"Not Fade Away" is a song written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty and performed by Holly; the song's rhythm pattern is one of the classic examples of the Bo Diddley beat. Crickets drummer Jerry Allison pounded out the beat on a cardboard box. It was first recorded with Buddy Holly's band The Crickets in Clovis, New Mexico, in May 1957. Originally appearing on the B side to Holly's hit "Oh, Boy!," it was included on the album, The "Chirping" Crickets. The Crickets were no strangers to the Bo Diddley beat -- they had already covered Diddley's "Bo Diddley" -- but with "Not Fade Away" they made the rhythm their own, thanks to drummer Jerry Allison. Allison, Holly's best friend, also claims to have written part of the lyrics, though his name never appeared in the songwriting credits. This was also the last song Buddy ever played, the night before his fatal plane crash. However, Holly's recording never charted as a single.
The Supremes recorded a version in 1964, which went unreleased until 2008.
In 2007, the song was covered by Sheryl Crow as part of a Revlon haircolor commercial promoting their Colorist product, implying their color will "not fade away." This cover is available exclusively on iTunes with net proceeds to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
The Bees (UK band) covered this song in 2006.
The Rolling Stones version of "Not Fade Away" was one of their first classic hits. Recorded in late January of 1964 and released by Decca on February 21, 1964, with "Little by Little" as the B-side, it was their first Top 5 hit in Great Britain, reaching #3. In March 1964 it was also the Rolling Stones' first single release in the United States, on the London Records label, with "I Wanna Be Your Man" as the b-side (briefly preceded by "Stoned", which had immediately been withdrawn). The single reached the mid-40's on the US singles charts. "Not Fade Away" was not on the UK version of their debut album, The Rolling Stones, but was the opening track of the US version released a month later as England's Newest Hitmakers. It was a mainstay at Rolling Stones concerts in their early years, usually opening the shows. It was revived in that capacity for their 1994-95 Voodoo Lounge Tour.
This song (Rolling Stones Version) was also used in one of the many Samuel Adams (beer) commercials.
In the Boy Meets World episode titled "Rave On" a version of Not Fade Away is performed by former Monkees Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz, and Davy Jones.