Skip to comments.Bo Diddley hospitalized after stroke (78, condition improves after stroke, see post 35)
Posted on 05/16/2007 6:32:21 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
DES MOINES, Iowa - Bo Diddley is in intensive care after suffering a stroke in western Iowa, a publicist said Wednesday.
The 78-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was listed in guarded condition at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., said Susan Clary, a publicist for the musician's management team.
Diddley, who has a history of hypertension and diabetes, was hospitalized Sunday following a concert in Council Bluffs in which he acted disoriented, she said.
Tests indicated that the stroke affected the left side of his brain, impairing his speech and speech recognition, Clary said.
Clary said she has no other details on Diddley's condition or how long he would be in intensive care.
Diddley, with his black glasses and low-slung guitar, has been an icon in the music industry since he topped the R&B charts with "Bo Diddley" in 1955. His other hits include "Who Do You Love," "Before You Accuse Me," "Mona" and "I'm a Man."
Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and was given a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1998.
Legendary musician Bo Diddley performs at B.B. King's Blues Club in New York, in this file photo from Aug. 2, 2006. The famed guitarist has been placed in intensive care after suffering a stroke in western Iowa, publicists said Wednesday May 16, 2007. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen-File)
Ride on, Josephine.
OH MAN Bo Diddley DAMNNNN
He seemed very patriotic, humble, and full of "God Bless you"'s.
...in Philadelphia, it's worth fifty bucks...
I saw Mr. Diddley about 15 years ago in a small basement club. He was incredible! He is as important to Rock and Roll as Chuck Berry.
God Bless Bo and pray for his recovery.
Hey, Bo Diddley.
Get well soon.
I was jamming on his Bo Diddley song on you tube just last week.
What an original sound.
“History belongs to the victors and in the annals of rock & roll, three men have emerged as winners: Chuck Berry, Little Richard and BO DIDDLEY, a Holy Trinity who were there at the start.”
—Rolling Stone Magazine, August 2005
Music from your youth that remains a welcome accompaniment to life today. Don't go home without it.
His bio at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
Video clip of Bo Diddley doing Bo Diddley
BO DIDDLEY - The Originator
A Celebration of his unique contribution to Popular Music. "I Don't Sound Like Nobody..."
ELLAS BATES was born on Sunday December 30th 1928 on a small farm near the town of McComb, Mississippi, USA, in rural Pike County, close to the Louisiana border, the only child of Ethel Wilson and Eugene Bates. He had 3 half-brothers and a half-sister. He was adopted by his mother's cousin, Mrs. Gussie McDaniel, along with his cousins Willis, Lucille and Freddie, and adopted the name ELLAS McDANIEL. In the mid-1930's the family moved to the south side of Chicago. Soon after, he began to take violin lessons from Professor O.W. Frederick at the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church. He studied the violin for twelve years, composing 2 concertos for the instrument. For Christmas in 1940, his sister Lucille bought him his first guitar, a cheap Harmony acoustic. It was at this time that he acquired the nickname "BO DIDDLEY" ("...BO DIDDLEY is me; to tell ya the truth, I don't know what it (the name) really is...") from his fellow pupils at the Foster Vocational High School in Chicago.The newly-named BO DIDDLEY had long been fascinated by the rhythms that he heard coming from the sanctified churches. A frustrated drummer, he tried to translate the sounds that he heard into his own style. Gradually he began to duplicate what he did with his violin bow by rapidly flicking his plectrum across his guitar strings. "I play the guitar as if I'm playing the drums....I play drum licks on the guitar."
He continued to practice the guitar through his early teens. Shortly before leaving school he formed his first group, a trio named The Hipsters, later known as The Langley Avenue Jive Cats, after the Chicago street where he lived. Upon graduation he pursued a variety of low paid occupations including truck driving, building site work and boxing, playing locally with his group to supplement his income. In 1950 maracas player Jerome Green joined the group, followed a year later by harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold. After more than a decade of playing on street corners and in clubs around Chicago, BO DIDDLEY finally got the chance to cut a demo of 2 songs that he had written; "Uncle John" and "I'm A Man". After various rejections from local record labels, (most notably Vee-Jay), in the spring of 1955 he took the recordings to brothers Leonard and Phil Chess, owners of Chess Records, with studios located at 4750-2 South Cottage Grove Avenue in Chicago. They suggested that he changed the title and the lyrics of "Uncle John" to more reflect his own unique personality.The 2 songs were re-recorded at Bill Putnam's Universal Recording Studio at 111 East Ontario in Chicago on Wednesday March 2nd 1955, and released as a double A-side disc "Bo Diddley"/"I'm A Man" on the Chess Records subsidiary label Checker Records. It went straight to the top of the rhythm'n'blues charts, establishing BO DIDDLEY as one of the most exciting and original new talents in American music.
I saw Bo Diddley in the mid 60s in either Baltimore or Washington D.C. I’m not sure which, since I was drunk that decade but he put on an outstanding performance.
I wish I could have seen him live.
At least I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn live in Dallas,
The most amazing concert Ive ever seen.
Right after 9/11 he put out “My eagle is pissed” with the refrain “We are Americans, and we aren’t scared of nothing.”
It hit the spot.
Never to be imitated or forgotten. The first second you hear his music, you know that this is unique and special. I wish him the best possible — he brought joy to all of us who grew up in the 1950’s.
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