1001 Songs Challenge,  1950s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #97: Summertime Blues (1958)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)

Summertime Blues

” Summertime Blues” is a song co-written and recorded by American rock and rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran. It was written by Cochran and his manager Jerry Capehart. Originally a single B-side, it was released in August 1958 and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 29, 1958 and number 18 on the UK Singles Chart.

Lyrics (via Genius)
Learn more about the song (via Genius)


Continuing in the US and it’s time for a spot of rebellion, rock and roll, and a smidgen of the old James Dean about today’s artist. Eddie Cochran had a tragically short career but in his brief time he made a lasting impact on rock and roll and on teenagers in general. The 1001 Songs list has gone through Cochran’s sadly meagre catalogue and picked out a true classic – Summertime Blues.

Weighing in at around two minutes, Summertime Blues sees Cochran singing of the miseries of being a teenager and the problems he has when just wanting to have a good time in the summer. His boss wants him to work, his parents won’t lend him the car unless he does work and all Cochran wants to do is be with his girlfriend. What’s a young guy to do? How about seek out your congressman and unburden yourself to them? No chance here. Cochran isn’t old enough to vote so the congressman can’t take away these summertime blues.

The quality of this 1001 songs list continues to impress and the inclusion of Summertime Blues is most welcome. The song comprises three verses, three teenage rants, but it captures the frustrations of fading youth and the onset of maturity. Eddie Cochran had great potential but sadly he would die at the young age of 21 while on tour in the UK. A taxi he was in would blow a tyre, Cochran threw himself across his fiance, Sharon Sheeley, to shield her and was thrown from the car. He later died in hospital from his injuries. All passengers but Cochran survived leaving audiences to mourn and lament what might have been.


Favourite songs so far:

Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)

Little Richard – Tutti Frutti (1955)

Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)

Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)

The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)

Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)

Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Move It (1958)

Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)

Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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