Bo Diddley – December 30, 1928

Bo Diddley was born Ellas Otha Bates on December 30, 1928. As a child, he learned how to play the Violin at church and eventually picked up the guitar after hearing John Lee Hooker’s 1949 hit “Boogie Chillen”. In his early teens, he began playing on Chicago’s famed Maxwell Street and by 1955 signed with Checker label, a subsidiary of Chess Records.  An early pioneer of electric guitar and rock and roll with his signature ‘Bo Diddley Beat’, an African based 4/4 rhythm, which played an important role in the transition from blues to rock and influenced iconic musicians such as Buddy Holly, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Bruce Springsteen. Diddley was also an inventor, he designed numerous styles of guitars including a fur-covered six-string and his square homemade cigar box guitar and created his own tremolo effect with the instruments unique booming and shimmering tones. The edgy guitarist, singer, and songwriter was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1999.



More notable birthday this week

Cab Calloway: December 25, 1907

Joe Louis Walker: December 25, 1949

Tracy Nelson: December 27, 1944

Bob Stronger: December 27, 1930

Roebuck “Pops” Staples: December 28, 1914

Johnny Otis: December 28, 1921

Matt “Guitar” Murphy: December 29, 1929


Devon Ebersold for Keeping the Blues Alive

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