Peggy Sue Dead At 78: Inspiration For Buddy Holly’s Hit Song Passes Away In Hospital

The woman whose name inspired one of Buddy Holly’s last songs has died at a northwest Texas hospital. Peggy Sue Gerron Rackham, 78, died on Monday at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, according to UMC spokesman Eric Finley. The family had given permission for the Lubbock resident’s death to be shared but asked that other information be held confidential, at the moment. Gerron was born in Olton, Texas, but moved to Lubbock where she attended high school and met Holly and his friends. Her namesake would be used in Holly’s 1958 hit “Peggy Sue.” She wrote an autobiography in 2008 titled “Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue?: A Memoir by Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue” in celebration of the song’s 50th anniversary. Gerron married drummer Jerry Allison, who was a part of The Crickets with Holly but the pair would eventually divorce. According to her son-in-law, Tom Stathos, the song with her namesake was almost called something else entirely. “It was originally going to be Cindy Lou (Holly’s niece) and that he (Allison) wanted to impress Peggy Sue so he got Buddy to change the name,” he explained to a TV station. Holly would go on and eventually write a sequel song “Peggy Sue Got Married” before dying in a February 3, 1959, plane crash in Iowa.

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