Peggy Sue (1957)

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Buddy Holly (born Charles Hardin Holley September 7, 1936, in Lubbock, Texas, died in a plane crash February 3, 1959, in Clear Lake, Iowa.)

Bob Dylan once called Holly "the Poet Laureate of Lubbock, Texas".

"Peggy Sue" was Holly's first credited solo single, even though his band, the Crickets, play on it.

The rhythm for "Peggy Sue" was developed on the spot. It had been written in cha-cha time, but drummer Jerry Allison had trouble keeping the right beat. He decided to take a break for a few minutes to "go through some exercises."

As he began playing paradiddles, Buddy began to change his guitar licks to fit the beat. Throughout the song, the drums' sound rhythmically fading in and out as a result of real-time engineering techniques by the producer, Norman Petty.

Norman Petty is credited with suggesting the memorable A to F chord change under "Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue".

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at #194 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Chart position: #3 (US).

With "Peggy Sue", along with "That’ll Be The Day" and "Oh, Boy!", Holly had three Top Ten hits in barely over three months.

The Top Ten Songs:
December 30, 1957 (US Billboard Top 100).
  1. "April Love" (Pat Boone)
  2. "At The Hop" (Danny and the Juniors)
  3. "Peggy Sue" (Buddy Holly)
  4. "Great Balls Of Fire" (Jerry Lee Lewis)
  5. "Raunchy" (Bill Justis)
  6. "Jailhouse Rock"/"Treat Me Nice" (Elvis Presley)
  7. "You Send Me"/"Summertime" (Sam Cooke)
  8. "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" (Jimmie Rodgers)
  9. "Silhouettes" (Rays)
  10. "Rock and Roll Music" (Chuck Berry)

Written by:
Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly and Norman Petty. (Buddy was given credit after his death.)

The song was originally titled "Cindy Lou", and was named for Buddy's niece.

Jerry Allison asked for the title to be changed for his girlfriend (and future wife) Peggy Sue Gerron, with whom he had recently temporarily broken up with.

Holly wrote a poignant sequel called "Peggy Sue Got Married", and recorded a demo or practice version in his New York City apartment on December 5, 1958, accompanied only by himself on guitar.

The tape was discovered after his untimely 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 later used over the opening credits of the 1986 film Peggy Sue Got Married.

Also by:
John Lennon, on his 1975 oldies album Rock & Roll (produced by Phil Spector.)

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