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Bo Diddley 1928-2008

Posted in A Day in the Life, Celebrities | 1 Comment »

Bo Diddley

Today, rock music lost an icon. Bo Diddley died today at the age of 79. Known for his trademark guitar and sound (similar to the Puerto Rican clave rythym), he was a pioneer in rock, blues and rockabilly.

According to the Facing South blog: “Early on Diddley developed a reputation as a rebel. Appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1955, he was asked to play Tennessee Ernie Ford’s hit “Sixteen Tons” but instead played “Bo Diddley” — and was consequently banned from the show. He also bucked tradition by including women in his band, among them Peggy “Lady Bo” Jones and Norma-Jean Wofford, better known as The Duchess.

Like too many African-American artists of his generation, he got only a small portion of the money he made during his career, earning a flat fee for his recordings with no royalty payments. He also claims he was not compensated for many live performances.

“I am owed,” he once said. “A dude with a pencil is worse than a cat with a machine gun.”

Diddley earned numerous accolades, having been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame, and the North Florida Music Association’s Hall of Fame. He was also the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the BMI Icon
Award, and the Pioneer in Entertainment Award from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.”

According to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame site, of which Bo Diddley is an inductee: “Diddley was also an inventor, devising his own tremolo effect and playing a unique, rectangular “cigar box” guitar that he designed in 1958. His ever-fertile mind also inspired him to set up one of the first home studios. The prolific singer/guitarist released a string of albums whose titles – including Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel – bolstered his self-invented legend. Between 1958 and 1963, Checker released eleven full-length albums by Bo Diddley. Two Great Guitars, released in 1964, was jointly credited to Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.”

Speacial thanks to Rob Fields at Bold As Love for the heads up.

And here’s a classic video of Bo Diddley’s “Bo Diddley”. Notice the female back-up singer/guitarist! Listen to the audience scream!!!

Brought to you by the Music Marketing Machine Course: July 16 – August 6, 2008 in NYC

One Response to “Bo Diddley 1928-2008”

  1. George Man Says:

    RIP Bo! His guitar is legendary!

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