Not Cindy Lou

On Tuesday, I wrote about the Frostbitten Cricket, Carl Bunch who had to be hospitalized with severely frostbitten feet while playing the drums for Buddy Holly and the Crickets for the Winter Dance Party.  I apologize for my mistake, as in December of 1958, Buddy Holly had split up from The Crickets wanting to work as a solo artist, so he put a new band together to get back out on the road.  He ended up recruiting friend and local DJ at KLLL in Lubbock, Texas, Waylon Jennings to play bass, Tommy Allsup as lead guitarist, and Carl Bunch replaced Jerry Allison on drums.  In 1957, The Crickets were formed in Lubbock, Texas by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison and they recruited bassist Joe B. Mauldin and guitar player Niki Sullivan. Buddy, Jerry and Niki were looking through a dictionary under insects and when they saw Crickets they thought that would make a good name for their group.  It is interesting that The Crickets inspired John Lennon and Paul McCartney to name their group The Beatles.

The Crickets wrote the blueprint for rock and roll bands, having a lineup of two guitars, bass and drums.  They were one of the first rock and roll bands to be self-contained, as they wrote, played, produced and recorded their own material.  Norman Petty was a co-writer of Buddy’s songs as well as Buddy’s favorite producer/engineer and manager.  Norman mastered some recording tricks using the echo chamber while the group laid down the songs giving them a unique flavor.  They originally played rockabilly style or western and bop and were among the first rock bands to utilize overdubbing and multi-track recording, years before it became standard studio practice.  The Crickets became popular over the course of a charmed year, from August 1957 to August 1958, as Buddy Holly and the Crickets charted seven Top 40 singles.  In August 1957, ‘That’ll Be the Day’ entered the charts, hitting Number One for a week on September 23.  Buddy Holly and the Crickets became bona fide rock and roll stars, having several hits including ‘Oh, Boy!’ that was #10, ‘Maybe Baby’ went to #17 ‘Rave On’ got to #5 and ‘Peggy Sue’ reached #3.

Jerry Allison first saw Buddy Holly when they were at J.T. Hutchin Junior High School.  Jerry was in the seventh grade and Buddy was a grade ahead.  Buddy was playing with another Junior High student Bob Montgomery in a group called Buddy and Bob, and they were covering Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs songs and other Hillbilly music while performing at an assembly program.  They also did ‘Too Old To Cut The Mustard’ a song written by Bill Carlisle and made popular by Ernest Tubb and Red Foley.  Buddy and Jerry didn’t get to be friends ‘til high school and then they started playing together and listening to Rock ‘n’ Roll radio.  Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas, on September 7, 1936 having a slightly different name, that being Charles Hardin Holley.  His name was misspelled as ‘Holly’ on his first record contract, and he liked it that way.  From mid-1957 until late 1958, Holly and the Crickets did most of their recording at Norman Petty Studios, with Petty producing.

The song ‘Peggy Sue’ that was released on September 20, 1957, started out as Cindy Lou, who was Holly’s niece, Cindy Lou Kaiter, the daughter of his sister Pat Holley Kaiter.  In the mid-Fifties while Peggy Sue Gerron was still a high school student at Lubbock High she met Holly, well actually their first encounter occurred when Holly was running late for a gig and he accidentally knocked her over.  Peggy Sue said, “He ran over to me, guitar in one hand, amp in the other, and said, ‘I don’t have time to pick you up, but you sure are pretty’, before he ran off”.  Another girl helped her pick up her books and told her that was Buddy Holly.  Several weeks later, Gerron was on a date with Crickets drummer Jerry Allison, when they ran into Holly and his date.  When Holly started laughing, Jerry asked him what was so funny, and he said “I’ve already overwhelmed your girl.”  When Holly was writing this song, Jerry Allison asked him to put his girl’s name on it.  Peggy Sue was written by Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly and Norman Petty.  This inspired two classic songs, ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’, as Allison and Peggy Sue did get married the following summer in July 1958, as the song started to soar up the charts. However they divorced in 1965 and Peggy Sue died on October 1, 2018.

‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ was one of the first sequels of the rock era and Buddy Holly recorded this alone, on acoustic guitar, in his New York City apartment, along with ‘Crying, Waiting, Hoping’, ‘That’s What They Say’, ‘What to Do’, ‘Learning the Game’ and ‘That Makes it Tough’, which were his last songs.  Here is a video from February 1959, the last concert of Buddy Holly doing the song ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ from the Winter Dance Party at Clear Lake, Iowa.

Peggy Sue has been mentioned in the lyrics to several other songs, including ‘Splish Splash’ “There was lollipop with a Peggy Sue” by Bobby Darin and ‘Barbara Ann’ “Danced with Betty Lou Tried Peggy Sue” by The Regents.  ‘Peggy Sue’ hit number three on the Billboard singles chart, and in 2011 Rolling Stone ranked this song 197th on its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.  It was ranked as the third best song of 1957 by Acclaimed Music.  In 1999, National Public Radio (NPR) included the song on the NPR 100, a list of the ‘100 Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century’.  The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum included the song on its list of the ‘Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll’.  Buddy Holly became a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1985.

If you knew Peggy Sue
Then you’d know why I feel blue without Peggy
My Peggy Sue
Oh well, I love you gal, yes, I love you Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue
Oh how my heart yearns for you
Oh Peggy, my Peggy Sue
Oh well, I love you gal, yes, I love you Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue
Oh Peggy, my Peggy Sue
Oh well, I love you gal and I need you Peggy Sue

I love you Peggy Sue
With a love so rare and true
Oh Peggy, my Peggy Sue
Well I love you gal, I want you Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue
Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty Peggy Sue
Oh Peggy, my Peggy Sue
Oh well, I love you gal yes I need you Peggy Sue

I love you Peggy Sue
With a love so rare and true
Oh Peggy, my Peggy Sue
Oh well I love you gal, and I want you Peggy Sue
Oh well, I love you gal and I want you Peggy Sue

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Soar and for Ragtag Community – Friend.

3 thoughts on “Not Cindy Lou

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