50s Rock And Roll
On The Acoustic

Welcome to my 50s rock and roll page featuring hits by Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers where you'll find a collection of demo samples, a few demo clips covering more than two dozen songs along with free chord sheets, rhythm tips and more.

If you want to purchase the full lesson tutorials, those are available for a small fee. See the right menu for even further discounts.

Buddy Holly Guitar Lessons
The Everly Brothers Guitar Lessons

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50s Rock And Roll
Chords, Lyrics, Demos, Tutorials

1. All I Have To Do Is Dream

All I Have To Do Is Dream Guitar Lesson

All I Have To Do Is Dream was recorded in two takes back in 1958 and featured Chet Atkins on guitar. This was the only song to be on all Billboard Charts at the same time.

The song was also a #1 in the UK as well as the US and Canada and can be found on their album "The Best Of The Everly Brothers" released in 1958.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo:  No
  • Rhythm: root dn up dn up root up dn up 
  • Picking: Yes in rhythm
  • Chords: C-Am-F-G-Em-Am7-G7-D7
Chords & Lyrics

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2. Bird Dog

Bird Dog Guitar Lesson

Bird Dog was another huge #1 hit for the brothers peaking at #1 on the US Country chart as well as #1 in Australia and Canada. It also crossed over at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song can be found on The Best Of The Everly Brothers" 1958 album.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: dn up dn up dn up with rock & roll riff & repeat - some quick shuffles 
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: A, D, G, E, D7
Chords & Lyrics

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3. Blue Days Black Nights

Blue Days Black Nights Guitar Lesson

Blue Days Black Nights was on Buddy's last album "That'll Be The Day" released in 1958. 

But this song and Morden Don Juam were released as singles in 1956. Low sales convinced Decca to halt releasing additional songs from the album.



  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: root dn root up dn up 
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: A-E7-D-D7-Ab
Chords & Lyrics

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4. Brown Eyed Handsome Man

brown eyed handsome man guitar lesson

Brown Eyed Handsome Man was written by Chuck Berry who released his version in 1956, scoring a #5 hit with the song.

Singer Buddy Holly recorded the song in 1957, but it wasn't released until after his death, where is reached #3 on the charts in the UK. It was from the 1963 "Reminiscing" album.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: steady dn up dn up 
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: E-A-B7-D
Chords & Lyrics

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5. Bye Bye Love

bye bye love guitar lesson

Bye Bye Love can be found on the debut album of The Everly Brothers from 1958.

This song was a #1 hit on the country charts in 1958 and crossed over onto the pop charts at #2 and the R&B charts at #5

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo:  No
  • Rhythm: root dn up dn up dn up -  a rock & roll riff in verses 
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: A, G, D, E, C
Chords & Lyrics

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6. Cathy's Clown

cathy's clown guitar lesson

Cathy's Clown hails from the 1960 album "A Date With The Everly Brothers" which contained this track and was written by Don Everly. This song turned out to be their best seller throughout their entire career.

Don and Phil shared a microphone and with sessions musicians standing by, they nailed it in one take. 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo:  No
  • Rhythm: root dn root up dn up with a chop
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: G, D, Em, C
Chords & Lyrics

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7. Claudette

claudette guitar lesson

Claudette featured above, was the B-side to All I Have To Do Is Dream and was written by Roy Orbison who because of Claudette's success, broke ranks with Sun Records and joined the Everly Brothers label.

The song reached #15 on the US Country charts and hit #1 in the UK. It's also found on "The Best Of The Everly Brothers" 1958 album.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: quick shuffles to start then dn up dn up with rock & roll riffs
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: E, A, B7
Chords & Lyrics

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8. Devoted To You

devoted to you guitar lesson

Devoted To You was the B-Side to Bird Dog and did very well on it's own reaching #1 i Canada, #7 on the US country chart and #2 on the US R&B chart.

The song is also found on the 1958 album "The Best Of The Everly Brothers".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No 
  • Rhythm: root dn up dn up root up dn up 
  • Picking: Yes in rhythm
  • Chords: G, C, D, G6, Am, Bm, Em, A7
Chords & Lyrics

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9. Everyday

everyday guitar lesson

Everyday was cowritten by Buddy Holly with Norman Petty and recorded the song with The Crickets in May 1957. The song was released on the B-side of Peggy Sue. 

The song can be found on the album "Buddy Holly". There is no mention of The Crickets as being on this recording but it was recorded with them.

Download the free Everyday Buddy Holly chords sheet below.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm: dn up pause up dn up pause up & repeat 
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G-Em-Am7-D7-C-F-A#-Eb
Chords & Lyrics

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10. Fools Paradise

fools paradise guitar lesson

Fools Paradise was a popular title for a song as several exists with this title. Buddy Holly recorded this song which was written by Norman Petty and two other writers in 1955. 

Buddy recorded his version a few years later in 1958.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: 3rd fret
  • Rhythm: steady dn dn dn dn with some rock n roll riffst 
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D-G-A-E-D7b
Chords & Lyrics

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11. I Fought The Law

i fought the law guitar lesson

I Fought The Law was never actually recorded by Buddy Holly as far as I know ... it's listed here because  his band "The Crickets" recorded the song.

It was written by band member Sonny Curtis who actually took the place of Buddy Holly when he died in that horrific place crash in Feb of 1959. 

Bobby Fuller Four Band released a version in 1965 and it's the most well known version. The Clash covered the song also in 1979. 

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  steady shuffle with some chops 
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: D-G-A-D7
Chords & Lyrics

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12. It Doesn't Matter Anymore

it doesn't matter anymore guitar lesson

It Doesn't Matter Anymore was written by Canadian Paul Anka specifically for Buddy and he recorded the song in 1958. The song was released in Jan of 1959, the month before Buddy's death.

The song reached #13 and became his last top 20 hit song from the compilation album "The Buddy Holly Story".

Paul Anka donated his royalties from the song to Buddy Holly's wife saying it was the least he could. Paul Anka lives in Ottawa Canada and is still alive at age 80 as of Jan 2022.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  root dn up dn up dn up & repeat with some riffs
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: G-D-D7-Em-A7
Chords & Lyrics

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13. Like Strangers

like strangers guitar lesson

Like Strangers gave The Everly Brothers a top 30 with this release back in 1960. Later in 1980, Gail Davies scored a #21 on the Country Charts. 

Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant were the husband and wife team behind many hits by The Everly Brothers.

The song is off of their 1960 album "The Fabulous Style Of The Everly Brothers".

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret 
  • Rhythm: arpeggio notes throughout 
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: E, A, Db7, Gbm, B7, Am
Chords & Lyrics

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14. Listen To Me

listen to me guitar lesson

Listen To Me can be found on the album "Buddy Holly" released in Feb 1958.

It was the B-side to the single "I'm Gonna Love You Too" which failed to chart.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  root dn up dn dn root dn up dn dn shuffle 
  • Picking: Yes within the rhythm
  • Chords: A-D-E
Chords & Lyrics

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15. Maybe Baby

maybe baby guitar lesson

Maybe Baby was recorded by Buddy Holly and The Crickets for an album called "The Chirping Crickets". 

The single peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 charts, #8 on the R&B charts and reached #4 in the UK in 1958.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  root dn up dn up root up dn up (or) root dn up root up dn up
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: A-Gbm-D-E-A7
Chords & Lyrics

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16. Oh Boy

oh boy guitar lesson

Oh Boy was from a recording with The Crickets in 1958 and reached # 10 on the Hot 100, #15 on the R&B and #3 in the UK in 1958.

Buddy changed the lyrics in the line from "you're gonna see what you've been missing" to "you don't know what you've been missing" according songwriter Sonny West. He never did find out why.


  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm:  steady dn up stop up down up stop up 
  • Picking: Yes a little
  • Chords: G-C-D-C7
Chords & Lyrics

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17. Peggy Sue

peggy sue guitar lesson

Peggy Sue hails from the 1957 album "Buddy Holly". The song reached #3 in the US and #6 in the UK. Below is my Buddy Holly Peggy Sue cover.

The original title was Cindy Lou (Buddy's niece) but later changed to Peggy Sue,  which was the Crickets drummer Jerry Allison. She first heard the song at a live performance at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium and later said she was so embarrassed she could have died. 

Download the free Buddy Holly Perry Sue lyrics below.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  steady up & dn shuffle 
  • Picking: No
  • Chords:  A-D-E
Chords & Lyrics

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18. Rave On

rave on guitar lesson

Rave On also hails from the "Buddy Holly" album of 1958 and the song was released as a single, peaking at #37 in the US and #5 in the UK. 

Sonny West, the writer of the song, also recorded a version a few months before Buddy recorded it. On the 2004 best 500 songs of all time from Rolling Stone, the song ranked #154.

Download the free Rave on Buddy Holly lyrics below.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  steady up & dn shuffle 
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords:  G-C-D
Chords & Lyrics

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19. Reminiscing

reminiscing guitar lesson

Reminiscing was the name of an album that was released 4 years after the death of Buddy Holly and made it's appearance in 1963.

King Curtis wrote this number and it appeared on this album which was made up of some un-released material Buddy Holly had recorded before his death in Feb 1959.

Three singles were released and Reminiscing reached #17 in the UK in 1962.

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes 
  • Capo: 2nd fret for original key
  • Rhythm: can play all downstrokes or use a down up down up and repeat
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: A-D-G
Chords & Lyrics

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20. Rockin Around With Ollie Vee

rockin around with ollie vee guitar lesson

Rockin Around With Ollie Vee was released in 1957 as a single from the "That'll Be The Day" album, but the song failed to chart in the US or UK.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No
  • Rhythm:  steady dn up dn up 
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords:  A-A7-D-Cdim-E
Chords & Lyrics

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21. True Love Ways

true love ways guitar lesson

True Love Ways was recorded in 1958 but he died before the single was released in Mar of 1960. The single did reach #25 in the UK but did not chart in the US.

The song can be found on the "The Buddy Holly Story Vol 2".

Peter & Gordon had a big hit with their version in 1965 and Mickey Gilley released a version in 1980.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 3rd fret
  • Rhythm:  dn dn up dn - dn dn up dn dn & repeat 
  • Picking: Yes in the rhythm
  • Chords:  G-Bm-C-D-Em-A7-Am7-Adim-Em-Ab-F-G-A+
Chords & Lyrics

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22. Wake Up Little Suzie

wake up little suzie guitar lesson

Wake Up Little Suzie is another great song from the songwriting team of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, The Everly Brothers released this one in 1957.

The church in Boston thought the song was too suggestive and had it banned for a time according to Don Everly. It is probably one of the most well known songs by the brothers. 

This track can be found on the debut album of The Everly Brothers from 1958. This song was a #1 hit on three charts including country charts, pop charts the R&B chart where it reached #1 on all three.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No 
  • Rhythm: root dn up dn up dn up
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, F, G, A, E
Chords & Lyrics

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23. Walk Right Back

walk right back guitar lesson

Walk Right Back was released as a single back in 1961 reached #1 in the UK, #3 in Canada, #7 in the US and #8 in Australia.

The track can be found on their album "The Golden Hits Of The Everly Brothers". 

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: No 
  • Rhythm: root dn up dn up dn up with riff
  • Picking: No
  • Chords: D, A, G, D/Gb, Em, Dmaj7
Chords & Lyrics

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24. Why Worry

why worry guitar lesson

Why Worry was written by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits for The Everly Brothers, but they never released the song as a single.

It can be found on their 1985 album "Born Yesterday" and Knopfler has it on the Dire Straits album "Bothers In Arms". 

  • Drop D Tuning: Yes
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm: arpeggio throughout
  • Picking: Yes
  • Chords: D, A7, G, E7, Em
Chords & Lyrics

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25. Words Of Love

words of love guitar lesson

Words Of Love was written by Buddy Holly and released it in 1957, but the song did not chart. It's found on the album "Buddy Holly". Buddy also sang harmony with himself on this song.

The Diamonds and The Beatles both covered this song.

  • Drop D Tuning: No
  • Capo: 2nd fret
  • Rhythm:  root dn up root up dn up
  • Picking: Yes in the rhythm
  • Chords:  G-C-D
Chords & Lyrics

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More Buddy Holly ...

1. That'll Be The Day
Chords & Lyrics

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Buddy Holly Wiki Page

The Everly Brothers Hall Of Fame

Thanks for stopping by my 50s rock and roll page and I hope you found the information here helpful.


A Short Brief About Buddy Holly

This is not a full Buddy Holly biography. Go to wikipedia for more info.

Buddy was from Lubbock Texas and grew up learning to play the guitar. He had several songs in the top 10 during his short career.

Waylon Jennings and Buddy Holly performed together as Waylon played bass in the band. In fact Waylon was on stage with Buddy for his last performance.

What happened to Buddy Holly? He died in a tragic plane crash on the way to another event while on tour. Who died with Buddy Holly? Ritchie Valens (17) and Jiles Perry Richardson Jr (29), a.k.a The Big Bopper, who wrote the first hit for George Jones called "White Lightning" as well as pilot Roger Peterson. Where did Buddy Holly crash?  In a field in Clear Lake Iowa shortly after takeoff. Buddy Holly was 22.

Don McLean wrote a famous song about the tragedy ... "Bye Bye Miss American Pie". 


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