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YouTube Gold: Summertime Blues

An enduring classic

Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran

Prince was from Minnesota and created a sensation when he sent around a demo tape. He was signed to a huge deal at the age of 19.

Minnesota has had a really dynamic music scene largely thanks to Prince, who was hugely influential.

But there was always a big scene there. Bob Dylan came from Duluth and Bobby Lee came up in the Minnesota music world. And then there was Eddie Cochran.

Cochran was one of the early rockers and he died young - just 21. Much like Buddy Holly, he managed to have a big impact in a short time.

Cochran had a raw, somewhat raspy voice and was able to sing about teen angst and uncertainty in a warm and funny way. Chuck Berry did it too, but he broke big in his 30s. Cochran was barely out of his teens when he died.

His greatest, most enduring hit was Summertime Blues, a song that still pops up every summer. Here’s a rare live version and here’s one with better audio.

Cochran died in a car crash in England, where he was immensely popular. He had flung his body across his fiancé to protect her and was flung from the car, suffering a devastating head injury. He passed away on Easter Sunday, 1960.