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BREAKING ENTERTAINMENT 3:45pm 6-2-08 Music Pioneer & Legend Bo Diddly Dies at 79
Monday, Jun 02, 2008 1:52pm

ARCHER, FL  From CNN  (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING ENTERTAINMENT: 3:45pm 6-2-08  The music industry has lost another legend and pioneer. Surrounded by family and loved ones, Bo Diddly died at age 79, from heart failure. The music icon whose songs, such as "Who Do You Love?" and "Bo Diddley," melded rhythm and blues and rock 'n' roll through a distinctive thumping beat.

A rock 'n' roll pioneer Bo Diddley influenced generations of guitarists.  According to CNN, the world-renowned guitarist's signature beat -- usually played on an equally distinctive rectangular-bodied guitar -- laid the foundation for rock 'n' roll, and became so identified with him that it became known as the "Bo Diddley" beat.

It was unlike anything else heard in pop music."This distinctive, African-based ... rhythm pattern (which goes bomp-bomp-bomp bomp-bomp) was picked up by other artists and has been a distinctive and recurring element in rock 'n' roll through the decades," according to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame (into which Diddly was inducted in 1987.)  

Guitarist George Thorogood, a Diddley disciple, put it more bluntly. "[Chuck Berry's] 'Maybellene' is a country song sped up," Thorogood told Rolling Stone in 2005. " 'Johnny B. Goode' is blues sped up. But you listen to 'Bo Diddley,' and you say, 'What in the Jesus is that?' "

Among the artists who made use of the Bo Diddley beat were Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away," later covered by the Rolling Stones), Johnny Otis ("Willie and the Hand Jive"), the Yardbirds (covering Diddley's "I'm a Man" and adding their own guitar stylings to the closing bars, which were later incorporated into the Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction"), the Strangeloves ("I Want Candy"), Bruce Springsteen ("She's the One"), U2 ("Desire") and George Michael ("Faith"). Hundreds of artists have covered Diddley songs. Blog: The genius of Bo Diddley

"Bo Diddley was one of rock 'n' roll's true pioneers," said Neil Portnow, president and CEO of The Recording Academy, the music industry organization best known for presenting the Grammy Awards. "He inspired legions of musicians with his trademark rhythm and signature custom-built guitar, and his song 'Bo Diddley' earned a rightful place in the Grammy Hall Of Fame."

"He leaves an indelible mark on American music and culture, and our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and fans. The 'Bo Diddley beat' surely will continue on,"  Portnow said.

Diddley's debut single was his self-titled 1955 classic "Bo Diddly", with "I'm a Man" as its B-side. The songs were released on Chicago's Chess-Checker Records label, also the home of Chuck Berry and Willie Dixon.

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