Monday, June 2, 2008

RIP Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley, a McComb Mississippi native and a founding father of rocknroll, died today.

From Modern Guitar Magazine:

On June 2, 2008, the music world lost the man behind the signature voice and choppy guitar riffs immediately identifiable as Bo Diddley. Born Otha Ellas Bates McDaniel in McComb, Mississippi, on December 30, 1928, at the age of seven his family moved to Chicago where he would be turned on to the guitar by John Lee Hooker and don the stage name Bo Diddley. The cause of death has been noted as heart failure.

During the Fifties and Sixties, Diddley was the epitomy of cool with his hip dark glasses, black hat, his homemade square guitar and rhumba-like guitar rhythms on songs like his 1955 record “Bo Diddley” with the now classic flip side, “I’m a Man." Both tracks were chordally constrained, but fueled by the deliberate and hypnotic chunka-chunka rhythms that became his signature sound and inspired countless musicians around the world, including Jimi Hendrix; Pete Townshend, Paul Butterfield, Jimmy Page, the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds.

Listen to Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away” and the Bo Diddley-style riff drives it. All guitarists, whether they were figuring out chords in garage bands or launching their own claims to fame found his haunting guitar work gripping, so much so that Rolling Stone magazine would name him as one of the top 50 “Immortals” of rock ‘n’ roll.

As a young musician, he found himself center stage on Chess-Checkers Records with such blues masters as Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann, Elmore James and Muddy Waters.

Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 with Howard Kramer, Assistant Curator, celebrating the artist’s accomplishments and influence by noting that Bo’s Chess recordings, “…stand among the best singular recordings of the 20th century.”

Governor Haley Barbour release a statement saying, "Bo Diddley was born a Mississippian and grew up in a world where natural talent earned him fame and respect. He was a rock-and-roll icon, a true pioneer whose style generated a lot of copies that were not nearly as good as the original. Marsha and I mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to his family."

(Governor Haley Barbour, First Lady Marsha Barbour, and Bo Diddley)

On November 2, 2007 Bo Diddley was honored with a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker, in McComb Mississippi.

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