|Birth name||Ellas Otha Bates|
|Also known as||Ellas McDaniel|
|Born||December 30, 1928|
McComb, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||June 2, 2008 (aged 79)|
Archer, Florida, U.S.
|"Bo Diddley Talks About His Early Days, Including His Twelve Years of Classical Music Training". Interview, June 23, 2005. National Association of Music Merchants Oral History Library. NAMM.org|
Ellas McDaniel (born Ellas Otha Bates; December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), known as Bo Diddley, was an American singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll. He influenced many artists, including Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Clash.
His use of African rhythms and a signature beat, a simple five-accent hambone rhythm, is a cornerstone of hip hop, rock, and pop music. In recognition of his achievements, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2017. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Diddley is also recognized for his technical innovations, including his distinctive rectangular guitar, with its unique booming, resonant, shimmering tones.
Elvis Presley, a young, still raw hayseed, was making his first trip to the Big Apple to see his new record company, and the Apollo was where he wanted to be. Night after night in New York he sat in the Apollo transfixed by the pounding rhythms, the dancing and prancing, the sexual spectacle of rhythm-and-blues masters like Bo Diddley. ... In 1955, Elvis's stage presence was still rudimentary. But watching Bo Diddley charge up the Apollo crowd undoubtedly had a profound effect on him. When he returned to New York a few months later for his first national television appearance, on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's "Stage Show," he again spent hours at the Apollo after rehearsals. On the Dorsey show Elvis shocked the entire country with his outrageous hip-shaking performance, and the furor that followed made him an American sensation.
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