Who was/is Bo Diddley ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Bo Diddley

He may not have invented the shave-and-a-haircut rhythm synonymous with his name. But Bo Diddley and his beat were a primary factor in the development of rock 'n' roll. Bo’s seminal recordings for Chicago’s Checker Records came rooted in blues and slathered in savage tremolo-enriched guitar, reverberating with a tribal thunder harking back to African tradition.

 

"I had no influences when I first started," claimed the late Diddley. "I didn’t have nobody to copy after, because I couldn’t play blues, and I could not play like Muddy Waters. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t. I was cut out to be what I am."

 

He was born Ellas Bates on December 30, 1928 in McComb, Mississippi. "Chicago is like home to me," he said. "I don’t know too much about Mississippi." Young Ellas was reared by his mother’s first cousin Gussie McDaniel, accounting for his commonly cited surname. In 1934, they headed for Chicago’s South Side. When he was 12, his sister bought him a guitar for Christmas, and his future was assured.

 

Ellas formed his first band, the Hipsters, in 1946. "I used to play on the street corners," he said. "We had a washtub and a guitar, and I was the dude with the guitar. I had a fellow named Roosevelt Jackson that played the washtub."  They soon added guitarist Jody Williams. "We all kind of grew up together," said Bo. "I was a little bit older than all the rest of ‘em." Harpist Billy Boy Arnold joined the group in 1951. "I met Bo Diddley when I was 15 years old," says Arnold. "We were playing together on the street corners." Maracas shaker Jerome Green came in along the way. In early 1955, the guitarist worked up two songs to serve as a demo. "Bo had a home recorder, and we made a little dub," says Arnold. "We wound up at Chess, and Chess was where it happened." 

"I just walked in there one day, man, and just asked ‘em if they was makin’ records," said Bo. "They told me, ‘Yeah, what did I want?’ I said I wanted to make a record. So they made one on me." Phil Chess was so impressed that he asked Bo back the next day to audition for brother Leonard. "He had this particular style of his own," said the late Willie Dixon. "A new style was a great thing. We was often wondering whether it would go over or not. But he had that thing ‘I’m A Man.’"

 "About three or four days later," says Arnold, "we were in Universal Studios recording the smash hit ‘Bo Diddley’ and ‘I’m A Man.’" That was on March 2, 1955. Bo, Billy Boy, and Jerome were joined by drummer Clifton James and bassist Dixon. Bo had reworked his ribald Uncle John into Bo Diddley, which would prove an R&B chart-topper. The swaggering blues flip I’m A Man was a hit in its own right.

 

"Muddy was the basic foundation for that song," Bo admitted. "It was actually saying something back, you dig?"

"We thought the record was going to come out as Ellas McDaniel & the Hipsters, ‘cause that was our name," says Arnold. "When the record came out two weeks later, I was surprised. It was ‘Bo Diddley’ by Bo Diddley." It’s a safe bet that Bo’s dangerous Africanized beat would have never passed muster with a major label, at least in the pure, raw form it appears in here; it took visionaries like the Chess brothers to recognize his genius. Muddy took immediate notice, cooking up Manish Boy and enjoying his own Chess hit. "Bo Diddley, he was tracking me down with my beat when he made ‘I’m A Man.’ That’s from ‘Hoochie Coochie Man.’ Then I got on it with ‘Manish Boy’ and just drove him out of my way," said Muddy. With Eric Clapton on guitar, The Yardbirds cut a driving ‘64 version.

Though Billy Boy claims Diddley’s stage moniker stemmed from a comic they saw at the Indiana Theater, Bo explained its murky origins this way: "Ellas McDaniel is not commercial. But somebody named Bo Diddley—everybody says, ‘What? Who in the heck would be named that?’ But the kids named me that when I was going to grammar school here. Don’t ask me what it means, ‘cause I don’t know!" 

 Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!
Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

 

 

Copyright © Bear Family Records®. Copying, also of extracts, or any other form of reproduction, including the adaptation into electronic data bases and copying onto any data mediums, in English or in any other language is permissible only and exclusively with the written consent of Bear Family Records® GmbH.

More information about Bo Diddley on Wikipedia.org

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Bo Diddley Is A... Lover - 180 Gram Vinyl - Mono Edition
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley Is A... Lover - 180 Gram Vinyl -... Art-Nr.: SLP5486

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(2015/Sundazed) 12 tracks. Delivering a devastating punch to rock’s early ‘60s doldrums, Bo Diddley Is a Lover bursts at the seams with Bo’s uncompromising, rockin’ beat. Yep. Industry and the government may have cleaned up fellow ’50s...
$32.00
Bo Diddley's Beach Party (1963) 180g Mono
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley's Beach Party (1963) 180g Mono Art-Nr.: SLP5444

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(2014/Sundazed) 10 tracks. Live, Down 'n' Really Dirty It's the beach party of your dreams. Not one of those with the squeaky-clean suburban kids doing the frug at Malibu like in the movies, oh no. This is Myrtle Beach, filled with...
$32.00
16 All-Time Greatest Hits (LP, Mono, White Vinyl, Ltd.)
Bo Diddley: 16 All-Time Greatest Hits (LP, Mono, White... Art-Nr.: SLP5564

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(Sundazed) 16 tracks - White Vinyl - Limited Record Store Day Edition - Originally unleashed back in 1964, 16 All-Time Greatest Hits delivers two fat album sides stuffed with Bo Diddley’s electrifyingly unique rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and...
$29.63
Bo Diddley In The Spotlight (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley In The Spotlight (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.) Art-Nr.: LP771928

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(Wax Time) 14 tracks
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Bo Diddley (LP)
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley (LP) Art-Nr.: SLP5443

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(Sundazed) 12 tracks, 1957 Essential' Essential. It's tempting to say that Bo Diddley recorded 11 full-length albums, each one better than the last; but that would be denying the pure, unsurpassed genius of his first, Bo Diddley. Music...
$32.00
Have Guitar Will Travel - 180 Gram Vinyl - Mono Edition
Bo Diddley: Have Guitar Will Travel - 180 Gram Vinyl - Mono... Art-Nr.: SLP5485

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(2015/Sundazed) 11 tracks. Good Lord. Bo Diddley came out with all guns blazing on his floor-rattling romp from 1960, Have Guitar Will Travel. The LP would become a blueprint for SO much great rock ’n’ roll that followed: the Stones...
$32.00
I'm a Man - Live '84
Bo Diddley: I'm a Man - Live '84 Art-Nr.: LPCLE8837

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(2012/Cleopatra) 8 tracks, (LTD Edition Picture Disc)
$35.56
Hint!
Don't Let It Go - Dearest Darling (7inch, 45rpm, BC)
Bo Diddley: Don't Let It Go - Dearest Darling (7inch,... Art-Nr.: 45BD213368

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(Custom Pressing) 2 Tracks - big centerhole - limited pressing pink vinyl - a beauty!
$18.94
Bo Diddley Is A Lover (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley Is A Lover (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.) Art-Nr.: LP772067

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(Wax Time) 14 tracks
$21.31 $23.69
Rides Again - In The Spotlight (CD)
Bo Diddley: Rides Again - In The Spotlight (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBGO424

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(BGO Records) 24 tracks - Two original albums from 1963 and 1964 on one CD!
$11.81 $20.07
Diddley Daddy (CD)
Bo Diddley: Diddley Daddy (CD) Art-Nr.: CDRED2

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(1988/Charly Records) 24 tracks
$17.75
Rock'n'Roll All-Star Jam 1985 (CD)
Bo Diddley: Rock'n'Roll All-Star Jam 1985 (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSJP295

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(Angel Air) 10 tracks, live, featuring Chuck Berry, Ron Wood, John Mayall, Mick Fleetwood and more
$15.38 $17.75
Down Home Train (LP, 10inch)
Bo Diddley: Down Home Train (LP, 10inch) Art-Nr.: LPMULTI1003

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(Multigroove) 12 tracks - 12 Diddley Rockers in great quality! This 10inch never has been released originally!
$21.31
The Sound Of...(LP, Picture Disc)
Bo Diddley: The Sound Of...(LP, Picture Disc) Art-Nr.: LPAR30082

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​(All Around Trading) 12 tracks
$29.63
Where It All Began (LP)
Bo Diddley: Where It All Began (LP) Art-Nr.: LPCH50016

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(Chess) 9 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1972 'Chess' LP album
$26.06
Down Home Special - Mumblin' Guitar (7inch, 45rpm)
Bo Diddley: Down Home Special - Mumblin' Guitar (7inch, 45rpm) Art-Nr.: 45REP04051

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Big Bad Bo's brilliant Bopper
$11.81
The 20th Anniversary Of Rock'n'Roll (CD)
Bo Diddley: The 20th Anniversary Of Rock'n'Roll (CD) Art-Nr.: CDMIG50012

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(2014/MIG) 9 tracks (52:54) digipac. Songs Nr.1-6 originally released 1976 on RCA Records, featuring Alvin Lee, Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Keith Moon, Leslie West, Roger McGuinn a.o. - Bonus tracks (7-9) recorded live at Schauburg, Bremen,...
$17.75
Bo Diddley (Maxi, 12inch, 45rpm, EP)
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley (Maxi, 12inch, 45rpm, EP) Art-Nr.: LPHOTO12004

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(Hot) 3-Track Maxi from 1984 - Australian pressing
$11.81
I'm Bad - Selected Singles 1955-1957 (LP)
Bo Diddley: I'm Bad - Selected Singles 1955-1957 (LP) Art-Nr.: LP19820

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(Saga) 16 tracks, limited edition in vinyl colour (blue)
$34.38
Bo Diddley's Beach Party (1963) (CD)
Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley's Beach Party (1963) (CD) Art-Nr.: CD1521402

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(2011/HIP-O) 10 tracks (33:16) recorded live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina July 5&6, 1963.
$14.19
Have Guitar Will Tour (2-CD)
Bo Diddley: Have Guitar Will Tour (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CD250254

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(2009/MUSIC AVENUE) CD-1: Bo Diddley & Mainsqueeze, recorded live during the 1983 tour of Europe (8 tracks 42:34) CD-2: Greatest Hits & Influential Songs (25 Chess tracks 69:02) with 12 page booklet.
$15.38 $23.63
Live In Eighty-Five (25.10.1985 California)
Bo Diddley: Live In Eighty-Five (25.10.1985 California) Art-Nr.: CD250276

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(2010/BLUES BOULEVARD) 10 tracks - digipac
$11.81 $18.94
Have Guitar, Will Travel - In The Spotlight (CD)
Bo Diddley: Have Guitar, Will Travel - In The Spotlight (CD) Art-Nr.: CD263405

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(2011/Hoodoo) 28 tracks
$14.19 $18.94
Turn Up The House Lights (1989 Rennes)
Bo Diddley: Turn Up The House Lights (1989 Rennes) Art-Nr.: CD3135522

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(2008/LAST CALL) 10 tracks recorded live in France 1989 & interview plus 2 Woodstock recordings 1975 - digipac / rocks!
$15.38
Essential (CD)
Bo Diddley: Essential (CD) Art-Nr.: CD544348

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(2000/SPECTRUM) 20 Chess masters
$11.81 $17.75
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