Not Fade Away

Album: 20 Golden Greats (1957)


  • This was one of the first pop songs to feature the "Bo Diddley" sound, a series of beats (da, da, da, da-da da) popularized by Diddley, who used it on his first single, the egotistically named "Bo Diddley." The signature beat originated in West Africa and was adopted by Diddley in the US, where many artists have used it since. For more, check out the Songfacts on "Bo Diddley".
  • Holly recorded this on May 1957 with The Crickets at Norman Petty studios in Clovis, New Mexico. It was written by Charles Hardin and Norman Petty, "Charles Hardin" being Buddy Holly, whose real name was Charles Hardin Holley. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    David - Lubbock, TX, for above 2
  • Until the end of his career, Holly recorded with his group, The Crickets, but he set up a deal with their record company, Decca Records, to release some songs under his name and have others credited to the group. This was credited to The Crickets and released on the Brunswick subsidiary. Songs credited to Buddy Holly came out on Coral Records.
  • This was released as the B-side of "Oh Boy!"
  • A cover of this was the first single released by the band Rush. They put it out in 1973.
  • The Grateful Dead covered this on their Rockin' The Rhein album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Nick - Milwaukee, WI
  • Florence and the Machine recorded a new version of the song for the Buddy Holly tribute album Rave On Buddy Holly, which was issued for the 75th anniversary of Holly's birth. Florence Welch had a transformative moment when her grandmother took her to see the movie The Buddy Holly Story when she was a kid, and Welch was happy to contribute to the tribute, recording the song in New Orleans with local Cajun musicians.
  • Drummer Jerry Allison played a cardboard box for percussion on this. He'd heard Buddy Knox' drummer do the same on "Party Doll."

Comments: 16

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 1, 1980, Tanya Tucker performed her covered version of "Not Fade Away" on the NBC-TV network late night musical variety program 'The Midnight Special'...
    One year earlier on January 14th, 1979 the song entered the Hot Top 100 chart at #84, two weeks later it would peak at #70 {for 1 week} and it spent 4 weeks on the Top 100.
  • Brian from La Mesa, CaPatequi is completely right. Bo Diddley picked up "his" beat most likely from hambone or from hearing Cuban rhythms. I played congas and the bells in Cuban rhumba, and we called the pattern the Son Clave. Rhumba, mambo, and other Caribbean rhythms were very prevalent in U.S. pop music from the '50s into the '60s. Other songs of note with this particular clave: "I Want Candy", "Magic Bus", "His Latest Flame", and "Little Darlin'"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 16th 1981, Englishman Eric Hine's New Wave covered version of "Not Fade Away" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 at position #89; and on September 6th, 1981 it peaked at #73 {for 1 week} and spent 5 weeks on the Top 100.
  • Viktor from Vänersborg, SwedenThe reason it's named for Bo Diddley is because he made the beat popular and well-known.
  • Joe from Lynnwood, WaThe Dead did this over 500 times in concert!
  • Patequi from Pasadena, CaThe so called Bo Diddley beat is not anything innovative by Bo, it is nothing but the cinquillo, the clave, a 5 beat rhythm pattern brought to the Americas by Africans. It is also known as the "shave and a haircut, 2 bits" and "hambone beat". Willie and the Hand Jive, Louie, Louie, Help Me Rhonda are but just a few other songs with clave, the basis of Cuban music, "salsa" and Latin jazz as well as other Caribbean music
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyBruce Springsteen has performed this song in 36 different concerts, the last time in 2008...
  • Larry from Lapid, IsraelAlso covered by James Taylor, on his album "Covers", and on the DVD "Live At The Beacon Theatre".
  • Bob from Roseville, CoOn the Stone's 64 tour,this was there opening number.Jagger with his grey sweat shirt standing sideways to the mike,shaking his marrica's
  • Dana from Greenwood, ScOf course, Taylor Hicks' version on AI was just adorable...
  • John from Charlotte, NcThe line "your love for me -has- got to be real
    for you to know just how I feel" was used by Black Sabbath in their verry satanic song N.I.B.
  • Tony from Devon, EnglandDrummer Jerry Allison played cardboard box on this instead of a drum. He's heard Buddy KNow's drummer do that on 'Party Doll'
  • Roger from Los Angeles, CaYes, the Grateful Dead occasionally would cover this song in concerts.
  • Adam from Jupiter, FlDidn't Grateful Dead also record Not Fade Away? I saw them in Oregon in 1993 and they performed it.
  • Matthew from New York, NyAnother famous cover of the song was done by the Rolling Stones. It has been featured on a number of their "Greatest Hits" collections, including the more recently released "40 Licks" CDs.
  • David from Lubbock, Tx"Not Fade Away" did as much for establishing the "Bo Diddley Beat" with mass music audiences as any recording by its namesake.
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