Monday, June 2, 2008

Bo Diddley, Pioneer and Legend 1928-2008

Rock n' Roll pioneer Bo Diddley died today at 79 from heart failure at his home in Archer FL.

Born Ellas Bates in McComb, MS on December 28, 1928, he moved to Chicago with his family at the age of seven. It was there that he aspired to be a musician by first trying the violin, but converted to guitar after seeing a performance by John Lee Hooker.

Diddley had said that he had been given the nickname Bo Diddley by transposing the word diddly bo, a single stringed instrument brought over to America by African slaves.

The 'Bo Diddley Beat' (syphoned from the timing of "shave and a haircut, two-bits) became the trade mark and the influencial foundation for the next 50 years by many of rock's famous stars and music.

The beat was very distinctive in Buddy Holly's 'Not Fade Away', later by The Rolling Stones, and was a heavy influence to notables George Thorogood, and Bruce Springsteen.

Along with 1950's contemporaries, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Diddley, with his induction in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, was highly honored as a founding father of that genre, as well as an instrumental bridge in forging Anglo and African-American music with the blend of blues and rock.

Bryan Thompson

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