  1. Analyze the Lyrics: Analyze the lyrics of "Summertime Blues" and discuss its themes and cultural significance.
  2. Cover the Song: Try covering "Summertime Blues" yourself, adding your own style.
  3. Compare Generational Music: Compare the music of the 1950s with today's music in terms of themes and styles.

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Oral Exam

  1. Cultural Impact of Rock and Roll: Discuss how rock and roll in the 1950s, including songs like "Summertime Blues," impacted culture and society.
  2. Musical Innovation: Explain how Eddie Cochran's use of guitar distortion influenced future music production.
  3. Teenage Rebellion in Music: Discuss the role of music in expressing teenage rebellion, using "Summertime Blues" as an example.
  4. Evolution of Music Genres: Talk about how early rock and roll has influenced the development of other music genres.
  5. Music as a Historical Document: Explain how songs like "Summertime Blues" can be used to understand the social and cultural context of the 1950s.

OERs on the Topic


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