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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Do You Know Ellas Bates?

Do you know Ellas Bates? Ellas was born on December 30, 1928 in McComb, Mississippi.

Do you know Ellis McDaniel? Ellas took on this name when he was adopted by his mother's cousin in Chicago.

Do you know that Ellis learned to play the violin at 5 at the Ebehezer Baptist Church in Chicago? At 10 he learned how to play guitar and played for money on street corners, and by his early teens he was playing Chicago's Maxwell Street.

Do you know that Ellis got his now famous nickname from his class mates at grammer school?

Do you know that Ellas, Ellis and his nickname's music help to coin the phrase "rock n roll"?

Do you know Bo Diddley...or do you know diddley squat?

Bo Diddley introduced record buyers in 1955 to his signature rhythm sound on Chess-Checkers Records. Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed is credited with inventing the term "rock n roll" after listening to Bo's music. Freed said, "Here is a man with an original sound, who is going to rock and roll you right out of your seat!"

This was 2 years before I was born, yet he was one of my earliest guitar heros and with hits like "Bo Diddley", "I'm a Man", "Say Man", "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover", "Shave and a Haircut", "Who Do You Love" and "The Mule".

Bo died Monday from heart failure after a stroke and a heart attack. He was 79. Still rockin' all the way to the end, Bo said in 1999, "Seventy ain't nothing but a damn number. I'm writing and creating new stuff and putting together new different things. Trying to stay out there and roll with the punches. I ain't quit yet!"

I know Bo, and now you do too. Here's to one of my earliest hero's, fellow rocker, guitar player, creative artist, entertainer, legend maker and heart patient.

I Ain't Quit Yet!
Sir Hook the Diddley of Warrick

1 comment:

  1. I walk 47 miles of barbed wire,
    I use a cobra-snake for a necktie,
    I got a brand new house on the roadside,
    Made from rattlesnake hide,
    I got a brand new chimney made on top,
    Made out of a human skull,
    Now come on take a walk with me, arlene,
    And tell me, who do you love?

    -- They don't make them like that anymore!

    RIP Bo.

    Sir Bowie of Greenbriar