Single reissue with picture sleeve, Checker Records
|Single by Bo Diddley|
|"I'm a Man"|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm, 10-inch 78 rpm|
|Recorded||March 2, 1955|
|Studio||Universal Recording Studios, Chicago, Illinois|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues, rock and roll|
|Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley|
|Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Bo Diddley|
|Bo Diddley singles chronology|
30 second sample of "Bo Diddley"
"Bo Diddley" is a rhythm and blues and rock and roll song first recorded and sung by Bo Diddley at the Universal Recording Studio in Chicago and released on the Chess Records subsidiary Checker Records in 1955. Its lyrics are based on the traditional lullaby titled "Hush Little Baby", and it prominently features the Bo Diddley beat that the singer made famous. It became an immediate hit single that stayed on the R&B charts for a total of 18 weeks, 2 of those weeks at #1, and seven more weeks than its flipside (the B-side, "I'm a Man"). It was the first recording to introduce African rhythms into rock and roll directly by using the patted juba beat. It was Diddley's first recording and his first hit single. The song is featured on many of Diddley's compilation albums including His Best.
In 2012 the A and B-side pair were added to the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry list of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" American sound recordings. In 2017, the single was inducted in to the Blues Hall of Fame.
The song is rhythmically similar to hambone, a technique of dancing and slapping various parts of the body to create a rhythm and song. It is lyrically similar to the traditional lullaby "Hush Little Baby". When Diddley started playing with it, his electric guitar amplified the patted juba with his backup musicians on maracas and drums unifying the rhythm. This combination of rock and roll, African rhythms and sanctified guitar chord shouts was a true innovation and is often called a Bo Diddley Beat.
He first titled his version "Uncle John" but before he recorded it, he changed the title to his own nickname Bo Diddly, with an "e" added to the song's title and his professional name by one of the Chess brothers.
Three weeks after Billboard magazine announced the release of "Bo Diddley", on April 30, 1955, the paper announced two remakes of "Bo Diddley" by the Joe Reisman Orchestra and by Jean Dinning of The Dinning Sisters.The Harmonicats released their own version, an instrumental, a few weeks later. "Bo Diddley" went on to become the 17th best selling R&B record of 1955, according to Billboard.
This first single was called a "double-sided monster" by All-Music Guide reviewer Richie Unterberger. "Bo Diddley" was infused with waves of tremolo guitar, set to a children's chant. "I'm a Man" was a bump-and-grind shuffle, with a powerful blues riff woven throughout. The outcome was a new kind of guitar-based, blues and R&B-drenched, rock and roll. The song was voted #62 on Rolling Stone magazine's list, "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song is also a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll" list. In 1998 "Bo Diddley" was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award. In 2017, the single was inducted in to the Blues Hall of Fame.
|Single by Buddy Holly|
|from the album Reminiscing|
|"It's Not My Fault"|
|Format||7-inch 45 rpm|
|Recorded||1956 and 1962 (overdubs)|
|Studio||Norman Petty Recording Studios, Clovis, New Mexico|
|Genre||Rock and roll, rockabilly|
|Ellas McDaniel a.k.a. Bo Diddley|
|Buddy Holly singles chronology|
Buddy Holly recorded the song in 1956, but it was not released until the LP Reminiscing in 1963 and later became a single release.
Buddy Holly on vocals/guitar and Jerry Allison on drums recorded "Bo Diddley" at one of their earliest sessions with producer/engineer Norman Petty at his recording studio in Clovis, New Mexico, sometime in 1956. In 1962 Norman Petty overdubbed the demo of "Bo Diddley", as well as others, with the Fireballs.
The single release was one of Holly's highest-charting singles on the UK Singles Chart, reaching #4 on the week of July 10, 1963, spending a total of 12 weeks on the chart. In the U.S., the song reached #116 on Billboard magazine's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.