In October 1958, Holly had a recording session at Decca’s Pythian Temple studios with Dick Jacobs, Coral-Brunswick’s new head of A&R. Holly had arranged for orchestral strings to accompany him during the session and two of the songs he recorded, a Paul Anka-penned number, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore,” and a song inspired by his new wife, “True Love Ways” became hits. For many years, it was believed that these recordings were his last.
A COUPLE OF BLOCKS FROM THE DAKOTA
(JOHN LENNON) LIVED
In the center of their living room apartment, Holly had set up a secondhand Ampex tape recorder that he had bought from his manager, Norman Petty. With the upcoming establishment of his Prism Company, Holly would use the Ampex to record demo versions of his songs, cover songs and new songs that he had written or was working on. According to Maria Elena, Holly would jump out of bed, rush into the living room and grab his guitar to record one of the many ideas that he would pop into his head.
However, from early December 1958 through late January 1959, Holly recorded six original songs on the tape recorder in his apartment: “Peggy Sue Got Married,” “That’s What They Say,” “What To Do,” “That Makes It Tough,” “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” and “Learning the Game.” He also toyed around with arrangements and tempos for cover songs he recorded – versions of the Coasters’ “Smokey Joe's Café,” Mickey and Sylvia’s “Love is Strange” and a few different renditions of Little Richard’s “Slippin' and a Slidin’.”