True Love Ways

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This article is about a song associated with Buddy Holly. For True Love Waits, see True Love Waits (disambiguation).
"True Love Ways"
Single by Buddy Holly
from the album The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. 2
B-side "That Makes It Tough"
Released June 29, 1960 (1960-06-29)
Recorded October 21, 1958, Pythian Temple studio, New York
Genre Pop
Length 2:47
Label Coral 9-62210
Writer(s) Buddy Holly, Norman Petty
Buddy Holly singles chronology
"Peggy Sue Got Married"
"True Love Ways"

"True Love Ways" is a song co-written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty and recorded with the Dick Jacobs Orchestra in October 1958, four months before the singer's death. Some argue that this song is the most played "first song" at weddings. It was first released on the posthumous The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. 2 (Coral 57326/757326, March 1960). The song became a 1960 hit in Britain, reaching #25 on the pop singles chart.[1]

In the extended version of the song, listeners can hear Holly preparing to sing. The audio starts with Norman Petty's wife (who also played on Buddy Holly's song "Everyday") saying "Yeah, we're rolling." A piano player and a tenor saxophone player start to play some notes, and Holly mutters "Okay," and clears his throat. The producer yells "Quiet, boys!" to everyone else in the room, and at the very end of the talkback, the producer says "Pitch, Ernie" to signal the piano player to give Holly his starting note, a B-flat.

Along with "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "Raining in My Heart", this song was recorded on what would be his last recording session before his death on February 3, 1959.

The session took place at the Pythian Temple on October 21, 1958.[2] The personnel: Al Caiola on guitar, Sanford Block on bass, Ernie Hayes on piano, Doris Johnson on harp, Abraham Richman on sax, Clifford Leeman on drums, Sylvan Shulman, Leo Kruczek, Leonard Posner, Irving Spice, Ray Free, Herbert Bourne, Julius Held and Paul Winter on violins, David Schwartz and Howard Kay on violas, Maurice Brown and Maurice Bialkin on cellos.

Buddy Holly wrote "True Love Ways" for his wife, Maria Elena Holly, as a wedding gift. On April 29, 2011, she unveiled the never before seen "True Love Ways" photo of their wedding kiss, now displayed at P.J. Clarke's above Table 53, the very table where they became engaged while on their first date, on June 20, 1958.[3]

Single releases[edit]

  • USA: "True Love Ways" b/w "That Makes It Tough" (Coral C62210, June 29, 1960).[4]
  • UK: "True Love Ways" b/w "Moondreams" (Coral Q72397, 20 May 1960).

Mickey Gilley version[edit]

"True Love Ways"
Single by Mickey Gilley
from the album That's All That Matters to Me
B-side "That's All That Matters to Me"
Released 1980
Genre Country
Length 2:54
Label Epic
Producer(s) Jim Ed Norman
Mickey Gilley singles chronology
"A Little Gettin' Used To"
"True Love Ways"
"Stand by Me"

Mickey Gilley, country singer, released a successful cover version in 1980 (during the height of his popularity). Gilley's version reached the No. 1 spot on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in July 1980.[5]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1980) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 66
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Preceded by
"You Win Again"
by Charley Pride
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

July 19, 1980
Succeeded by
"Bar Room Buddies"
by Merle Haggard and Clint Eastwood
Preceded by
by Waylon Jennings
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

August 16, 1980
Succeeded by
"Wayfaring Stranger"
by Emmylou Harris

Cliff Richard version[edit]

"True Love Ways"
Single by Cliff Richard with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
from the album Dressed for the Occasion
B-side "Galadriel"
Released April 1983
Recorded 23 November 1982
Genre Pop
Length 3:10
Label EMI
Producer(s) Richard Hewson
Cliff Richard with the London Philharmonic Orchestra singles chronology
"She Means Nothing to Me"
"True Love Ways"

British pop singer Cliff Richard released a cover version in 1983. The recording is of a live performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1982 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Richard's version reached No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1983 and was a hit in several other countries.[6]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 8
Australia (Kent Music Report)[8] 35
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 4
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[11] 41
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 45

Other notable versions[edit]

1960 UK sheet music cover, Southern Music Ltd., London.


  1. ^ "Buddy Holly Singles in the UK". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-12-31. 
  2. ^ The Pythian Temple Sessions.
  3. ^ "True Love Ways Unveiled – Buddy Holly’s Great Music, Great Romance » Listen to Me". True Great Original. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  4. ^ .True Love Ways. Buddy Holly.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 551. 
  6. ^ Lewry, Peter; Nigel, Goodall (2004). Dressed for the Occasion (CD Digital Remaster) (Liner notes). Cliff Richard. EMI. 
  7. ^ "Cliff Richard: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (doc). Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  9. ^ " – Cliff Richard with The London Philharmonic Orchestra – True Love Ways" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Ireland singles charts". Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  11. ^ " – Cliff Richard with The London Philharmonic Orchestra – True Love Ways" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  12. ^ " – Cliff Richard with The London Philharmonic Orchestra – True Love Ways". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Original versions of True Love Ways by Jackson Browne". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 2014-03-22. 
  14. ^ "Cover version of True Love Ways by Peter and Gordon". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-12-31. 
  15. ^ Metcalfe, John (2010-09-23). "Creepy Egyptian Cheese Ads Explain Geopolitics - The Wire". Retrieved 2014-03-22. 

External links[edit]