Rubbish, piffle, tommyrot, drivel and utter bilge

Monday, January 4, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #90

Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

Born Ellas Otha Bates in 1928, Bo Diddley was a talented vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who did the whole music world a favour when he recorded "Bo Diddley" along with its B-side "I'm A Man" in late 1954. "Bo Diddley" was based lyrically on the children's rhyme "Hush Little Baby" and used a traditional African 'patted juba' beat, similar to another children's tune "Hambone". Driving guitar, accompanied by maracas and drums to unify the beat, it helped bridge the gap between blues and rock, influencing a flock of notables including Hendrix, Clapton, The Stones, Buddy Holly and a whole host of others. In fact, Diddley became known as "The Originator" for his key role in the transition from R'n'B to Rock'n'Roll and his introduction of more insistent, driving rhythms, new guitar techniques, and that innovative rectangular guitar of his. But it is the Bo Diddley beat that had the most far-reaching influence, and a look at just a few of the tracks that use the beat shows that:

U2 - Desire
Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away
George Michael - Faith
The Police - Deathwish
David Bowie - Panic In Detroit
The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
KT Tunstall - Black Horse and The Cherry Tree
The Who - Magic Bus
Bow Wow Wow - I Want Candy

and hundreds of others.

When Diddley died in 2008, his deathbed was surrounded by 35 family members singing gospel hymns. He apparently gave them a thumbs-up and said "I'm going to heaven". His funeral was a 4-hour 'homecoming' service, and Tom Petty and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others, sent flowers. A concert took place following the service, with performances including Eric Burdon of The Animals. In the days that followed, messages of sympathy were received from George W. Bush, Elvis Costello, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, B. B. King, and Bonnie Raitt, among others. Bo's name lives on still, even being used as the name of the current White House dog, who was named Bo as a tribute.

Please enjoy the original "Bo Diddley".

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