Heart Failure Claims Rock Pioneer Bo Diddley

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Bo Diddley was a rock pioneer and a trend setter. Hall of Famer Bo Diddley, who penned such songs as "I'm a Man" and "Who Do You Love?" died Monday of heart failure at his Florida home after months of health problems. He was 79.

Born in McComb, Miss., as Ellas Otha Bates. The family moved to Chicago when he was seven. He took violin lessons as a boy, but was inspired to become a guitarist after seeing John Lee Hooker.

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour released a statement on Diddley's passing:
"Bo Diddley was born a Mississippian and grew up in a world where natural talent earned him fame and respect. He was a rock-and-roll icon, a true pioneer whose style generated a lot of copies that were not nearly as good as the original. Marsha and I mourn his loss and extend our deepest sympathies to his family."

Diddley always said he was given the name 'Bo Diddley' by kids he grew up with in Chicago. He gained national attention on the power of his first hit single, "Bo Diddley," which cracked the charts in 1955, and featured his trademark staccato rhythm. He was also known for his familiar homemade square-bodied guitar, shades and black hat.

Bo Diddley had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, picked up a lifetime achievement award at the 1999 Grammy Awards, and played for presidents and royalty. None of the accolades left him impressed, since he said they didn't end up in his checkbook.

He joked, "If you ain't got no money, ain't nobody calls you honey."

Over the past year, Diddley had suffered a stroke while on tour in Iowa, followed by a heart attack in August 2007.


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  • by John Location: Meridian on Jun 2, 2008 at 07:12 PM
    William has it all wrong, it is not Boswell that is holding Meridian back, it is the good ole boys that are put in charge of creating jobs. If you hire a lawyer you want to hire one that has been to law school and passed the bar exam. If you need a doctor you want one that has been to medical school and passed the necessary required exams, etc. But, when it comes to job creation Meridian has no one in Economic Developement (jobs creation) with a degree in economic development. What we have is a couple of good ole boys with general business/marketing degrees trying to create jobs and they do not know what they are doing. They got the jobs by who they are and who they know. It seems to make sense to me that if you want a jobs creation person you should hire someone with a degree in jobs creation (economic development-wealth creation through jobs creation). It does not take a genius to see that Tupelo, Tuscaloosa, Hattiesburg, etc. are miles and miles above Meridian in jobs.
  • by William Location: Meridian on Jun 2, 2008 at 05:29 PM
    Boswell strikes again! It is people like Boswell that stand in the way of anything in the form of progress that keep Meridian behind many other areas in the state. This is why our young people leave this area to get decent jobs. My son moved to Hattiesburg to find a decent job. Now he is going to Tenn. for more than double the pay in the same type of job here in Miss.! It makes me wonder what type of people would keep re-electing Boswell? STUPID!
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