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!

 

 

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In The Spotlight (LP, 180g Vinyl) Bo Diddley: In The Spotlight (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPDOL964HG

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(DOL) 12 tracks - classic 1960 album - Gatefold Cover - 180g HQ Vinyl
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Go Bo Diddley (LP, 180g Vinyl) Bo Diddley: Go Bo Diddley (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LPDOL971HG

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(DOL) 20 tracks - 1959 classic album plus 8 bonus tracks - Gatefold Cover - 180g HQ Vinyl The early 1950s represent a time of social, and as a result, musical change. As the median age of America's black population, particularly in the...
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Bring It To Jerome - Run Diddle Daddy (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Bo Diddley: Bring It To Jerome - Run Diddle Daddy (7inch,... Art-Nr.: 45SR164

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(Sleazy Records) 2-Track Single - 45 rpm, picture cover, large inner hole
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Let Me In - Merengue (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Bo Diddley: Let Me In - Merengue (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Art-Nr.: 45SR166

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(Sleazy Records) 2-Track Single - 45 rpm, picture cover, large inner hole
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Bo Diddley - Little Girl (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley - Little Girl (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Art-Nr.: 45SR163

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(Sleazy Records) 2-Track Single - 45 rpm, picture cover, large inner hole
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I Love You So - Silly Willy (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Bo Diddley: I Love You So - Silly Willy (7inch, 45rpm, PS, BC) Art-Nr.: 45SR165

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(Sleazy Records) 2-Track Single - 45 rpm, picture cover, large inner hole
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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
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Bo Diddley & Company - Bo Diddley´s A Twister (CD) Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley & Company - Bo Diddley´s A Twister (CD) Art-Nr.: CD012836

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(Hoodoo Records) 30 tracks
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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!
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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)
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6 Classic Albums (4-CD) Bo Diddley: 6 Classic Albums (4-CD) Art-Nr.: CDRGMCD017

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(Real Gone) 85 tracks Bo Diddley - 6 Classic Albums Plus Bonus Singles, Sessions & Live Tracks Digitally Remastered And Enhanced For Superior Quality
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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
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Hey Bo Diddley (LP) Bo Diddley: Hey Bo Diddley (LP) Art-Nr.: LP2273022

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(Jazz Life) 10 tracks - 'Live' recordings - only a few copies available
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Bo Diddley (CD) Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley (CD) Art-Nr.: CD600114

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(VOUGE) 24 tracks, including Bo Diddley, I'm A Man, Diddley Daddy, Before You Accuse Me and more
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Road Runner (LP, 180g Vinyl) Bo Diddley: Road Runner (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LP6785468

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(Vinyl Lovers) 16 tracks Bo Diddley's syncopated 'hambone beat -bump, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp- has become a cornerstone of rock & roll. He surprised the music world in the mid-1950s when he unleashed a new guitar sound dominated by heavy...
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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...
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Pretty Thing - Bring It To Jerome (7inch, 45rpm) Bo Diddley: Pretty Thing - Bring It To Jerome (7inch, 45rpm) Art-Nr.: 45REP04040

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Reproduction of Checker 827 - A real winner! Bo Diddley's third single release after 'Diddley Daddy' was written by bassist-songwriter Willie Dixon.
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Best Of Bo Diddley (LP, 180g) Bo Diddley: Best Of Bo Diddley (LP, 180g) Art-Nr.: LPVP80044

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(2014/Vinyl Passion) 18 tracks, recorded between 1955 and 1962 - 180g vinyl, DMM mastering
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Diddley Daddy (CD) Bo Diddley: Diddley Daddy (CD) Art-Nr.: CDRED2

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(1988/Charly Records) 24 tracks
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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
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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
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The Black Gladiator (LP) Bo Diddley: The Black Gladiator (LP) Art-Nr.: LPMSM37188

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(MCA) 10 tracks - Re-issue of the original 1970 'Chess' LP Daily Planet It's been about three years since Bo Diddley loped into a studio. pulled out his stringed axe. and proceeded to wail. It probably took three years to muster up the...
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Bo Diddley - Go Bo Diddley (CD) Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley - Go Bo Diddley (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCHD5904

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(1986/Chess) 24 tracks (63:54) the legendary 1958 and 1959 albums. Original sealed US longbox packaging. (Bear Family Records)
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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,...
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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
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