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David Blue (February 18, 1941 – December 2, 1982), born Stuart David Cohen, was an American folk music singer-songwriter and actor.[1][2]

David Blue
David Blue.png
David Blue in 1966
Background information
Birth nameStuart David Cohen
Born(1941-02-18)February 18, 1941
Providence, Rhode Island
DiedDecember 2, 1982(1982-12-02) (aged 41)
New York, New York
InstrumentsGuitar, Vocals
Years active1965—1982
LabelsElektra, Reprise, Asylum, Wounded Bird
WebsiteDavid Blue website
Charlotte (Charlotte Stewart) and milkman Earl Duke (David Blue) flirt in Human Highway. The film was released shortly after his death.



The son of a Jewish father and Irish Roman Catholic French Canadian descent mother, David Blue quit high school at age 17, left home, and joined the Navy, but was soon thrown out for his "Inability to adjust to a military way of life."

Hitchhiking back east, David discovered Greenwich Village, finding it an environment where he did not have to adjust but could simply hang out. At first he got a job washing dishes in the Gaslight Cafe. "Allen Ginsberg used to do readings there, Jack Elliot played guitar; I ran into Bob (Dylan) in the kitchen." David took acting classes, wrote poetry and songs, and began performing in Village clubs. When he began singing professionally, at the urging of Dylan and others, he changed his name to Blue. "Actually, I got the name from Eric Andersen. We were together one day, and I knew there were two other David Cohens in the music business, one with Country Joe and The Fish, the other a studio cat in LA. We felt that was too many. So Eric said: 'You've got such blue eyes, you should be David Blue.' I decided to do it. I called Ramblin' Jack Eliot and Dylan because they had changed their names and Dylan thought it was very funny and started singing to me, 'It's all over now, David Blue'."

Blue became an integral part of the Greenwich Village folk music scene in New York, which included Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Bob Neuwirth, and Eric Andersen. Blue is best known for writing the song "Outlaw Man" for the Eagles, which was included on their 1973 Desperado album, as well as released as their second single from this album. Blue's original version of "Outlaw Man" was the lead track of his own Nice Baby and the Angel album, issued on CD, with the entire David Blue catalogue, in 2007 on Wounded Bird Records.

Blue joined Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975 and appeared in Renaldo and Clara, the 1978 movie that was filmed during that tour. Blue acted in other films including, The American Friend (1977), directed by Wim Wenders, The Ordeal of Patty Hearst (a 1979 TV movie) and Human Highway (1982) by Neil Young. Human Highway premiered in 1983 after Blue's death. Blue also performed onstage in Stephen Poliakoff's play American Days at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City, in December 1980, directed by Jacques Levy.

Blue died of a heart attack in December 1982 at the age of 41, while jogging in Washington Square Park in New York City.[3]


  • Singer Songwriter Project (Elektra, 1965) (Blue, who is credited as David Cohen, is one of four artists)
  • David Blue (Elektra, 1966)
  • These 23 Days in September (Reprise, 1968)
  • Me (Reprise, 1970) (released under the name S. David Cohen)
  • Stories (Asylum, 1972)
  • Nice Baby and the Angel, (Asylum, 1973)
  • Com'n Back for More (Asylum, 1975)
  • Cupid's Arrow (Asylum, 1976)


Year Title Role Notes
1977 The American Friend Allan Winter
1978 Renaldo and Clara Himself
1979 The Ordeal of Patty Hearst Schiller TV movie
1982 Human Highway Earl Duke (final film role)


  1. ^ Colin Larkin (27 May 2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th Concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857125958.
  2. ^ "David Blue".
  3. ^ Obituary David Blue, Singer-Actor, 41, Was Part of 60's Folk Revival The New York Times, December 7, 1982

External linksEdit