Hey Bo Diddley!


So far, Elvis, Ray Charles and Chuck Berry have been the only blues-type artists on Old Tunes Review, but Bo Diddley would be the Review’s first strictly blues artist. Although his self-titled debut was released in 1958, Diddley has been releasing singles since 1955. This Chicago-based bluesman is one of many to come from Chess Records and Chicago this time. Other artists from the era include Willie Dixon, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and even Chuck Berry, who played a heavy blues style in his rock n’ roll.

The first two tracks charted separately, even though the second track “I’m A Man,” was the B-side to the massive hit single, “Bo Diddley.” It became an immediate hit single that stayed on the R&B charts for a total of 18 weeks- two of those weeks at number one- and seven more weeks than its flipside. The single was released in 1955.

The entire album is an excellent blueprint of what was to come in music. Amazing songs such as the next released single, “Diddley Daddy,” which spent four weeks on the Billboard R&B chart in the summer of 1955, peaking at #11.

Two other songs from the album charted while the rest of the songs characterized the album into a bluesy bliss. “Pretty Thing,” is a single that charted both in the U.S. (number four on the R&B charts) and in the U. K. (#34), however, “Diddy Wah Diddy” did not chart as a single.

“Before You Accuse Me,” “Hey! Bo Diddley” and “Hush Your Mouth,” are great examples of Diddley’s blues style whilst solidifying his reputation as a good singer.

Discovering “Bo Diddley,” is as remarkable as finding Atlantis. This album set the bar high for future artists and gave people a reason to get out of the house and dance in the clubs. I recommend this album to anyone with blues in their soul and who wish to embark on a crazy journey into the heart of the late 1950s Chicago blues scene.