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Bo Diddley

1928

Ellas Bates McDaniel - a.k.a. Bo Diddley - is born in McComb, Mississippi.

1955

Bo Diddley recorded his monumental first single, “Bo Diddley” b/w “I’m a Man,” on Checkers Records. It tops the R&B chart for two weeks.

1955

Bo Diddley makes his network TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show,

1956

Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing” becomes a Top Forty hit. One of his best-known numbers, the song will inspire a British band to name itself the Pretty Things.

1959

Bo Diddley enters the pop Top Forty his one and only time with “Say Man,” a novelty number in which he and maracas player Jerome Green trade good-natured insults.

1964

Two Great Guitars, credited to Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry, is released. It includes two lengthy guitar jams between those rock and roll legends.

1966

Bo Diddley releases The Originator, an album whose title reflects his rightful conviction that he was a rock and roll pioneer.

1969

The Super Blues Band, a collaboration between Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Little Walter, is released on Checkers Records.

1979

Britain’s rising punk-rock stars The Clash kick off their first U.S. tour with rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley as their handpicked opening act.

1987

Bo Diddley is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the second annual induction dinner. The members of ZZ Top are his presenters.

1987

Bo Diddley and Ron Wood – a.k.a. the Gunslingers - finish a North American tour with a show in New York. A recording of that performance is released as Live at the Ritz.

1989

Bo Diddley appears in a popular Nike commercial in which he tells baseball great Bo Jackson, “Bo, you don’t know Diddley.”

1996

Bo Diddley receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the seventh annual Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards in Los Angeles.

1996

Bo Diddley’s A Man Among Men, his first major-label album in many years, is released on Code Blue/Atlantic. Renowned rockers, including Keith Richard and Ron Wood, contribute to it.

2008

Bo Diddley dies at age 79 of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida.