The twang of his first No.1 survives in the voice alone, a touch of reassuring gawk in amongst the frothy orchestration, hiccups dropped in like winks to the fans. The suddenly grieving fans ‘ this is the first chart-topper to be driven and haunted by the death of its maker, turning the hit parade into a makeshift memorial, records into private headstones.
But you can’t hear that in the song ‘ I had to consult the Guinness Book to check he’d died before its release ‘ which helps it have a life as more than just a reminder of its singer’s. Holly uses his hick schtick sparingly instead of letting it carry the song, and if the final splat of strings is clumsy the rest of them are delightfully pert, giving the hooks some clarity. Nominally it’s a break-up song, but there’s no poison in the sugar ‘ in fact Buddy can barely hide his glee that his lady’s walked. Cute and witty ‘ there are many worse ways to say goodbye.