Tommy Roe – Beyond Buddy Holly

More than once I’ve written about performers who were either contemporaries of Buddy Holly or seemed to echo his style in the years following his tragic death in 1959, but there’s always room for one more story. Like the tale of singer/songwriter Tommy Roe, who even now continues to entertain fans after a long career that began almost fifty years ago.

Roe was a mainstay on the record charts in the 1960s and even though he isn’t necessarily remembered as a Buddy Holly clone, much of his music did seem evocative of the rock legend. It’s especially noticeable with Roe’s first number-one hit, “Sheila,” but later big sellers, like “Dizzy” (which also hit the top) and “Everybody,” showed other sides to the singer’s style.

Tommy Roe was still in high school in Atlanta when Holly died, and even after graduation he was a working man for a while, but by 1962 he had managed to land a recording contract. His first big record — “Sheila” — rocketed to the top of the charts and put his career into overdrive. For over a decade he was a regular on the record charts, with countless good-sellers than included a half-dozen Top Ten hits.

Like most stars of the era, Tommy Roe had his ups and downs in later years, but he’s always kept busy. He has found a lot of success as a songwriter for other performers, and has also continued to entertain his own fans in various venues through the years.

Tommy Roe – “Sheila”


2 thoughts on “Tommy Roe – Beyond Buddy Holly

  1. I absolutely LOVE the song “Sheila” by Tommy Roe. I was confused at first though, because when I first heard it on the radio, I was told that Buddy Holly sang the song. How could he have sang the song if Tommy Roe wrote and recorded it in 1962, three years after Buddy Holly died? I hope you can answer this because I am having no luck looking for the answer.


    Pamela Meckley


  2. I don’t think Buddy ever sang it, Pamela. You can find a video on youtube that claims to be that, but it’s really Tommy Roe.
    If anyone knows differently please let us know.


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