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 Rockabilly
Length 2:29
Label Coral 9-61885
Writer(s) Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, Norman Petty
Producer(s) Norman Petty
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Buddy Holly singles chronology
"That'll Be the Day"
(1957)
"Peggy Sue"
(1957)
"Love Me"
(1958)

"Peggy Sue" is a rock and roll song written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty, recorded and released as a single by Holly in early July of 1957. The Crickets are not mentioned on label of the single (Coral 9-61885),[1] but band members Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) played on the recording.[2] This recording was also released on Holly's eponymous 1958 album.

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

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".[3] The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[4] Acclaimed Music ranked it as the 106th greatest song of all time and the third best song of 1957.[5] Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number 197 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2010.[6] The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum placed the song on its list of the "Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll".[7]

1957 U.S. sheet music, Nor Va Jak Music, New York

Production[edit]

The song was originally entitled "Cindy Lou", after Holly's niece, the daughter of his sister Pat Holley Kaiter. The title was later changed to "Peggy Sue" in reference to Peggy Sue Gerron, the girlfriend (and future wife) of Jerry Allison, the drummer for the Crickets, after the couple had temporarily broken up.[8]

Appropriately, Allison had 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, Norman Petty.

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 Allison (drums) played on the recording.[2]

Reception[edit]

The song went to number 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".[3] The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[4]

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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

Chart performance[edit]

Single[edit]

Chart (1957) Peak
position
Billboard[12] 3
UK Charts[12] 6
Canadian Charts[12] 4
Chart (1958) Peak
position
Dutch Charts[13] 5

References[edit]

Sources

External links[edit]