The Real Peggy Sue, Buddy Holly’s Muse Passes Away at 78
Lubbock, Texas. Sometime in the late months of the summer of 1956, a local band worked on a new song in a garage that fit the odd, hard rhythm blues beat the band was developing. The working title of the song was Cindy Lou, about a desirable girl in Lubbock High School that one of the band members had his eye on.
As time wore on the band member lost interest in the girl, but they inherently knew the song they'd created had some kind of potential in the new music genre being called 'rock and roll'. Facing an upcoming date in a recording studio, the band wanted to record the song, but quickly changed the title to the name of a girl Jerry Allison, a member of Buddy Holly's Crickets, was dating and that's how Peggy Sue became an American catch-phrase as well as a hit song in part thanks to Holly's hiccuping singing style on the tune.
The girl, Peggy Sue Gerron passed away at 78 years of age on Monday, October 1 at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas. Not only was she famous overnight nationwide, but a Holly followup hit, Peggy Sue Got Married was also made into a major motion picture with Nicolas Cage and Kathleen Turner in 1986.
The real Peggy Sue marched to the beat of her own drummer. She never ran or hid from being the namesake of one of the first hits of one of America's foremost early rock bands. A band so talented and formidable it's been argued that had Holly not died in a plane crash, the world would never have heard of, nor had a musical need for The Beatles, a veritable Cricket copy-band when they started out.
The fame neither went to Peggy Sue's head nor did she run from the infamy. She maintained a website about herself and published a memoir in 2008 called Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue.
As for Peggy Sue and Crickets bassist Jerry Allison, they did get married and remained so well into the 1970s. After divorcing, Peggy Sue became a dental hygienist and moved to California where she met and married a plumber. In time, Peggy Sue became a licensed plumber and the two ran a business.
By the mid-90s, the now widowed Peggy Sue moved back to Lubbock to care for her aging mother and settled down to live out the rest of her life. She was a HAM radio operator and had designated certain frequencies for people around the world of all ages to tune into and talk to The Real Peggy Sue.
Peggy Sue Gerron, a woman whose name has been sung billions of times over the decades by millions of Holly fans never ran or hid or was ashamed or did nothing but embrace her infamy, celebrated it to a point. She wanted fans to know that she was much more than a meter perfect rhyme in a hard-driving 50s love song.
She wanted people to know that she was the girl next door who grew up, became a wife, mother, grandmother, small business owner, writer, radio personality and so much more.
Peggy Sue wanted you to know that the ordinary life, is worth celebrating too. May she rest in the Peace of our Lord, Peggy Sue Gerron.