HomeBluesBo Diddley: Road Runner Carl October 10, 2012 Blues Here is a bio on Bo Diddley: Born Otha Ellas Bates (later known as Ellas McDaniel), 28 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 “I’m 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, Diddley’s 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 Diddley’s A Gunslinger”, “Diddley Daddy” and “Bo’s A Lumberjack”. His jive-talking routine with “Say Man” (a US Top 20 hit in 1959) continued on “Pretty Thing” and “Hey Good Lookin'”, which reached the lower regions of the UK charts in 1963. Songs and other sites: Diddley’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page. Hey Bo Diddley Bo Diddley: On the Ed Sullivan Show.