You can’t get better than the arrangement of this song - the strings of Ray Ellis’ orchestra, Al Caiola’s guitar, Sanford Block on bass, the integral harp provided by Doris Johnson, and Ernie Hayes’ tasteful piano; however, the most inspiring part of the song besides the emotion of Buddy Holly’s voice was the haunting sound of Abraham Richman’s alto sax. I get shivers up and down my spine every time I hear this song.
Released in 1960 as part the album “The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. 2,” how could this single not be a hit? Sadly in America it wasn’t, and it was a marginal hit in the UK. Today, we’re featuring a 1965 cover of the song by Peter and Gordon.
While Peter Asher and Gordon Waller did an excellent job on their recording, it doesn’t hold a candle to the original – but it still has merit and is good in its own right – it’s just not Buddy. What really chafes me about their version is that it outperformed Holly’s original. While Buddy didn’t chart in the US, Peter and Gordon peaked at #14; and while the original peaked at #25 in Britain, this cover went all the way to #2.
Peter and Gordon’s vocal performance is excellent, the string arrangements outstanding, and the 12-string guitar is a nice touch; however, the alto sax is missing, but there is (I believe) a French horn or a euphonium in the mix – but it doesn’t carry same the emotion as the saxophone. OK, it really is a nice version of the song, and they had the guts to do a key change toward the end – but dang, it’s still not Buddy Holly.