I have just heard the news that the great bluesman and rock n roll pioneer Bo Diddley, aka 'The Originator', has passed. He died at home in Archer, Florida of heart failure, aged 79. Using his signature rectangular guitar to pound out the "Bo Diddley beat", he was there at the very outset of rock n roll that crossed the racial divide, and was a source of inspiration to countless musicians during a musical career than spanned over half a century.
Born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, Mississippi, he took the surname McDaniel after being adopted by his mother's cousin. After learning the violin as a child, he decided to take up the guitar after hearing John Lee Hooker play. He started out performing on street corners in the early 1950s, recording his first demos in 1954.
Diddley was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1996 and was honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998, amongst other accolades.
Who Do You Love - Bo Diddley
You Can't Judge A Book By the Cover - Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
The Story of Bo Diddley - The Animals (lyrics)