Crying, Waiting, Hoping

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"Crying, Waiting, Hoping"
Buddy Holly Crying Waiting Coral 45.jpg
B-side to "Peggy Sue Got Married" by Buddy Holly
Released July 20, 1959
Recorded December 14, 1958
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:10
Label Coral C 62134
Songwriter(s) Buddy Holly
Producer(s) Jack Hansen

"Crying, Waiting, Hoping" is a song written by Buddy Holly. It was released in 1959 as the B-side to "Peggy Sue Got Married". Three versions of Holly's recording were released: the 1959 commercial release, the 1964 reissue with different orchestration, and Holly's original, private home recording.


The song was first recorded on December 14, 1958 by Holly (only himself with guitar) in apartment 4H of "The Brevoort", Fifth Avenue, Manhattan (many other sources say apartment 3B). After Holly's death on February 3, 1959, his home recordings of his last six compositions were turned over to record producer Jack Hansen. Hansen hired studio musicians and a backup vocal group, the Ray Charles Singers, to augment Holly's vocal and guitar. The idea was to match the established sound of Buddy Holly and the Crickets as closely as possible.

"Crying, Waiting, Hoping" is technically the most successful of the six overdubs; it turned out so well that it was originally intended as the "A" side of a 45-rpm single. Holly wrote and recorded the song with pauses ("Cryin'... waitin'... hopin'... you'll come back"). Hansen ingeniously turned the solo into call-and-response verses, so the backup singers fill in the pauses with an "echo" of each word. (For a German reissue of this song, the producer took the "echo" idea literally, and played the Hansen recording in an echo chamber.)

Hansen's studio version of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" was recorded on June 30, 1959 at Coral Records' Studio A, along with "Peggy Sue Got Married". Both sides were released as Buddy Holly's first posthumous single. (The remaining four tunes on Holly's tape were re-recorded by Hansen and company in 1960. All six were issued on an album, The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. 2.)

Holly's manager, Norman Petty, recorded his own versions of the last six Holly originals in 1964, using his own studio facilities and backup group, The Fireballs. Petty's versions differ from Hansen's versions in that there are no background vocals, and the melodies have new surf-guitar arrangements added to them.

The Beatles version[edit]

"Crying, Waiting, Hoping"
Song by The Beatles
from the album Live at the BBC
Released 30 November 1994
Recorded 16 July 1963
Length 2:11
Label Apple
Songwriter(s) Buddy Holly
Producer(s) Terry Henebery

The Beatles recorded the song live on 16 July 1963 for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show. The BBC recording features George Harrison on lead vocal and also features Harrison replicating studio guitarist Donald Arnone's instrumental bridge, note for note.

While the version on Live at the BBC is the only officially released version by the group, they also performed the song during their failed Decca audition on 1 January 1962.


Other Covers[edit]

Wreckless Eric covered the song in 1978 for his second album, The Wonderful World of Wreckless Eric.

In 1987, Marshall Crenshaw portrayed Buddy Holly in the film La Bamba; he is featured singing the song on what is supposed to be February 2, 1959, Buddy's final show before dying in the plane crash in the early hours of February 3, "The Day the Music Died". Crenshaw's version of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" was produced by Garry Tallent and is featured on the original motion picture soundtrack.

American singer-songwriter Cat Power has covered this song.

Rockabilly supergroup The Head Cat, formed by vocalist Lemmy (of Motörhead), drummer Slim Jim Phantom (of The Stray Cats) and guitarist Danny B. Harvey (of Lonesome Spurs and The Rockats) covered this song for their 2006 album Fool's Paradise.

Chris Isaak contributed a cover version for the 2011 album Listen to Me: Buddy Holly.

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives played the song live in 2013 on RFD-TV's The Marty Stuart Show.[2]


  1. ^ "Crying, Waiting, Hoping | The Beatles Bible". Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  2. ^ Lambert, James. "Crying, Waiting, Hoping". YouTube. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 


  • Amburn, Ellis (1996). Buddy Holly: A Biography. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0-312-14557-6.
  • Bustard, Anne (2005). Buddy: The Story of Buddy Holly. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4223-9302-4.
  • Dawson, Jim; Leigh, Spencer (1996). Memories of Buddy Holly. Big Nickel Publications. ISBN 978-0-936433-20-2.
  • Gerron, Peggy Sue (2008). Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?. Togi Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-9800085-0-0.
  • Goldrosen, John; Beecher, John (1996). Remembering Buddy: The Definitive Biography. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80715-7.
  • Goldrosen, John (1975). Buddy Holly: His Life and Music. Popular Press. ISBN 0-85947-018-0
  • Gribbin, John (2009). Not Fade Away: The Life and Music of Buddy Holly. London: Icon Books. ISBN 978-1-84831-034-6

External links[edit]