“Peggy Sue Got Married”: The Record That Buddy Holly Never Heard

On September 7, 1936, Charles Harden Holley was born in Lubbock, Texas.  Through various circumstances, though, young Charles would become known as “Buddy Holly.”

Regarding the first name, after the baby was born the family soon began calling the child “Buddy,” and the name stuck. Regarding the spelling of his last name, while young Buddy was a rising musician, Decca Records mistakenly spelled his last name as “Holly.” The singer decided to keep the new spelling, thus completing the final piece of the name of one of the greatest rock and roll stars in history.

The Original Release of “Peggy Sue Got Married”

In a previous post, Chimesfreedom examined the circumstances of Buddy Holly’s death, but the world did not hear some of his great songs until after his death. For example, “Peggy Sue Got Married,” was released after he died at the young age of 22 on February 3, 1959.

A little more than five months after Holly’s death, Coral Records on July 20, 1959 released “Peggy Sue Got Married.” It appeared as a B-side to Buddy Holly’s “Crying, Waiting, Hoping.”

“Peggy Sue Got Married” was a the sequel to Holly’s hit “Peggy Sue.” The original hit was named after the girlfriend of Crickets drummer Jerry Allison.

You probably have heard this recording of the sequel song.  The recording of “Peggy Sue Got Married” that most of us know features backup vocals and instrumentals recorded in June 1959 after Holly’s death.

The Version Buddy Holly Knew (as a Demo)

Because Buddy Holly had died in February, however, he never heard this version that we know so well.

The record company created the record using a demo that Holly had recorded himself.  The demo features Holly with his guitar in his New York apartment in December 1958 before Holly left for his final tour.  Below, you may hear the recorded version that Holly knew below.

I love the song in both versions, despite the fact that the original release was not completely the work of Holly. I have always wondered what Holly might have done with the finished product of the song, although the record company did try to stay true to his “sound.”

The Crickets Version

Buddy Holly’s band, The Crickets, later made their own version of the song. They sped up the song in their recording, which features David Box on vocals.

The Crickets version is not bad, but of course it pales in comparison to the Holly versions.  Check it out.

The Tribute Version with The Hollies and Holly

Finally, for a 1993 Buddy Holly tribute album, Not Fade Away: Remembering Buddy Holly, the English rock group The Hollies re-recorded “Peggy Sue Got Married.” Instead of adding new vocals, though, they used Buddy Holly’s original vocals.

While some may be critical of the re-use of Holly’s vocals, remember that the original record did the same thing. And what better tribute than a re-working of the song by a band that named itself after Buddy Holly? Check it out.

Rarely has one set of vocals created so many versions. And that is not even mentioning that the song also inspired a 1986 movie of the same name.  The movie Peggy Sue Got Married used the demo version of the song over the opening.

In case you are wondering, the original “Peggy Sue” song helped Jerry Allison get back together with his girlfriend who inspired the song’s name.  And Peggy Sue Gerron did get married to Allison, although unlike like Holly’s song, the marriage did not last.

What is your favorite version of “Peggy Sue Got Married”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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  • (Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)