Bo Diddley (1955)

Uploaded 6 Jul 2010 — 24 favorites
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© Richard Knight
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More of Richard Knight’s Photos

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Photo Info
UploadedJuly 6, 2010
TakenJune 23, 2010
ModelCanon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure1/60 sec at f/2.8
FlashRed Eye, Auto-Mode
Focal Length5.8 mm
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Q: I can not see any of the photos everything is blank except for the front page. Anyone know why?

A: Do you know?

Photo license: © All rights reserved

[Tuesday, July 6, and JPG is as “dead as a doornail” today.]

I get “roped” into some of the most unlikely things. Two weeks ago I spoke at the Casey Jones Restaurant in Jackson, Tennessee to a national heritage organization. My subject was Adam Thorowgood, the founder of what are today Norfolk and Virginia Beach, Virginia, and my 10th great-grandfather (that’s 10 “greats”). He arrived in Jamestown in 1621, was present for the 1624/25 Muster, and died in 1640 at the age of 36. His home, located at Lynnhaven, in Virginia Beach, is one of the oldest brick homes in America. Write me if more info is desired! [LOL]

I was compensated. For services rendered, including my 250-mile roundtrip, I got a free plate of barbecue and beans. The barbecue – a Tennessee delicacy – was awesome: Outside, lean, chopped, and smoked – just the way I like it.

Afterward, I had my picture taken with some of the hosts. Presumably, we are all of the same species. (My age is beginning to show. Those “cadet days” ended a long time ago.)

Which brings me in a roundabout way to the purpose of this upload: IF YOU HAD TO NAME ONE SONG from the “Golden Age” of Rock ‘n’ Roll (1955-59) that has influenced more songwriters, more musicians, and more performing artists than any other song, what song would you name?

For the consensus “pick” among music historians, please click on the link below.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

42 responses

  • Thad Zajdowicz

    Thad Zajdowicz gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    Richard, Outstanding photo and story on a "slow" day. I am pretty sure I remember the house at Lynnhaven you describe from my Navy days in Tidewater. Great music and I KNOW you enjoyed the BBQ!

  • dp *

    dp * gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    great song for the read and I hope you enjoyed the ribs.

  • Susan Littlefield

    Susan Littlefield gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    Well the Bills were pretty popular WAY back then....Rock Around the Clock, Ballad of Davy Crockett, and Melody of Love from Haley, Hayes and Vaughn. Then in '56, Elvis had Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel. However, I will defer to your knowledge of the most influential song (I had to ask my mom for the list I gave). You have such a unique and interesting family history, and I always love reading about it through your narratives. Yes, JPG is definitely suffering from a case of the 'slows' (so lame, only we spotlight), but I'm sure it will pick up again. In the meantime, thanks T, for continuing to post, prop and fav!

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (6 Jul 2010):

    Fantastic! Love the image and the story. Can I go further back for music, and say anything by Beethoven.? Oh well, I'm a rebel. My golden oldie would have to be Beethoven's Fifth...or 9th...okay 5th! Beethoven's 5th! LOL:):):)

  • Kathleen Mercado

    Kathleen Mercado (Deleted) said (6 Jul 2010):

    PS...I reserve the right to change my

  • Andrea Petersen

    Andrea Petersen gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    Great photo and am glad you posted another picture on a slow day...You are well versed in your history lessons and I can understand why you would be picked as a key speaker for these events. The golden age of rock and roll that you brought up had so many prolific song writers...I could hardly believe it when I googled it many songs that I had never heard of even though I grew up when those songs were popular...It would be hard to pick just one of my favorites as there were several that I liked...Of course Elvis was at the top of the list for influencing many song writers and entertainers.

  • Maura Wolfson-Foster

    Maura Wolfson-Foster gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    You handsome devil, you ~ !!! ;)

  • Jan Hoffman

    Jan Hoffman said (6 Jul 2010):

    I would kill for those beans... enough said.

  • Jan Hoffman

    Jan Hoffman said (6 Jul 2010):

    PS: Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets would have been my first choice.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (6 Jul 2010):

    Thank you, Thad, dp*, Susan, Kathleen, Andrea, Maura, Mike, and Jan, for your kind and thoughtful comments. (I'd have given you a million to one I'd have never been called a "handsome devil" anywhere, let alone JPG. Thank you, Divine Miss Maura.)

    Bill Haley had the first big breakout hit (#1 on the 1955 Billboard charts), Elvis dominated the airwaves in 1956, 1957, and 1958, and Chuck Berry's catalogue is full of songs that are now American standards. These men achieved great popularity, although Chuck's popularity was delayed because he was black. He really didn't get any airtime until the early '60's, when Dick Clark took a chance on him.

    The music historians point to "Bo Diddley" (by Bo Diddley) as the most influential of the early tunes because the "beat" is found in dozens of hits that followed in the decades afterward. I will try to link some later, but maybe not under this shot.

    We have to remember that the great black artists could not get on "white" radio in the 1950s. That's why people like Pat Boone were covering all of their songs, such as Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame." (Have you ever heard Pat sing "Tutti Frutti"? Oh, yeah.) Of course, Elvis came along and he, more than any other, made black music safe for White America, because he sounded black ("That's All Right, Mama").

    White America was terrified of black music, including the vulgar "Bo Diddley." Today, many music historians point to the Eldorados' "Crazy Little Mama" (1955) as the "first" Rock 'n' Roll song (although others that can make the same claim). But, take a listen to this song, and you can understand why White America was so terrified. I mean, if you want to keep your pretty little mama "neat" you better keep her off his street. Not the kind of stuff to make Americans feel safe and secure.

    Kath, I thought about your comment, and I think you are on to something.

    Again, many thanks.

  • dana io

    dana io said (6 Jul 2010):

    I'm not knowledgeable in music, but in Bo Diddley's song I've indeed 'heard' many other tunes I've listened before...

    P.S. I'd say this works wonderfully on a lazy jpg day : ) No need to hurry, more time for wandering through songs, words, and pondering decades of changes. Thank you!

  • Shirley Valencia

    Shirley Valencia   gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    Great story ! Thank you for sharing. I bet if you think back you have received less for speaking. I like "Rubber band man"

  • Judy and Wayne Wanamaker

    Judy and Wayne Wanamaker gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    What a wonderful group capture of this event. As always, I love your musical links!

  • Christopher J Chalk

    Christopher J Chalk gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    Smiles all round, beautiful family portrait Dick! You do look great my Friend - :)

  • Suzanne McGeady

    Suzanne McGeady said (6 Jul 2010):

    Isn't it so wonderful to live in the 'zone.' where history is so real. And to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors when relating their story. Just amazing! I'm a Platters fan...The Great Pretender was always/and is/ a favourite. No. 351 on Rolling Stones playlist!

  • Debrah Leonard

    Debrah Leonard (Deleted) gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    Thanks for sharing yet another adventure in the life of Sir Richard.... let me see, some of my favorite "oldies" would have to include any and all of the Beatles..

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (6 Jul 2010):

    I have had so much fun reading your narrative on the history of Virginia and R&R. Wonderful! And the photo is simply grand! When I think of the 50's I think of singers like Kay Starr, Jo Stafford and Peggy Lee (and more) who really knew how to bring out the best in a song. They were amazing and I don't think they will ever be surpassed. I learned a lot about the true history of R&R here.. thanks for sharing!

  • Heather Mellon

    Heather Mellon gave props (7 Jul 2010):

    Oh.. and I should also mention: Eartha Kitt, Dinah Washington, Della Reese, Gogi Grant, Jane Morgan, Joni James, Patsy Cline, Julie London and the one and only Ella Fitzgerald to mention a few.. not exactly rock and roll.. but they rocked!! lol

  • Winky Vivas

    Winky Vivas (Deleted) said (7 Jul 2010):

    A wonderful photo and narrative, Dick. I think that most of the great songs and artist have already been mentioned here. One of my personal favorites from the 50's was Buddy Holly and his music. He too was a true pioneer of Rock & Roll...

  • Steven Schutz

    Steven Schutz gave props (7 Jul 2010):

    Great Photo, Great bit of History..King richard, You look billy Crystal would say...Why its Bo Diddley doing Bo Diddley...I have a personal story about Bo..met him in 1995 in Lincoln Nebraska..he turned out to be a rather hip cat...Thanks for the great photo and story..

  • Dhanny P

    Dhanny P (Deleted) gave props (7 Jul 2010):

    Great story as usual and lovely portrait shot my dear..

  • daniele castellucchio

    daniele castellucchio gave props (7 Jul 2010):


  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (7 Jul 2010):

    I always enjoy your history narratives. And the photo is pretty awesome! I can still see that cadet there! Thanks for sharing again cuz!!

  • Ann Reece

    Ann Reece   gave props (7 Jul 2010):

    WOW!!! How interesting your ancestors are. You are definitely American through and through and so knowledgeable on history. I listened to Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry and many of the others during those years. I loved Elvis and his songs, Jerry Lee Lewis and many more. Everyone of them created a niche somehow in the history of music and our country.

  • peggy maguire

    peggy maguire said (8 Jul 2010):

    Love this pic Dick,you look great.and enjoyed reading your narrative!!! Peggy

  • Meta Oset

    Meta Oset (Deleted) gave props (8 Jul 2010):

    I just watched and listened now Do you know where your daughter is , haha..I'd say Chuck Berry influenced a lot what came later. You age is starting to show ? Wow I must be blind, Mr.Richard. Great photo, great narration, love your style.

  • Bruce Miller

    Bruce Miller (Deleted) gave props (8 Jul 2010):

    I'd be happy with this choice. A old fav!!! Never been another song like it!

  • Jyri Vissak

    Jyri Vissak gave props (8 Jul 2010):

    Beautiful composition! Well done.

  • John Linton

    John Linton said (9 Jul 2010):

    I've always felt the song that influenced more guitarists and song writers was Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode". Every guitar player had to be able to play a Chuck lick and every song writer tried to write stories as good as Chuck did.

    Bo put the fun in rock lyrics.

  • Richard Knight

    Richard Knight said (9 Jul 2010):

    Dear Friends, thank you for your great comments. I tend to agree with the Chuck Berry proponents. I think Chuck's influence is universal. He certainly influenced the Beatles! Bo's "beat" reverberates through decades of music, but Chuck's influence was pervasive. Strangely, Elvis only had a few serious imitators: Ricky Nelson, Ral Donner, and only a few others.

  • Maurie A

    Maurie A gave props (14 Jul 2010):

    Dear Dick....I just LOVE your history lessons.......always wonderful to learn something new...and everytime I show up here, you NEVER disappoint!!!! What is it that Maura said....oh yeah......"Handsome Devil"!!!

  • Leslie Hunziker

    Leslie Hunziker   gave props (14 Jul 2010):

    Elvis! There'll never be another! And BAKED BEANS! Beans are my favorite food group. Thanks for the history, including the personal! Very endearing.

  • Donald Garrett

    Donald Garrett gave props (19 Jul 2010):

    Must have missed this one while I was gone. Wonderful!

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) gave props (20 Jul 2010):

    Wow, another fantastic narrative and thought provoking question regarding r&r from the 50s! My favorite songs come from the late 50s. I love 'em all!!!! Such sweet memories of sock hops, boys I couldn't live without (but did), romance! Ah yes, I was the incurable romantic, and guess I always will be. In 1958 I was in the 8th grade and hopelessly and forever in love with Johnny Polen, who carried a great resemblance to the Phil Everly. After some seeingly unnoticed outrageous flirting on my part, Johnny got up at our dance, walked straight over to me and asked me to dance. I literally thought I might pass out. We danced very slowly and innocently at age 14 to this song.....I'll never forget that dance or Johnny.

  • Patty Gross

    Patty Gross (Deleted) said (20 Jul 2010):

    I've been trying to add a link from YouTube, but it won't accept it!! I'll keep trying.

  • Debbie Smartt

    Debbie Smartt   said (4 Sep 2010):

    I love history! I have some pretty interesting family history myself. Thanks Richard!

  • Barbara Kurth

    Barbara Kurth said (11 Jun 2014):

    Lucky you ! You're tall !! At 5'1" I'd give anything for just a few more inches, even two inches would help !! LOL !

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