What Buddy Holly's Song Peggy Sue Was Originally Called

As the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame put it, there would simply be no rock 'n' roll without Buddy Holly. A true industry pioneer, Britannica reports that the young Charles Hardin Holley was known for his electric, friendly personality from his school days (peers declared him the "King of the Sixth Grade"). He brought that incredible energy to every musical performance.

Though his career was cut tragically short when he died in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, Holly laid the foundations for a musical movement that would stretch on for decades. His name is spoken of in reverent tones alongside other titans of the industry, such as Elvis Presley.

Just like the King and fellow musical heavyweights, Holly produced a string of iconic songs that will forever be associated with him. One of his most beloved is his 1957 hit single "Peggy Sue," a nostalgic piece brilliant in its simplicity. However, the song was originally named after a different woman entirely.

Who was Cindy Lou?

According to NPR, the seemingly mythical Peggy Sue was a real woman: Peggy Sue Garron. She had attended Texas' Lubbock High School with Holly and his bandmate Jerry Allison. Garron and Holly didn't date while at Lubbock High, but she and Allison had been an item. Ultimately, the song was titled "Peggy Sue" on Allison's suggestion, supposedly in the hope that she would love the gesture. Perhaps it worked, as Garron and The Crickets' drummer married two years after the song's release (though the pair went on to divorce eight years afterward).

Holly's original plan for his hit had been rather different. He had intended to name the song not after Allison's girlfriend, but after his own niece, Cindy Lou (and his sister Patricia Lou). Mental Floss reports that this early version of the song sounded very different, too, with a beat and vibe very reminiscent of the equally iconic Harry Belafonte.

After Peggy Sue's marriage to Allison, a follow-up song was born. "Peggy Sue Got Married" was performed shortly before Holly's tragic death, by just the man himself in a New York apartment (per Song Facts). It was just Holly and his acoustic guitar at first, though Allison later explained (according to Rockin 50s) that The Crickets recorded a version of the song in 1960.