Peggy Sue is ranked as one of the defining songs of Rock and Roll. I suspect many people today do no longer know his name, but he has been one of the most influencial musicians from the 50s ever, as both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones named him as one of their main influences.
I have known (and loved) the captivating simplicity of Peggy Sue for many, many years, almost since I began consciously listening to the radio and exploring as much as I could, systematically absorbing everything from oldie shows to charts and more and more then contemporary Indie Rock. That was still a few years pre Nirvana.
Recently I re-listened to Buddy Holly and his enchanting simple yet masterful songs and presentation. I found that aside from boasting a very pointed playing style that made his sound besides his typical vocals especially this song stands out: It's the drums. Simple, but there was a very interesting sound effect, some very effective and pointed echo effect. Today such things are easy, but how the heck was this done back then, in 1957? I wanted to know more.
The song itself evolved to a song for the drumer's soon to be wife (hence it later got a sequal in Peggy Sue Got Married), hence he also got a very prominent role during the recording. And what really makes the drum sound is the engineer's live playing of the sound desk, adding the echo on the fly during the recording. An early instance of playing the mixing console like an additional instrument by musically playing with the volume levels and effects. I don't want to draw any paralels where there historically are none, but this technique was later developed and perfected when the Dub was invented. And I love the Dub for exactly these reasons.
Simple. Clever. Stunning.
But listen for yourself.