Otha Ellas Bates (later known as Ellas McDaniel), 30 December 1928, McComb, Mississippi, USA. After beginning his career as a boxer, where he received the sobriquet Bo Diddley, the singer worked the blues clubs of Chicago with a repertoire influenced by Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters. In late 1954, he teamed up with Billy Boy Arnold and recorded demos of Im A Man and Bo Diddley. Re-recorded at Chess Studios with a backing ensemble comprising Otis Spann (piano), Lester Davenport (harmonica), Frank Kirkland (drums) and Jerome Green (maracas), the a-side, Bo Diddley, became an R&B hit in 1955. Before long, Diddleys distorted, amplified, custom-made guitar, with its rectangular shape and pumping rhythm style became a familiar, much-imitated trademark, as did his self-referential songs with such titles as Bo Diddleys A Gunslinger, Diddley Daddy and...
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