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Not Fade Away (song)

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"Not Fade Away"
Single by the Crickets
from the album The "Chirping" Crickets
A-side"Oh, Boy!"
ReleasedOctober 27, 1957 (1957-10-27)
RecordedClovis, New Mexico, August 1957[1]
Producer(s)Norman Petty[1][2]
The Crickets singles chronology
"That'll Be the Day"
"Not Fade Away"
"Maybe Baby"

"Not Fade Away" is a song credited to Buddy Holly (originally under his first and middle names, Charles Hardin) and Norman Petty (although Petty's co-writing credit is likely to have been a formality[3]) and first recorded by Holly and his band, the Crickets.[2]

Original song[edit]

Holly and the Crickets recorded the song in Clovis, New Mexico, on May 27, 1957, the same day the song "Everyday" was recorded.[1] The rhythmic pattern of "Not Fade Away" is a variant of the Bo Diddley beat, with the second stress occurring on the second rather than third beat of the first measure, which was an update of the "hambone" rhythm, or patted juba from West Africa. Jerry Allison, the drummer for the Crickets, pounded out the beat on a cardboard box.[3] Allison, Holly's best friend, wrote some of the lyrics, though his name never appeared in the songwriting credits. Joe Mauldin played the double bass on this recording. It is likely that the backing vocalists were Holly, Allison, and Niki Sullivan, but this is not known for certain.[1]

"Not Fade Away" was originally released as the B-side of the hit single "Oh, Boy!" and was included on the album The "Chirping" Crickets (1957). The Crickets' recording never charted as a single. In 2004, this song was ranked number 107 on Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".


Buddy Holly and the Crickets

The Rolling Stones version[edit]

"Not Fade Away"
US picture sleeve
Single by the Rolling Stones
  • February 21, 1964 (1964-02-21) (UK)
  • March 6, 1964 (1964-03-06) (US)
RecordedJanuary 10, 1964
StudioOlympic, London
GenreRock and roll, blues rock
Producer(s)Andrew Loog Oldham
Rolling Stones UK singles chronology
"I Wanna Be Your Man"
"Not Fade Away"
"It's All Over Now"
Rolling Stones US singles chronology
"Not Fade Away"
"Tell Me"

In 1964, the Rolling Stones' cover of "Not Fade Away" was a major hit in the United Kingdom. It was the A-side of the band's first US single.[4]

The Rolling Stones' version of "Not Fade Away" was one of their first hits. Recorded in January 1964 and released by Decca Records on February 21, 1964, with "Little by Little" as the B-side, it was their first Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, reaching number three.[5] London Records released the song in the US on March 6, 1964, as the band's first single there, with "I Wanna Be Your Man" as the B-side.[6] The single reached number 48 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.[7] It also reached number 44 on the Cash Box pop singles chart in the U.S. and number 33 in Australia based on the Kent Music Report.[8] "Not Fade Away" was not on the UK version of their debut album, The Rolling Stones, but was the opening track of the US version, released a month later as England's Newest Hitmakers. Cash Box described it as "a wild, freewheeling full-sounding pounder that can take off in no time flat."[9] It was a mainstay of the band's concerts in their early years, usually opening the shows. It was revived as the opening song in the band's Voodoo Lounge Tour, in 1994 and 1995.


According to authors Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon,[10] except where noted:


Chart (1964) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[8] 33
Canada (CHUM Chart)[15] 22
Ireland (IRMA)[16] 5
Sweden (Kvällstoppen)[17] 17
UK Singles (OCC)[18] 3
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 48
US Cash Box Top 100[20] 44
US Record World Top 100[21] 58

Other cover versions[edit]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ In a July 1964 issue of Rolling Stones Monthly, the Stones' manager and producer Andrew Loog Oldham stated that American producer Phil Spector played maracas on the track.[11] Wyman later disputed this account, suggesting Oldham created the story to increase the song's publicity.[12] While Spector was present at some of the band's sessions, including on 28 January and 4 February 1964,[13] they recorded "Not Fade Away" on 10 January 1964.[13][14] Both Margotin & Guesdon and authors Andy Babiuk & Greg Prevost write Jagger contributed maracas.[13][14]


  1. ^ a b c d e Buddy Holly: Greatest Hits. Liner notes. 1995. MCA Records.
  2. ^ a b Norman Petty interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  3. ^ a b The Real Buddy Holly Story (DVD). White Star Studios. 1987.
  4. ^ "Song artist 5 - The Rolling Stones". Tsort.info. 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  5. ^ "Gloucestershire - People - Brian Jones (1942-1969)". BBC. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  6. ^ Babiuk & Prevost 2013, p. 101.
  7. ^ Carr, Roy (1976). The Rolling Stones, an Illustrated Record. London: New English Library.
  8. ^ a b Kent, David. (2005). Australian chart book (1940-1969). Turramurra, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-44439-5. OCLC 62561852.
  9. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. April 4, 1964. p. 16. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  10. ^ Margotin & Guesdon 2016, pp. 50–51.
  11. ^ Babiuk & Prevost 2013, pp. 96, 652.
  12. ^ Wyman & Havers 2002, p. 99, quoted in Babiuk & Prevost 2013, p. 96.
  13. ^ a b c Margotin & Guesdon 2016, p. 51.
  14. ^ a b Babiuk & Prevost 2013, p. 96.
  15. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade - June 29, 1964".
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Not Fade Away". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  17. ^ Hallberg, Eric (193). Eric Hallberg presenterar Kvällstoppen i P 3: Sveriges radios topplista över veckans 20 mest sålda skivor 10. 7. 1962 - 19. 8. 1975. Drift Musik. ISBN 9163021404.
  18. ^ "Rolling Stones: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  19. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 7/04/64". Tropicalglen.com. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  21. ^ "100 Top Pops - Record World" (PDF). Record World: 5. July 11, 1964.
  22. ^ Guarino, Mark (6 July 2015). "'Grateful Dead: final concerts unite fans and band as legends fade away". The Guardian. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  23. ^ "Dead & Company > Tour Statistics". setlist.fm. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "Tanya Tucker - Not Fade Away". 45cat.com. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  25. ^ Jurek, Thom (2022). "John Scofield: John Scofield". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 July 2022.
  26. ^ "The Life of a Song: 'Not Fade Away'". Financial Times. 5 December 2016.