THE BEST OF (180g Vinyl LP)
Artist: BO DIDDLEY
Cat No: CATLP214
Bo Diddley has been nicknamed ‘The Originator’ at various times in musical history for the role he played in influencing many genres of rock an d blues. Clearly his influence on the genesis of Fifties rock‘n’roll was a key one. Even though he may not have had the chart success of his rival, Chess (near) labelmate Chuck Berry, the part he played in the ‘R&B + Rockabilly = Rock‘n’roll’ equation was pivotal. He has also been claimed by a new generation of rappers and hip-hop musicians as the originator of their style.
Bo Diddley never achieved the chart success other rock‘n’roll pioneers enjoyed, and the origin of this may lie in an incident which occurred on US TV’s Ed Sullivan Show in 1955. He was booked to appear on the show and was heard backstage casually singing the Tennessee Ernie Ford song ‘Sixteen Tons’. Sullivan then instructed him to sing the song on his show. There followed a misunderstanding where Diddley saw the words ‘Bo Diddley’ and ‘Sixteen Tons’ on a cue card, so began with ‘Bo Diddley’ instead. This infuriated Sullivan, who apparently told the musician he ‘wouldn’t last six months’ and that he was ‘the first coloured boy to double-cross him’. Bo Diddley was a great storyteller and doubtless embellished this story over the years, although he always maintained he never intended to ‘double-cross’ Sullivan.
Diddley continued to have single hits through the Fifties and early Sixties and achieved fame in the UK when, in 1963, he starred in a concert tour with the Everly Brothers and Little Richard. The Rolling Stones, still hardly known outside London at that time, appeared as a support act on the same tour. Bo Diddley was truly a one-off who played an often-underestimated role in the history of rock‘n’roll.