ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bo Diddley - The Originator

Updated on August 2, 2012

The Early Years

Using his musical talent, his famous Bo Diddley beat, and his songwriting skills. Bo Diddley will be remembered for his contribution as one of the fathers of Rock and Roll music.

Bo Diddley was born Ellas Otha Bates in McComb, Mississippi on December 30, 1928. He was raised by a cousin Gussie McDaniel. The family moved to Chicago in 1934 when he was very young; it was during this time his name was changed from Ellas Bates to Ellas McDaniel. From early on Ellas McDaniel showed an interest in music; while attend the local Baptist Church, he learned to play the trombone and violin; after learning to play the violin he joined the church orchestra. But McDaniel had something else in mind. Although he played in the church orchestra till he was eighteen, McDaniel became interested in the electric guitar after attending a church service at a local Pentecostal Church. Also, after seeing a performance by John Lee Hooker, young Ellas McDaniel was inspired even more to learn the guitar; thus McDaniel's interest in boxing and the violin begun to be secondary. While he was still in high school, Ellas formed his first band called the "Hipsters"; Also, in 1951 Ellas McDaniel managed to get a regular job playing at a local club on the south side of Chicago. In the latter part of 1954, he and a few friend recorded a demo of "I'm a Man" and "Bo Diddley". Later, at Chess Records the songs were re-recorded and in 1955 "Bo Diddley" was an Rhythm and Blues hit. It was at this time Ellas McDaniiel adopted the stage "Bo Diddley". One other important milestone reached by Bo Diddley in 1955 was his debut on national TV on the Ed Sullivan show. His singing/songwriting career was off to a good start; though out the 1950s and the 60s he continued to have a string of hits including "Pretty Thing" and "Say Man" ( both released in the 50's), In addition, "You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover" was released in in early 1960's; there were other albums released including "Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger" and "Have Guitar, Will Travel".

The Twang Machine

It was at this time in 1958 Bo Diddley's trademark instrument was made with his own hands.The rectangular-bodied "Twang Machine" was fashioned after Bo Diddley had an embarrassing moment during a concert. While jumping around on stage during a concert and holding a Gibson L5, he struck himself in the groan. After this happened he decided to make a guitar that was less restrictive. Although he had other guitars custom made by others he preferred to use the one he fashioned himself.

As the years go by

Later in 1963, and still somewhat unknown, he appeared as a supporting act at a concert with Little Richard, The Rolling Stones and the Everly Brothers; in 1964 "Two Great Guitars" was released it was a jam session between him and Chuck Berry. Around this time he was a regular at the Apollo Theatre and somtimes traveled with the Rock and Roll performers of the day In 1966 the album "The Originator" was released. In 1972 he played a concert with the Grateful Dead. From 1971 to 1978 he lived in New Mexico; during this time he continued to perform, but he also served as a deputy sheriff (on the citizen patrol). He left New Mexico and moved to Florida. He would spend the rest of his life in New Mexico or Florida. In the late 70's he appeared as the opening performance for group called "The Clash"; In 1991 he shared the stage with BB King, Les Paul and, Albert Collins and others during the Legends of Guitar concert. In 1994 he joined the Rolling Stones as a special guess on their Voodoo Lounge tour and in April 1996 " A Man Among Men" is released; his first album in many years. In the late 90's he had a couple of brief parts in two movies Trading places and Blues Brothers 2000.

Bo Diddley received various awards in recognition of his contribution as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. some awards he received were as follows:

In 2005, Bo Diddley celebrated 50 years in the music business with tours of Australia and Europe; in North America he performed in many major cities with Eric Clapton and Robbie Robertson. In 2006 Bo Diddley participated in a grassroots fundraiser concert to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi.

Health Problems

On May 12, 2007 prior to a concert in Council Bluffs, Iowa Bo Diddley said he didn't feel well. Never-the-less he performed to an enthusiastic audience anyways. The next day, as he was heading home, he seemed confused and disoriented; while he was still in the airport, his manager called 911 and Bo Diddley was taken to Creighton University Medical Center. He was there for several days in Intensive Care Unit while various test were done on him. When the test results came in, it was found he had a stroke. The stroke affected the side of the brain controlling speech. Later in August 2007 Bo Diddley had a heart attack while in Gainsville, Florida. While recovering from the heart attack and stroke he had suffered earlier in the year, Diddley went to his home town of McComb, Mississippi in November 2007, for an unveiling of a plaque honoring him as a founder of Rock and Roll. Although he was not suppose to perform, he did anyways this was the last public performance of Bo Diddley


Death

Bo Diddley passed away on June 2, 2008 at his Florida home; He died with family around him. In his final hours Gospel music was sung to him; the name of the song was "Walk around Heaven" and Bo Diddley's last words were 'I'm going to heaven" In the days after his death he was honored by George W. Bush, The U.S. House of Representatives, BB King, Tom Petty, Bonnie Ratt, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mick Jagger (the Rolling Stones) and many other musicians and friends. Although he is gone, he will always be remembered as one of the founders of Rock and Roll who influenced so many musical artist.

Additional Information




Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @katiem2 - Nice to hear from you and thanks for your comments :)

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 

      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      Bo Diddley, now that rang a bell, had to come check it out and will now be a fan of Bo Diddley thanks to your great review.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @Dolores Monet - Thank you for the kind words, and thanks for taking the time to comment on this article :)

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Coolmon, I love your music hubs, such great artists you present! I skimmed this hub first, knowing that you'd feature a video with Bo Diddley. That way, I could listen to his unique, wonderful music while I was reading.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @Micky Dee - Once again thank you for your feedback :)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

      Bo Diddley was a fantastic entertainer. I didn't know about his "mishap" on stage with the other guitar. Very detailed- thanks!

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @SwiftlyClean - Thanks for your kind words, and thanks for stopping by.

    • SwiftlyClean profile image

      SwiftlyClean 

      8 years ago from Texas

      great article on BO Diddley he had great music I remember my father always sang his music.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @Leighandrew - Thanks you for your feedback

    • Leighandrew profile image

      Leighandrew 

      8 years ago from USA

      Super interesting-What an influence !

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @prettydarkhorse - Thanks for your feedback Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 

      8 years ago from US

      indeed, thanks for featuring this MAN, father of Rock and Roll, one of them -- wasnt been born yet but his work I have heard already, thanks and good job Cool, Maita

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @dali48 - I understand what you mean he was before my time too. I still appreciate his musical contribution; Thank your for your comments

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @cojaqmarketing - Once again thanks for stopping by

    • cojaqmarketing profile image

      cojaqmarketing 

      8 years ago from Carmel, Indiana

      Mmmm...love me some blues too! Last year, New Years Eve 2008 going into 2009 I got to see BB King in concert and count down the New Year with him. Can't believe that he can still rock at his age...but I digress, this is about Diddley - a true classic. Great to be among so many blues, jazz, 'real music' fans here!

      Jeremy

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @Truth From Truth - Yes he was talented; Thanks for the feedback

    • Truth From Truth profile image

      Truth From Truth 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      Great article, he was an extremely talented legend. Thanks.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @Bhawna Sharma - Thank you for your comments

    • Bhawna Sharma profile image

      Bhawna Sharma 

      8 years ago from Mumbai, India

      You have got good knowledge of music.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @amulets - Glad you enjoyed looking and listening and thanks for your feedback

    • amulets profile image

      amulets 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for sharing. That's really cool songs.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @tobey100 - Hope you get as much enjoyment out of your Robert Johnson CD's as i have out of mine.

    • tobey100 profile image

      tobey100 

      8 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      I think I have the same CD set of Robert Johnson. Nice to find a kindred spirit.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      hummmm you sound like my kinda man.. I love Bob Dylan, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughn and Janis Joplin(have some of their CD's) I love Blues music too; I have a few CD's such as Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, BB King and a 4 CD Robert Johnson set I have yet to listen too completely. I recently got a Ella Fitgerald/Duke Ellington 2cd set; I haven't had time to listen to it yet but i plan to soon. Last I have been known to listen to a little Hank Williams Jr before; I like the song "Texas Women","A Country boy can survive" and "Theres a Tear in my beer". Nice to talk to you again

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I was more of a country (Hank Williams), folk (Dylan, Baez, Joni Mitchell),and jazz (Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Dinah Washington, Rosemary Clooney) fan than rock. But I did catch a wild Janis Joplin concert once. More recently I've become interested in blues.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @tobey100 - thanks for your feedback

    • tobey100 profile image

      tobey100 

      8 years ago from Whites Creek, Tennessee

      Now you're in my territory. Love all the old guys going back to Muddy Waters. Great hub.

    • Coolmon2009 profile imageAUTHOR

      Coolmon2009 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      @Ralph Deeds - I understand what you mean. I myself am not old enough to remember this music, but i feel a connection to it. It is singing from the heart. I appreciate it a lot. I enjoy Fats Domino too I have one of his greatest hits CD's I really like his smooth New Orleans style music Thanks for stopping by

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      8 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I'd heard of Bo Diddley but I don't remember actually hearing him. Your Hub has made me a fan. Very cool and professional job. Another interesting musician of whom I've belatedly become a fan is Fats Domino.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)