Bo Diddley to właściwie jeden z ojców muzyki rozrywkowej. Trudno sobie wyobrazić jej ewolucję bez riffów gitarowych, które obmyślił sobie Bo. Nikt, kto uważa się za gitarzystę nie może powiedzieć, że nie zna jego charakterystycznej techniki gry.
Ellas Otha Bates McDaniel, znany jako Bo Diddley (ur. 30 grudnia 1928 w McComb) – afroamerykański muzyk, śpiewak, skrzypek i gitarzysta związany z takimi gatunkami jak elektryczny blues, rock and roll i rhythm and blues. Bo Diddley ma na swoim koncie zaledwie kilka przebojów, jednakże jego wkład w rozwój rock-and-rolla jest nie do przecenienia. Był tym, który zdefiniował rolę sekcji rytmicznej. Od niego wywodzi się większość schematów rytmicznych używanych w rocku do dziś. Także i jego technika gitarowa wyprzedziła swoją epokę. Używał produkowanych na zamówienie gitar, o prostokątnym pudle rezonansowym. Dźwięk gitary wzmacniany, przez mocno przesterowane wzmacniacze, przypominał brzmienia o dziesięć lat późniejszego Jimi Hendrixa. W 1987 Bo Diddley został wprowadzony do Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Bo Diddley (born December 30, 1928) "The Originator", is an influential American rock and roll singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is often cited as a key figure in the transition of blues into rock and roll, by introducing more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard edged guitar sound. He was born Otha Ellas Bates in McComb, Mississippi and later took the name Ellas McDaniel, after his adoptive mother, Gussie McDaniel. He adopted the stage name Bo Diddley, which is probably a southern black slang phrase meaning "nothing at all", as in "he ain't bo diddley". Another source says it was his nickname as a Golden Gloves boxer. The nickname is also linked to the diddley bow, a one stringed instrument used in the south by mainly black musicians in the fields.
Bates was given a guitar by his sister as a youth, but also took violin lessons. He was inspired to become a musician by seeing John Lee Hooker. He recorded for Chicago's Chess Records subsidiary label Checker. Diddley is best known for the "Bo Diddley beat", a rhumba-based beat (see clave) also influenced by what is known as "hambone", a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes. The beat has been used by many other artists, notably Johnny Otis on "Willie and the Hand Jive", which is more about hambone than it is a direct copy of Bo Diddley, Bruce Springsteen's "She's the One," U2's "Desire", Guns N' Roses's "Mr. Brownstone" and Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" as well as more obscure numbers such as "Callin' All Cows" by the Blues Rockers.
Bo Diddley used a variety of rhythms, however, from straight back beat to pop ballad style, frequently with maracas by Jerome Green. He was also an influential guitar player, with many special effects and other innovations in tone and attack. He also plays the violin, which is featured on his mournful instrumental "The Clock Strikes Twelve".
Rhythm is so important in Bo Diddley's music that harmony is often reduced to a bare simplicity. His songs (for example "Hey Bo Diddley" and "Who Do You Love?") often have no chord changes; that is, the musicians play the same chord throughout the piece, so that excitement is created by the rhythm, rather than by harmonic tension and release. His own songs have been frequently covered. The Rolling Stones covered "Mona" early in their career. The Animals recorded "The Story of Bo Diddley", The Who and The Yardbirds both covered "I'm a Man" and both the Woolies and George Thorogood had hits with "Who Do You Love", which was also covered by Quicksilver Messenger Service and was a concert favorite of The Doors. Bo Diddley's "Road Runner" was also frequently covered, including by The Who in concert and on an Aerosmith album.
Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" (originally "Manish Boy") was an adaptation of Diddley's "I'm a Man" and also an answer song, the title being Muddy's take on his younger rival. "Say Man" was Bo Diddley's only Top 40 hit. The Jesus and Mary Chain also recorded a tribute song "Bo Diddley is Jesus". Ronnie Hawkins recorded and covered "Hey Bo Diddley", "Bo Diddley" and "Who Do You Love" during his many recording sessions, including those with his backing band of the time, The Hawks, of course, later known as The Band.
On November 20, 1955, Bo Diddley was the first African-American to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, only to infuriate him ("I did two songs and he got mad." Diddley later recalls, "Ed Sullivan said that I was one of the first colored boys to ever double-cross him. Said that I wouldn't last six months."). Diddley was asked to sing Tennessee Ernie Ford's hit "Sixteen Tons". But when he appeared on stage, he sang his #1 hit Bo Diddley. He was banned from further appearances. The Doors and comedian Jackie Mason would later join Diddley on the list of performers banned from the Ed Sullivan Show.
Although Bo Diddley was a breakthrough crossover artist with white audiences, appearing on the Alan Freed concerts, for instance, he rarely tailored his compositions to teenaged concerns. The most notable exception is probably his album Surfin' With Bo Diddley, which featured "Surfer's Love Call", and while Bo may never have hung ten in his baggies to catch the big wave, he was definitely an influence on surf guitar players [...]
His trademark instrument is the rectangular-bodied Gretsch (although he has had other similar-shaped guitars made for him by other manufacturers) guitar that he developed and wielded in thousands of concerts over the years—from sweaty Chicago clubs to rock and roll oldies tours and even as an opening act for The Clash and a guest for the Rolling Stones. In March of 1972, he played in New York City with The Grateful Dead.
In recent years, Bo Diddley has received numerous accolades in recognition of his role as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. In 1986, he was inducted into the Washington Area Music Association's Hall of Fame. The following year saw his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. The following years saw his 1955 recording of his song "Bo Diddley" inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of lasting qualitative or historical significance and he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammy Awards Ceremony.
The start of the new millennium saw Bo Diddley inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and into the North Florida Music Association's Hall of Fame. In 2002, he received a Pioneer in Entertainment Award from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters and a Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) Icon Award in recognition of his many contributions to contemporary music [...]
In 2006, Bo Diddley participated as the headliner of a grass-roots organized fundraiser concert, to benefit the town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, which was devastated by the Hurricane Katrina. The 'Florida Keys for Katrina Relief' was originally set for 23 October, 2005, but Hurricane Wilma barreled through the Florida Keys on October 24 causing flooding and economic mayhem. In January 2006 the Florida Keys had recovered enough to host the fundraising concert to benefit the more hard hit community of Ocean Springs. When asked about the fundraiser Bo Diddley stated, "This is the United States of America. We believe in helping one another."