Yesterday morning we were saddened to learn that the muse for one of the great early rock’n roll songs had passed away––Peggy Sue Gerron, who inspired Buddy Holly‘s classic hit, “Peggy Sue.” Written about drummer Jerry Allison‘s girlfriend, this song’s catchy, staccato–and–hiccup laden sounded positively foreign when it appeared in 1957. When the teenage boy from Lubbock put pen to paper to cheer up his childhood friend after she and her boyfriend had split, absolutely no one could have known that the simple and innocent number would become a bedrock foundation for rock music, a song that can rightly be called a standard, and it is almost sure two pop up whenever someone pays tribute to the music of the1950s. (Shortly before his death,Holly would write a sequel, “Peggy Sue Got Married,” as a wedding present for his friends, but it was not commercially released until many years later.)
I met the late, great Peggy Sue once, somewhere around 2000. She was a hoot! I remember hanging out at the 82nd St. Ralph’s Records and this really sweet, really funny middle-aged lady came in to speak to owner Ralph DeWitt, but she was really gregarious and kept cracking us up. when she left Ralph turned to me and said, “you know who that was, don’t you?” I said no, and you said “Oh, that’s Peggy Sue,” and I was amazed. I’m sorry to hear that she passed.