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Bye-bye, Bo Diddley! 
A musically-enhanced tribute to a true legend of the blues 
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT  
His best years, and come and gone, but, when he died, he left us a legacy that you could sing like a song.  His best years, were about as good as it gets.  Im referring to the one and only Bo---Bo Diddley and his Diddley ditties.  

Bo Didley, born Ella Bates in McComb, Mississippi, in 1928, like Buck Owens, born in Sherman Texas in 1929, and like the Beatles, did it his way.  I tried to depict the raw spirit of raw, independently expressed rhythm and blues he epitomized, in this song:

Buck n the Beatles n Bo


Words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2008 Nu Bako Sound Recordings

When the world learned that he had died, at his home in Archer, Florida, the world, and particularly the very heart of the music community, skipped a beat.  The ending most likely spelled relief for the aging legend, given that he had been suffering from the effects of a stroke and, later, a heart attack for about a year prior to his death.   

Diddley was, to rhythm and blues, what Buck Owens was to country music.  He was truly an innovator.  His rough, rugged and raw rhumba-based rhythms, known as Shave and a haircut, two bits, made him stand out among legions of copycats and conformists.  

He came out of nowhere, as an underdog in the underground world, but he went on to become one of the most influential rhythm and blues guitar-based artists of our time, inspiring giants like Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones.  

His sound was very primitive, straight from the jungle, and it brought out the tiger in all of us.  
Diddley played with words in a way none had done before, and, it was all very spontaneous, syncopated, speech.  As such, Bo Diddley paved the way for rap music and hip-hop.  

He dressed the part of the cool cat he was, with dark shades, a black hat, and a collection or homemade rectangular guitars, and trying to fit him into a specific category is like trying to fit a rectangular peg into a round hole.  

Maybe there would be no Slim Shady without Bo Diddley, whose name doubled as the name of his first chart-topping rhythm and blues chart hit, way back in 1955. 

Every song he put out here, from Im a Man to Road Runner, to Who do you Love, was an unmistakably Diddley ditty.  His influence can be heard quite clearly in some of the greatest songs by the likes of Buddy Holly, the Who, U2, The Rolling Stones and Credence Clearwater Revival.  

He got his big break in Chicago, after moving there with his family.   
He stood on the shoulders of artists like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker and, from there, he reached for the stars.  Like Buck Owens, his unique style of playing guitar helped to carve out a signature sound, though he was a stranger to twang, and a friend to Afro-Caribbean rhythm.   He took rhythm and blues to a whole new level, as Buck would do with country music, though Buck danced to the beat of his own drummer.  

Though Pat Boone was bitterly criticized for the way he was said to have copied the music of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and other black artists, Elvis got away with doing exactly what Pat Boone did.  
While paying his dues until the day he died in many respects, mostly financial, he was honored with an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.  He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammies.  

But his greatest accomplishment lies in what he became for hundreds, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of musicians worldwide.  He was, and will always be a true Rock n Role Model TM.  

R.I.P. Bo, and may your music live on in our hearts forever! 



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