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Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly

Album: Buddy HollyReleased: 1957Charted:
3
6
  • Holly wrote this about Peggy Sue Gerron, who was dating Holly's drummer with The Crickets, Jerry Allison. Holly was not involved with Peggy Sue, but liked the name for the song. Allison and Peggy Sue eventually got married, but divorced 11 years later.
  • At first, Holly was going to call this "Cindy Lou." Jerry Allison asked if the name could be changed as a favor to him. It probably wouldn't be heard outside of Lubbock, Texas anyway and it would really mean some brownie points for Jerry. Buddy had no problem with the name change.
  • This was the first hit credited to Holly without his backing band, The Crickets. The Crickets did play on this, but Holly's songs were released on one of 2 labels, Coral Records crediting him as a solo artist and Brunswick with The Crickets. Both labels were owned by Decca Records.
  • Allison had trouble keeping the right beat when they recorded this. The song had been written in Cha-Cha time. The engineer came on the mike and told Jerry: "If you don't get it right in the next take we're gonna change the name back to Cindy Lou." Jerry thought the guy might not be kidding so he asked for a few more minutes to "go through some exercises." He did just that. As he was going through the "new" warm-up, the beat to the song was changed from Cha-Cha to Jerry's new beat that was merely a part of his warm up routine for the high school band. Buddy began to change the guitar licks to fit the beat and the new rhythm developed right there on the spot.
  • "Peggy Sue" has been mentioned in they lyrics to several other songs, including "Splish, Splash" by Bobby Darin and "Barbara Ann" by The Regents and later by The Beach Boys.
  • Tommy Roe's song "Sheila" was heavily influenced by this.
  • Holly wrote a sequel to this called "Peggy Sue Got Married," which was released on a compilation album after he died. It inspired the 1986 movie Peggy Sue Got Married starring Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage. (thanks, Nora - richfield, MN)
  • On September 8, 2001, 48,000 people in Lubbock, Texas, tried to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by singing this at the Texas Tech-New Mexico football game. Horn-rimmed glasses like Holly used to wear were distributed to get them in the mood. The day before the game is when Holly would have turned 65.
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Comments: 20

One of the strangest couplings in TV history was when Buddy Holly sang 'Peggy Sue' on the 'Arthur Murray Party' TV show in 1957. The show featured mostly couples dancing ballroom & waltz numbers.
When Buddy was performing all the dancers in their tuxs and gowns were in the background trying to sway to his rock and rolling, a very funny site indeed!!!!
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
In an Episode of Quantum Leap- Sam Beckett (Scott Backula) leaps into the life of veterinarian. in the 1950s and tells a young guitar player "Try the lyrics Peggy Sue - Buddy"
and MUSIC MAMA from NewYork Tell us what your First name is and I will see If I came write you a song :)
Grant - Toowoomba,
Buddy Holly also has a song called SheliaLinc - Beaumont, Tx
Little Richard also played Splish Splash.Linc - Beaumont, Tx
I was 10 years old in 1957 when I first heard this song. I'm now 61 & like it as much as in 1957. My daughter's name is Sue but I call her Peggy-SueNick - Toronto, On
According to an Associated Press article (1/14/2008, Buddy Holly's widow, Maria Elena Holly, is trying to block Peggy Sue Gerron from publishing her autobiography, "Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?," claiming it is unauthorized and will harm Holly's name, her reputation and that of her company, Holly Properties.
"It's very interesting that this woman makes up all these stories," Maria Elena Holly said from her home in Dallas. "He never, never considered Peggy Sue a friend."

Peggy Sue claims that's not true. "I wanted to give him his voice. It's my book, my memoirs," Gerron said. "We were very, very good friends. He was probably one of the best friends I ever had."
Debra - New York City, Ny
If a man could do a song like this for my name, he'd have my heart! Peggy Sue, wherever you are, I'm jealous...Musicmama - New York, Ny
Loved Buddy Holly's Singing then (1957) 17 years old and still love it now (2007) 67 years old. Peggy Sue was his best, but I have ALL the songs on Vinyl record and now CDs, also a few DVD complications.His music started off a lot of 50s & 60s groups who covered his songs to get started.Beatles, Rolling Stones(Not Fade away)to name a few! Noel Martin Christchurch New ZealandNoel - Christchurch, New Zealand
I wish songs like this were still produced nowadays.Ian - Lethbridge, Canada
I wonder what ever happened to Peggy Sue.Crystal - Elizabeth, Nj
Peggy Sue Interview

In case anyone is interested, I interview Peggy Sue Gerron about the song and Buddy Holly for my new pop culture Podcast/website called "Just My Show." You can listen right on the web site or download it from iTunes.

To listen, go to www.justmyshow.com
Eric - New York, Ny
The most influencial American rock singer ever as far as the British Invasion of '64 goes bar none. Beatles first recording "That'll Be The Day', Stones first hit "Not Fade Away" Hollies named themselves after him etc. etc. His tour in March of '58 layed the groundwork for what was to follow 6 years later. Special mention also to the great Eddie Cochran who died on tour in '60.Alan - Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Drums are awesome on this.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Tommy Roe borrowed extensively from "Peggy Sue" for his 1962 #1 hit "Sheila", including Buddy's guitar and vocal styles, and Jerry Ivan Allison's drums.Rick - San Juan, United States
great song! Buddy Holly influenced a lot of musicians, you know. Like The Beatles for instance.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
A Very Difinitive song in the world of rockJack Lee - Nottingham, England
I'd like to point out that an episode of Quantum Leap (a very good TV show) that is all about this song. The task that the main character has to perform to leap is help Buddy Holly (at a young age) write the lyrics to said song.Will - Tampa, Fl
Actually, the only way that Buddy would change the name from Cindy Lou (his niece) to Peggy Sue (Jerry's girlfriend) was by challenging Jerry to play paradiddles all the way through the song, without stopping. They got the song on the second take, after Buddy threatened to change the name back after JI messed up on the first take.Kristy - Toronto, Canada
One of the few rock songs with no cymbals, high-hat or "true" snare drum parts. Jerry flipped the snare "off" for this song, making it sound like a tom-tom drum.Gene - Hammond, In
Jerry Allison's drumming was so loud that the final recording had him doing his part, not in the studio but down a hallway with the studio door left open.Brad Wind - Miami, Fl