Buddy Holly

Peggy Sue

Composed by Buddy Holly / Jerry Allison / Norman Petty

Song Review by

Throbbing paradiddles by innovative drummer Jerry Allison propelling it onward like a skyrocket, "Peggy Sue" stands as one of Buddy Holly's crowning achievements during a tragically truncated career. Holly's hiccupping vocals were seldom more charming; his crashing guitar solo was a rousing barrage of savage Tex-Mex chords, Allison's drumming brought a new dimension to rock & roll timekeeping, and the song's chord sequence was just distinctive enough to stand tall during a year that was absolutely filled to bursting with seminal rock & roll platters. No wonder it catapulted up to number three on Billboard's pop charts in late 1957/early 1958. The classic collaboration between Holly and Allison had originally been envisioned by Holly as "Cindy Lou," but Allison suggested the switch to honor his girlfriend and future wife, Peggy Sue. Producer Norman Petty also is listed as one of the song's writers (Remembering Buddy, John Goldrosen and John Beecher's fine Holly biography, credits Petty with brainstorming the memorable chord change under the "Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue" line); the track was cut at the close of June 1957, during three fruitful days of sessions at Petty's Clovis, NM, studios with only Allison and bassist Joe B. Mauldin abetting Holly's singular guitar work. Instead of issuing it on the Brunswick logo under the moniker of the Crickets as his smash "That'll Be the Day" had been, "Peggy Sue" hit the shelves under Holly's own name on another Decca subsidiary, Coral Records. When "Oh, Boy!" came out only a month after "Peggy Sue" as by the Crickets, Holly was riding sky-high with three Top Ten smashes in barely more than three months.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Billboard Top Rock & Roll Hits: 1957 1957
Various Artists
Rhino 2:31
Buddy Holly 1958 MCA 2:29
Reminiscing 1963 Pair
No Image 1966 Coral Music Group
Greatest Hits [Coral] 1967 2:22
No Image 1972 2:28
No Image 1975 MCA
No Image 1976
Various Artists
MCA 2:26
The Buddy Holly Story [Epic] 1978
Original Soundtrack
St. Clair / Showtunes 2:31
No Image 1979 MCA
Heartbeat 1980 Pazzazz 2:30
No Image 1983 MFP
Words of Love 1985 Universal Special Products
No Image 1986
Various Artists
Front Page Records
No Image 1987 Cede
Rockin' Fifties 1988
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:28
Collection 1988 The Red Box 2:31
Golden Greats 1989 MCA 2:33
No Image 1989
Various Artists
Rhino
No Image 1990
Various Artists
MCA
Vintage Music: Original Classic Oldies from the 1950's : Vols. 1 & 2 1990
Various Artists
MCA
All-Time Greatest Hits of Rock & Roll, Vol. 1 1990
Various Artists
Curb 2:30
Hit Parade Top Rock 'n' roll Hits: 50's and 60's, Vol. 2 1991
Various Artists
Orfeon
My Greatest Songs 1991 MCA 2:32
The Buddy Holly Collection 1993 MCA 2:29
The Sullivan Years: Rock 'n' Roll Pioneers 1955-1959 1993
Various Artists
TVT 1:54
Only Rock 'N Roll 1955-1959: 20 Pop Hits 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:31
Vintage Collectibles, Vol.  7: 1955-1958 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:28
Max Weinberg Presents: Let There Be Drums, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 2:30
No Image 1996 Hallmark Recordings
Happy Days Jukebox 1996
Various Artists
Nick At Nite / Sony Music Distribution 2:30
Greatest Hits [MCA] 1996 MCA 2:30
Very Best of Buddy Holly [Dino] 1996 Dino Entertainment 2:31
Greatest Rock & Roll Party, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Great Hits 2:31
The Best Rock 'N' Roll Album in the World...Ever 1997
Various Artists
Virgin 2:29
WODS Oldies 103 Boston, Vol. 1: The 50's - Tenth Anniversary Edition 1997
Various Artists
Collectables 2:31
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Rock 'N' Roll Legends 1997
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:31
Millennium's Greatest Rock N Roll Party 1998
Various Artists
Connoisseur 2:29
Rock & Roll Gold 1998
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 2:29
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Keep on Rockin' 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:32
The Best of 50's Rock 1998
Various Artists
Priority Records 2:30
Millennium's Greatest Party 1999
Various Artists
Connoisseur 2:29
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Buddy Holly 1999 MCA 2:31
40 Hits: 1955-1959 1999
Various Artists
Millennium Hits (Netherlands) 2:28
The Ultimate Grammy Box: From the Recording Academy's Collection 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:30
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: Greatest Hits 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:32
Universal Masters Collection: Classic 1999 Polygram / Universal/Polygram 2:31
No Image 1999 Prism Explorer 2:31
The Very Best of Buddy Holly [Dressed to Kill] 2000 Dressed To Kill 2:31
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 4 & 5 2000
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 2:32
50's Golden Jukebox: Saturday Night Sock Hop 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:31
The Great Buddy Holly [RedX] 2000 Red X 2:33
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:29
Juke Box Jive [Dressed to Kill] 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:30
The Ultimate EP Collection 2001 See For Miles Records
The Singles + 2001 DJ Specialist 2:31
Rock 'N' Roll Teenagers Collection, Vol. 2 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 2:30
Jukebox Hits of the '50s [Collectables] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:31
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:31
The Legends Collection: Rock 'n' Roll Teenagers 2002
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill / Legends Collection 2:30
The  Best of Buddy Holly [Universal] 2002 MCA / Universal International 2:31
Red, White & Rock 2002
Various Artists
Rhino 2:31
The Fabulous Fifties 2002
Various Artists
AP Music
Peggy Sue 2004 Lifet 2:32
Rock & Roll: 50th Anniversary Collection 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 2:31
Golden Era of Rock 'n' Roll: 1954-1963 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:30
Very Best of Buddy Holly [MCA International] 2004 MCA 2:31
The Rock 'n' Roll Collection [Cadiz] 2004
Various Artists
Pazzazz / Cadiz 2:30
Best Hits in Japan: Best of 50's 1955 - 59 2004
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
UK Music Hall of Fame 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 2:30
Good Days: Rock N' Roll 50 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Best 1200 2005 Universal Distribution
Raining in My Heart [Pazzazz] 2005 Pazzazz 2:30
Shake Rattle & Roll: 50 Classic Rock N Roll Hits 2005
Various Artists
Sanctuary 2:31
Definitive Story 2005 Universal
Gold 2005 Geffen 2:28
39 Golden Greats 2005 Prism Entertainment
Greatest Hits [Musicpro] 2005 Musicpro 2:35
Top 20 of Rock 'N' Roll 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:31
No Image 2006 United Recordings
The Definitive Collection 2006 Geffen / Geffen/Decca 2:30
Casey Kasem: Driving in the 50s 2006
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 2:30
20th Century Masters: Best of 50s Rock N Roll, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:31
Greatest Ever! Memories 2006
Various Artists
Greatest Ever / Union Square Music 2:31
Radio 2 Top 2000 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:28
No Image 2007 Solid Gold Records / Union Square 2:33
No Image 2007 UMVD
Colour Collection 2007 Spectrum Music / Universal 2:30
Music for Rock 'N' Roll 2007
Various Artists
Universal International 2:30
Buddy Holly [Madacy] 2007 Madacy 2:32
The Rockabilly Legends: They Called it Rockabilly Long Before They Called it Rock and Roll 2007
Various Artists
Jerry Naylor
Not Fade Away: The Complete Studio Recordings and More 2008 Hip-O Select / Geffen 2:31
No Image 2008 Disky
Rock 'N' Roll Legends 2008 Polydor
The Sound of the 50s: America 2008
Various Artists
Primo Records 2:34
Rock 'N' Roll: The Essential Collection 2008
Various Artists
Avid Jazz / West End Records 2:30
Melody of Love: Great 50's Love Songs 2008
Various Artists
Dynamic 2:32
The 50s Collection 2008
Various Artists
Brunswick 2:32
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Backline 2:31
The Ultimate Collection [Intro] 2008 Intro / The Intro Collection / Union Square Music 2:31
Rolling Stone: The Pioneers of Rock 'N' Roll 2008
Various Artists
Universal 2:30
Drug Stores and Soda Pops: 75 Slabs of Teen 2008
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:30
Classic Buddy Holly 2008 Spectrum/MCA / Universal 2:30
No Image 2008 Universal Distribution 2:30
The Legends Rave On 2009 Primo Records 2:30
Rock 'N' Roll Juke Box, Vol. 2 2009
Various Artists
Intense / Membran 2:31
Down the Line: Rarities 2009 Geffen / Geffen/Decca / Island 2:32
Memorial Collection 2009 Geffen / Island 2:31
The Buddy Holly Story 2009 Pickwick 2:31
The Very Best of Buddy Holly [Not Now] 2009 Not Now Music 2:29
50s Jukebox Hits 2009
Various Artists
TIP Records / Dance Street 2:30
Original Recordings [Go Entertain] 2009 Go Entertain
Rock 'N' Roll Hits: Original 50's Recordings 2009
Various Artists
Dance Street 2:29
Purely Buddy Holly [Purely] 2009 Delta Distribution / Purely 2:31
Best Selection 2009 Universal Distribution 2:30
The Roots of John Lennon 2009
Various Artists
Red Snapper Records / Snapper 2:29
Summer Holiday: 40 Summer Classics from Yesteryear 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:30
Rock 'N' Roll Greats [Delta] 2009
Various Artists
Delta Leisure 2:30
Rock Me Baby 2009 Snapper / Snapper Music 2:30
Golden Oldies Forever: Best of the Best 2009
Various Artists
Luxury Multimedia 2:30
No Image 2009 Forum Records
Buddy Holly & the Rock 'n' Roll Giants 2010 Proper Records / Proper Uk
The Ultimate Oldies But Goodies Collection 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:31
No Image 2010 Cherished Records 2:33
My Kind of Music: The Fabulous 50s! 2011
Various Artists
Union Square 2:31
Icon 2011 Geffen 2:31
Buddy Holly [Go] 2011 Go Entertain
Rock 'n' Roll Era: Rock 'n' Roll Legends 2011
Various Artists
Crimson / Crimson Productions
The  1957 British Hit Parade, Pt. 2: June-December 2011
Various Artists
Acrobat
The Cruisin' Story 1957 2011
Various Artists
One Day Music 2:29
100% Rolling Stone
Various Artists
Frequency Records
20 All Time Greatest Hits Starlite 2:28
No Image
Various Artists
Delta 2:29
Absolute Hits of the 50's
Various Artists
Eva
All the Hits Dance Street / Music & Melody 2:31
No Image Digilouge 2:30
Best 1200 Rock 'N Roll
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
De Pre Historie: 1957, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:31
Dreamboats and Petticoats, Vol. 3
Various Artists
Universal 2:29
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Music 2:29
Greatest Hits Of 1958
Various Artists
Great Voices Of The Century 2:31
No Image
Various Artists
Long Hot Summer
Various Artists
Gold Classic Hits Radio 2:31
No Image
Various Artists
2:31
Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Spectrum Music
No Image
Various Artists
Rock'n Roll Hits
Various Artists
Hot Town 2:31
Soda Shop Songbook
Various Artists
Universal 2:31
Still Alive and Rockin'
Various Artists
Fab Four
No Image Delta 2:29
No Image
Various Artists
X5 2:31
No Image BHWM
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