Rhythm and Blues

Among the great artists of our doo wop era is Bo Diddley. He is known for his innovations with rhythm and blues, blues, and rock and roll compositions. Some of his songs are among the best golden oldies.

One of the popular baby boomer trivia questions is "Who wrote the song 'Bo Diddley'? Well, it's credited to Ellas McDaniel. That was the name Ella Otha Bates took when he was adopted and raised by his mother's cousin before he took the professional name of Bo Diddley. So, basically, Bo Diddley wrote "Bo Diddley." That name came from the diddley bow, a one-stringed instrument. (It's often a home-made instrument of a wire held onto a board between two nails over a glass bottle. The bottle is used as a bridge and amplifies the sound.) How that got to be a nickname for him is up for conjecture, as there are numerous stories. Bo Diddley often used his name in the titles of his albums and songs.

In 1955, "Bo Diddley" was a huge hit on the R&B chart, going to #1. (The B-Side of the record, "I'm a Man" went to #1 as well. ) The song "Bo Diddley" is  based on the American folk song "Hush, Little Baby." It was initially called "Uncle John" but the song was rejected by the owners of Chess Records because the original lyrics were considered too sexual. In response, Diddley re-wrote the lyrics and named the song after himself. The song introduced an African rhythm to rock and roll, which is the patted juba beat (similar to the hambone). With Bo Diddley on the electric guitar and backup musicians on maracas fed through an echo chamber and drums, a new sound emerged and became known as the "Bo Diddley beat." This his been used in many rock and roll songs, including "Not Fade Away" by Buddy Holly, "Willie and the Hand Jive" by Johnny Otis Show, "Cannonball" by Duane Eddy, "Hey Little Girl by Dee Dee Clark, "I Want Candy" by Strangeloves, "Bad Blood" by Neil Sedaka, and many more. The song Bo Diddley is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll" and Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time." Both "Bo Diddley" and "I'm a Man" are part of the Library of Congress's National Record Registry of important recordings. Bo Diddley himself received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998.

In 1955, Bo Diddley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan wanted him to perform "Sixteen Tons," but Bo Diddley sang "Bo Diddley" instead. Sullivan never asked him back.

Here are the lyrics to "Bo Diddley" by Bo Diddley:

"Bo diddley bought his baby a diamond ring,
If that diamond ring don't shine,
He gonna take it to a private eye,
If that private eye can't see
He'd better not take the ring from me

Bo diddley caught a nanny goat,
To make his pretty baby a Sunday coat,
Bo diddley caught a bear cat,
To make his pretty baby a Sunday hat

Mojo come to my house, yeah black cat bone,
Take my baby away from home,
Ugly ole mojo, where ya bin,
Up your house, and gone again

Bo diddley, bo diddley have you heard?
My pretty baby said she wasn't for it"

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed "Bo Diddley" by Bo Diddley.

The Rec Room has a featured song on the record player, 150+ songs in the juke box, and there are several Classic TV selections, as follows:

  1.  Make Room for Daddy, Season 2, Episode 1 titled “Family Troubles’ first aired September 28, 1954. As always, Danny Williams a successful nightclub singer, tries to balance his home and work wife. The show stars Danny Thomas, Jean Hagen, Sherry Jackson, Rusty Hamer, Louise Beavers, and Jesse White.The show was sponsored by Pall Mall cigarettes and Dodge. Commercials included. Running time: 29:30.
  2.  Clip from The Jack Paar Show from September 31, 1960. The show stars Jack Paar as host, of course. The guests are Charley Weaver, Hermione Gingold, and Shelley Berman. Running time 19:46.
  3. Mickey Mouse appears in Walt Disney’s animated short “Haunted House.” This was made in 1929. Cartoons and short films from earlier decades were often shown on TV in the 1950s, particularly in programming for children. Running time: 6:47.
  4.  Vintage (circa 1952) commercial for Wonder Breads. “Help Build Strong Bodies 8 Ways.” Running time: 1:00.

The Daily Doo Wop is a time machine to the first era of rock and roll. This starts around 1952 with the Eisenhower administration and goes until those longhaired Brits The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964, and the music began to change. During this time of the 1950s and early 1960s, doo wop music, with its beautiful vocal harmonies, lyrics about love, and a host of nonsense syllables thrown in, was a signature sound. It was an exciting period in popular music as so many strands of music were woven together. There was doo wop, rhythm and blues, barbershop music, pop, country, rock and roll, rockabilly, and plenty in-between. Radio stations were not hung up about musical genres. They played all kinds of music. The mantra was, “If it’s a hit, it plays.” The Daily Doo Wop goes beyond playing doo wop music, because that reflects the era.

The Daily Doo Wop blog has more than 250 posts with information about the great golden oldies music from this time, classic TV shows from what was called “the golden age of television,” pop culture (from TV tray tables to lava lamps), history (remember the race to space?), recipes (gotta love those casseroles and cakes), and more.

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll. After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 100+ selections there. The Rec Room also has a TV set. There are several selections, which are updated twice a week. You’ll find vintage TV series, game shows, cartoons and shorts, children’s programming, and commercials. They’re not called classic TV shows for nothing!

Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday, and the juke box is full of song requests of 1950s music and sixties music. Requests come mostly from those who see us on Facebook. There’s lots of fun on The Daily Doo Wop Facebook page every day.

There is also a Daily Doo Wop Youtube channel, to which you can subscribe. The Daily Doo Wop music channel has music videos from favorite doo wop groups, rock and roll hits, and more golden oldies music.

Music is one of the best ways to remember the past. It’s not always the lyrics to the song or the antics on a sitcom that are important. It’s that it makes you smile and you remember who you were with. It might be a grandmother who is no longer here or a brother, sister, friend. Maybe you heard a song at a dance or were in a car when you had your first kiss.