By Joseph Oguiza
Bo knows guitarsKeeping the Beat Going
BOMP-a-bomp-bomp ... bomp-BOMP. If you've ever heard rock-n-roll - whether it was Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, U2 or anybody in between - you've heard that beat. It was the creation of Elias Otha Bates, better known to the world as Bo Diddley.
Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, he reportedly was inspired to start playing guitar by hearing the great bluesman John Lee Hooker and began his career as a street musician. After several years of doing nightclub gigs he released his first record, "Bo Diddley," in 1955, and it rose to the top spot on the R&B charts.
That song introduced the "Bo Diddley beat," described by Wikipedia as "a rumba-like beat similar to 'hambone,' a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes." The music scholars say Bo Diddley didn't really invent the beat - that it goes back to West Africa. But what the hell do they know.
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