Peggy Sue of Buddy Holly Classic Song Fame, Dies at 78


“Peggy Sue” namesake went to same Lubbock high school as rocker, married Crickets drummer Jerry Allison

Peggy Sue Gerron, the woman who inspired Buddy Holly’s 1957 classic, “Peggy Sue,” has died at the age of 78.   Jaime R. Carrero/AP


Peggy Sue Gerron, the woman who inspired Buddy Holly’s 1957 hit song “Peggy Sue,” died Monday at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. She was 78.

Gerron met Holly in Lubbock in the mid-Fifties when he was a budding musician and she was still a high school student at Lubbock High (Holly’s alma mater). As Gerron recalled, their first encounter occured when Holly, running late for a gig, accidentally knocked her over. “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,” Gerron told the BBC in 2013. “So another girl came and helped me pick up my books and she said, ‘Do you know who that was? That was Buddy Holly.’”

Several weeks later, Gerron was on a date with her future husband, Crickets drummer Jerry Allison, when they ran into Holly and his date. “[Holly] started laughing, Jerry asked him what was so funny, and he said ‘I’ve already overwhelmed your Peggy Sue,’” Gerron remembered.

As for how Gerron ended up as the namesake of “Peggy Sue,” there are several versions of the legend. In one telling, the track was first titled “Cindy Lou,” after Holly’s niece, but Allison convinced his bandmate to change it in order to impress Gerron. In another version, Holly changed the title to placate Allison after their producer, Norman Petty, forced him to play in the studio’s reception room because his snare was too loud.



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