Peggy Sue dies at age 78
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Peggy Sue Gerron was born on June 15, 1940, in Olton, Texas, and grew up in Lubbock, Texas. Sources say she passed away in a Lubbock hospital this morning at the age of 78.
Peggy Sue was a high school senior when she was cast into the international spotlight by Buddy Holly’s release of the namesake song that climbed to the top of 1957 Billboard Charts.
Buddy Holly tagged her in the love ballad “Peggy Sue,” but she wasn’t Buddy’s love. She was in a relationship with Jerry Allison, the drummer of the Crickets.
Her son-in-law, Tom Stathos, spoke Monday about how the song originally wasn’t about her. “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."
“That song will probably be stuck in my head forever,” Her grandson Jeff Rackham joked.
Peggy Sue went to Lubbock High School with Buddy Holly and married Allison after graduation.
After the plane crash that killed Buddy, Ritchie Valens and J. P. Richardson (“The Big Bopper”) the Crickets reformed. Peggy Sue continued to travel with the group as they toured, recorded and appeared as a sustaining act with Roger Miller on his “King of the Road” television series in the 1960’s.
Following her divorce from Jerry Allison, Peggy Sue went to Pasadena Junior College in Pasadena, California, and became a dental assistant. She then married again and had two children, a girl and a boy, and spent the majority of her life caring for her family, according to PeggySueOnline.com.
She helped her new husband establish a successful plumbing business and became the first licensed woman plumber in California.
In 1995 she came back to Lubbock to care for her aging and ill mother and stayed.
Peggy Sue was a celebrity speaker, radio host, and columnist.
“She worked hard at keeping the joy of the 50s alive and she was iconic in that sense a real good ambassador for Lubbock,” said Stathos.
Funeral arraignments for Gerron are pending.
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