Peggy Sue

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This article is about the Buddy Holly song. For other uses, see Peggy Sue (disambiguation).
"Peggy Sue"
Single by Buddy Holly
from the album Buddy Holly
B-side "Everyday"
Released September 20, 1957
Format 7" single
Recorded June 29 and July 1, 1957, Clovis, New Mexico
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:29
Label Coral 9-61885
Writer(s) Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Norman Petty
Producer(s) Norman Petty
Buddy Holly singles chronology
"Rock Around with Ollie Vee"
(1957)
"Peggy Sue"
(1957)
"Oh, Boy!"
(The Crickets)
(1957)

"Peggy Sue" is a rock and roll song written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty, and originally performed, recorded and released as a single by Holly in early July of 1957. The Crickets are not mentioned on the single (Coral 9-61885)[1] but both Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) are on the recording.[2] The song was also released on Buddy Holly's eponymous 1958 album. The song is ranked #194 on the Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song was originally called "Cindy Lou", and was named for Buddy's niece, the daughter of his sister Pat Holley Kaiter. The title was later changed to "Peggy Sue" in reference to Crickets drummer Jerry Allison's girlfriend (and future wife), Peggy Sue Gerron, with whom he had recently had a temporary breakup.[3]

Appropriately, Allison played a prominent role in the production of the song, playing paradiddles on the drums throughout the song, the drums' sound rhythmically fading in and out as a result of real-time engineering techniques by the producer, Norm Petty. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum placed the song on its list of the "songs that shaped rock and roll".[4]

The song went to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1957.

The song is currently ranked as the 106th greatest song of all time, as well as the third best song of 1957, by Acclaimed Music.[5] In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included "Peggy Sue" on the NPR 100, a list of "The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century".[6] The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[7]

Production[edit]

The song was originally called "Cindy Lou", and was named for Buddy's niece, the daughter of his sister Pat Holley Kaiter. The title was later changed to "Peggy Sue" in reference to Crickets drummer Jerry Allison's girlfriend (and future wife), Peggy Sue Gerron, with whom he had recently had a temporary breakup.[8] Initially only Allison and Petty were listed as the song's authors.[1] At Allison's insistence, Holly was credited as a co-writer after his death. Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) are on the recording.[9]

Reception[edit]

The song went to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1957.

The song is ranked #194 on the Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is currently ranked as the 106th greatest song of all time, as well as the third best song of 1957, by Acclaimed Music.[5] In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included "Peggy Sue" on the NPR 100, a list of "The 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century".[10] The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[11]

Sequel[edit]

Holly wrote a sequel called "Peggy Sue Got Married" and recorded a demo version in his New York City apartment on December 5, 1958, accompanied only by himself on guitar.[12] The tape was discovered after his death, and was "enhanced" for commercial release, by adding background vocals and an electric guitar track that drowned out Holly's own playing (and almost his voice as well). The rarely heard original version was released on a vinyl collection called "The Complete Buddy Holly", and was later used over the opening credits of the 1986 Kathleen Turner film Peggy Sue Got Married.[13] After Holly's death The Crickets would also release their own cover single in 1960. They followed the original Peggy Sue arrangements with the only difference being David Box, a Buddy Holly soundalike, singing as the lead vocalist.[14]

References[edit]

Sources

External links[edit]