RIP Bo Diddley, the New York Times writes of the Rock n’ Roll legend:
It’s fitting that the guitarist and singer Bo Diddley was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was his rhythmic innovations that helped turn rhythm and blues into rock ’n’ roll.
When he began recording in the mid-1950s, his blend of children’s songs, blues, Mississippi Delta rhythms, chants and humor was one of a kind.
In 1955, he wrote and recorded a song called “Bo Diddley,” featuring his hypnotic signature “Bo Diddley beat.” It was one of rock ’n’ roll’s first hits.
Diddley was born Otha Ellas Bates on this day in 1928 in McComb, Miss., and died in 2008.
He may have taken his stage name from the diddley bow, a traditional African one-stringed guitar. Diddley, though, said he never played one.
The “Bo Diddley beat” has been used in hundreds of songs — including Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s the One” and U2’s “Desire” — and across generations. The Beatles and the Rolling Stones revered him.
At the Beatles’ first United States news conference in 1964, John Lennon was asked what he was most looking forward to seeing. “Bo Diddley,” he replied.
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