Chantilly Lace

Album: Chantilly Lace (1958)
Charted: 12 6
Play Video


  • Originally called "That's What I Like," this was released as a B-side for another song. While the A-side got some airplay, the "Chantilly Lace" B-side eventually took off, becoming one of the most played songs of 1958. The Big Bopper was a star, and for most of the year he was on tour promoting his record.
  • The Big Bopper's real name was J.P. Richardson. He was a prominent DJ at KTRM in Beaumont, Texas who had a few hit records of his own. He also become a prolific songwriter, and his songs would later provide hits for Johnny Preston with "Running Bear" and George Jones with "White Lightnin." He died on Feb 3, 1959 in the plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. This day was immortalized in Don McLean's song "American Pie" as "The day the music died."
  • In 1958, the Big Bopper recorded three music videos for his songs: "Chantilly Lace," "Big Bopper's Wedding" and "Little Red Riding Hood" (all three videos were recorded the same day). He also coined the term "rock video" in a printed interview in 1959. According to Bill Griggs, editor of the Rockin' 50s music magazine, the Big Bopper was convinced that video was the wave of the future and, at the time of his death, he was preparing to start production on music videos for TV and a specially designed jukebox that would play videos. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Mountlake Terrace, Washington, for all above
  • This was featured in the films American Graffiti (1973), The Buddy Holly Story (1978) and La Bamba (1987).
  • The spoken intro to this song "Hellooooo, baby. Yeah, this is the Big Bopper speakin'..." is typical DJ patter, which was The Big Bopper's bailiwick. By saying his name at the beginning of the song, Bopper made it clear who the artist was and that much easier for listeners to ask for it at record stores. This introduction intro is a potent marketing device, and one that was used in many more songs throughout the years, especially hip-hop tunes that work well with speaking parts.
  • This was the last song performed at the Clear Lake, Iowa concert the night Holly, Valens and Richardson died.
  • The starlet Jayne Mansfield recorded an answer song called "That Makes It," where she used the same one-sided phone call technique and replaced Bopper's "You know what I like" catch phrase with "That Makes It." She sang it in the 1966 movie The Las Vegas Hillbillys. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 23

  • Auntlinda from South Carolina, UsaMy mom had a record with this song and several similar that my sisters and I would make up dances and play over and over when were 6-10 years old. Loved this one the best. — but I’m with Anonymous- what would inspire the writer to remember praise made this girl with a pony tail “hanging gown” most of what I’ve read shows most of this lace used in wedding Gowns of the 50s and 60:_ maybe a prom dress? Just not getting the connection except it does have the syllables and rhymes with to make an fun, excellent like. And maybe that’s all it needs to b. Just curious.
  • Classiccountryone from VirginiaFirst time I heard this great classic oldie, I was 10 years old and was in elementary school. We were outside for recess and someone had a transistor radio playing Chantilly first realization that I really, really liked girls......Lol!
  • Jlp from East Coast Us Of AThis JAM just played on the radio and wow, I never big bippity hopped so hard in my life before! It's not like I didn't always like this Golden OG Oldie but never had so much fun jammin and catchin new little details in this CHOON!
  • Lianna from Californiaone of my favorites, and I'm only 13!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyI goofed!!! Mitch Ryder combined 'Chantilly Lace' with Lloyd Price's 'Personality' and his version was a medley of both songs...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyMitch Ryder covered this song in 1968, it peaked at No. 87; Jerry Lee Lewis' 1972 version reached No. 43 on Billboard's Pop chart...
  • Marty from Lee, MaI was born 1 1/2 years after his untimly death, and still today, The Big Bopper Rocks!
  • Gilbert from La Mesa, CaI'm now 63 years old (2008). And, to prove a point, I often ask young people to "name the 3 rockers killed in that famous plane crash of 1959." No surprise, they can do it! I maintain that The Big Bopper has to be the luckiest guy in Rock history - immortalized just for being on that flight. Ask those kids if they can name another 1-hit wonder from 1959 and, of course, they can't. It's my theory that The Big Bopper RAN for that plane. Best career move he ever made. R.I.P.
  • Jose from Homestead, FlI have this record by Herb Zane on the Deluxe label named "The Man In The Phone Booth". I wonder if The Big Bopper inspired himself on this song to make "Chantilly Lace" Here's a clip of that song: ""
    Jose Lopez, Florida
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United States"Chantilly Lace" really gets me hoppin' and boppin' off my feet. Well, if I really knew how to hop and bop correctly. LOL Anyway, I reminisce about the Old Time Rock-And-Roll just like Bob Seger does. Big Bopper, you are an expert of the '50s rock-and-roll! I'd get your autograph if I could.
  • Chris from Meridian, IdThis song is also featured prominently in the 1980's comedy, "High Spirits". Steve Guttenberg is wooing Daryl Hannah, but stumped for a love poem, he recites the chorus to "Chantilly Lace".
  • Darrell from Westminster, Coi own 4 pieces of sheet music thats by The Big Bopper. it was in his briefcase and was on the plane that crashed 2-3-59. i bought it from his son and have 2 letters of Authenticity from him. I feel proud to own these. Thank you- ""
  • Bradley from Bemidji, MnThe original A-side was "The Purple People Eater Meets The Witch Doctor," which was also recorded by Joe South for the National Recording Corporation. Jerry Lee Lewis had a #1 country chart hit with this song in 1972.
  • Tim from Wertewteg, AlUncle is 'sort of' right; however, the Christian name was spelled "Jape," according to:
    And ;
    and yes, the Bopper was the first pioneer of the Music Video as we know it today.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoAlso makes an appearance in the horror-comedy movie Parents which depicts stereotypically 1950's-esque parents--except something SEEMS to be WRONG! A fun movie, though I thought Chantilly Lace's inclusion was a bit gratuitous (the girlfriend thought it was cool, though!).
  • AnonymousI'd like to know what garment it was that the girl was wearing. Chantilly is a town North of Paris known at one time as a centre for fine lacemaking. They made cream lace and black lace. Maybe the girl was wearing a shawl? Was there anything in the late fifties that was as much a signature as the "pony tail". This was the time of the hula-hoop craze. Pony tails and the hoops have all gone. Maybe this is a reference to the girl's underwear but I doubt it at this stage in the history of pop music. Chantilly Lace is also a type of decoration for ice cream. Any better ideas? JOHN THE POET
  • Grant from Oak Park, CaAccording to the World Almanac, J P Richardson's name was Jiles Perry Richardson
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI meant that videos became popular in 1981, not 1961.
  • Allen from Dothan, AlOn Johnny Preston's hit Running Bear that The Big Bopper Wrote, that is actually The Big Bopper and George Jones making the Indian sounds in the background!
  • Wes from Springfield, VaI have always thought there was something a bit lascivious about the Bopper's comments to his girlfriend on the phone. Makes me wonder what on earth she was telling him.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScIf The big Bopper was doing music videos for his songs, then he was light years ahead of his time! Most artists didn't start doing music videos until the '60's. In facts, "Day Tripper', Inthink, is considered to be one of the first ones. I don't know though. Besides, music videos didn't become popular until 1961, when MTV went on the air.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrActually, Factually, and by Law of the Government, the Big Bopper's given name was Jiles Perry Richardson, That's what JP Stands For.
  • Uncle from Philly, PaTo clear up a popular misconception....many people think that The Big Bopper's real name was J. P. Richardson. In fact, his real name was Jaype Richardson. That's the way he signed it. Pronounced JP but spelled out as a name, Jaype.
    Not fiction, but fact from Uncle's Almanac.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Timothy B. Schmit

Timothy B. SchmitSongwriter Interviews

The longtime Eagle talks about soaring back to his solo career, and what he learned about songwriting in the group.

Vince Clarke

Vince ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

An original member of Depeche Mode, Vince went on to form Erasure and Yaz.

Album Cover Inspirations

Album Cover InspirationsSong Writing

Some album art was at least "inspired" by others. A look at some very similar covers.

David Gray

David GraySongwriter Interviews

David Gray explains the significance of the word "Babylon," and talks about how songs are a form of active imagination, with lyrics that reveal what's inside us.

Ed Roland of Collective Soul

Ed Roland of Collective SoulSongwriter Interviews

The stories behind "Shine," "December," "The World I Know" and other Collective Soul hits.

Rick Astley

Rick AstleySongwriter Interviews

Rick Astley on "Never Gonna Give You Up," "Cry For Help," and his remarkable resurgence that gave him another #1 UK album.