Peggy Sue

Album: Buddy Holly (1957)
Charted: 6 3


  • Buddy Holly wrote this song as "Cindy Lou." It went:

    If you knew Cindy Lou
    Then you'd know why I feel blue without Cindy

    When his drummer, Jerry Allison, heard it, he asked Buddy if he would change the name to "Peggy Sue" after a girl he had dated named Peggy Sue Gerron. Holly agreed; the song probably wouldn't be heard outside of Lubbock, Texas, and it would really mean some brownie points for Jerry. The gambit worked for Allison: he and Peggy Sue eloped in 1958, but they divorced nine years later.
  • 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 two labels, Coral Records crediting him as a solo artist and Brunswick with The Crickets. Both labels were owned by Decca Records.
  • Drummer Jerry 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.
  • This song was a big influence on Tommy Roe's 1962 #1 hit "Sheila."
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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.

Comments: 29

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenCoincidentally, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was published just 3 months after this song was released, with the character of "Cindy Lou Who."
  • Anonymous from Los Angeles, CaThe museum stated Buddy refused to change the name of the song to Peggy Sue from Cindy Lou and made the drummer play the tune over and over to prove how much he wanted to change the song title.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPeggy Sue* Gerron, whose name was used as the title of Buddy Holly’s 1957 hit, died Monday (October 1st, 2018) at a Lubbock, Texas hospital at the age of 78...
    Crickets drummer Jerry Allison had asked Buddy to change the name of his song “Cindy Lou” because he wanted to impress Peggy, who he later married (they divorced in 1964)...
    Her memoir, “Whatever Happened To Peggy Sue”, was published in 2008...
    May she R.I.P.
    * "Peggy Sue" entered Billboard's Top 100 chart on October 27th, 1957 at position #61 {it was actually tied at #61 with "Rebel" by Carol Jarvis}, and a little over seven weeks later on December 16th, 1957 it peaked at #3 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Best Selling in Stores chart...
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiI just heard that Peggy Sue Gerron passed away today in Lubbock, TX. RIP Peggy Sue
  • Tony from Lubbock Texas He was the first white to play the Apollo Theater and Paul McCartney owns all his music and the Beatles name was a break off from the crickets which Paul and John were big fans.
  • Tony from Lubbock Texas Peggy Sue was written for buddy's new born niece Cindy Lou.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer; Jerry Dwyer, owner of the plane in which Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Bil Bopper perished in 1959, has died...
    He passed away at a Mason City, Iowa hospice center at the age of 85...
    Jerry owned the Dwyer Flying Service that was chartered to fly the three musicians from Mason City to Fargo, north Dakota on February 3 after a performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa; the Beechcraft Bonanza crashed a short time after takeoff...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 14th 1958, Buddy Holly and the Crickets perform at the Granada Theater in Woolwich, London, England...
    At the time "Maybe Baby" {at #21} , "Peggy Sue" {at #78} , and "Oh Boy!" {at #100} were all on Billboard's Top 100 chart back in the U.S.A.
    The theater had a seating capacity of 2,434; and sitting in one of those seats was a fourteen-year old lad from Dartford, Kent named Mick Jagger...
    {See the next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 1st 1958, Buddy Holly and the Crickets began their first and only tour* of the United Kingdom; their debut concert was at the Trocadero Club in London...
    And back in the U.S.A. at the time, they had three records on Billboard's Top 100 chart; "Maybe Baby" at #27, "Peggy Sue" at #55, and "Oh! Boy" at #58...
    * The tour would last for twenty-five play dates, with two sets a night.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOne 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!!!!
  • Grant from Toowoomba,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 :)
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxBuddy Holly also has a song called Shelia
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxLittle Richard also played Splish Splash.
  • Nick from Toronto, OnI 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-Sue
  • Debra from New York City, NyAccording 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."

  • Musicmama from New York, NyIf a man could do a song like this for my name, he'd have my heart! Peggy Sue, wherever you are, I'm jealous...
  • Noel from Christchurch, New ZealandLoved 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 Zealand
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaI wish songs like this were still produced nowadays.
  • Crystal from Elizabeth, NjI wonder what ever happened to Peggy Sue.
  • Eric from New York, NyPeggy 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
  • Alan from Grande Prairie, Alberta, CanadaThe 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.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScDrums are awesome on this.
  • Rick from San Juan, United StatesTommy 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.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scgreat song! Buddy Holly influenced a lot of musicians, you know. Like The Beatles for instance.
  • Jack Lee from Nottingham, EnglandA Very Difinitive song in the world of rock
  • Will from Tampa, FlI'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.
  • Kristy from Toronto, CanadaActually, 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.
  • Gene from Hammond, InOne 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.
  • Brad Wind from Miami, FlJerry 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.
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