Hello, Born Otha Ellas Bates McDaniels on December 30. 1928 in McComb, Mississippi. Bo Diddley took his name from a “bo diddley”, which is a one-stringed African guitar. He was a highly influential rock and roll singer/guitarist. He moved to Chicago in 1934. Bo began recording in 1955 with the Chess/Checker record label.
Bo Diddley’s first hit record made its Billboard R&B debut on May 7, 1955. The song BO DIDDLEY on Checker Records, became an immediate hit single. It remained on the R&B chart for 18 weeks and went right to the top of the chart at #1, where it remained for 2 weeks. BO DIDDLEY was the first recording to introduce African rhythms into rock and roll. Bo’s sound with African rhythms, maracas and drums was a true innovation and is called the Bo Diddley Beat. Bo’s first single was called a “double-sided monster”, that’s because the “B” is also a classic in rock music, I’M A MAN. That sound is a blues driven rocker, that was a new kind of sound in the mid 1950’s…there was blues, a heavy helping of R&B and rock and roll…a classic recording. I’M A MAN remained on the R&B chart for 11 weeks and along with BO DIDDLEY held the #1 spot on the chart. Strangley, neither side of the smash hit reached the Billboard Top 100, although both sides are considered rock and roll classics.
BO DIDDLEY has been awarded a Hall of Fame Grammy Award, the song is a member of the rock and roll hall of fame and is ranked at #62 on the Rolling Stone magazine Top 500 songs of all-time. I’M A MAN is ranked at #369 on the Rolling Stone magazine Top 500 list. Bo Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and received a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998. He would chart 11 hits on the Billboard R&B chart between 1955 and 1967 and 7 songs on the Billboard pop chart between 1959 and 1967. Both of these great songs have been covered by many top artists through the years, from Buddy Holly to The Yardbirds and on.
His classic recording of BO DIDDLEY along with its “B” side I’M A MAN, are a part of rocks golden years. These two hits are not only million-sellers but they are a part of the history of the era. Bo Diddley died in 2008 at the age of 79. He continued playing till the end…his music just plain, kicked you in the butt and got you on the dance floor. There will never be another like him…his legacy is his music…his place is in the “Golden Era Of Rock And Roll”.