The Diddley beat goes on

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

One of the fathers of rock and roll, guitarist Bo Diddley, passed away in his Florida home on Monday at the age of 79. The legendary musician created the distinctive "Bo Diddley beat," which has transcended musical genre. Jack Grace, the "Martini Cowboy," explains. Listen to Bo Diddley's music and view photos of his life in music (from The New York Times), then tell us about your favorite covers.

Comments [5]


I hope someone mentioned RESPECT by Otis Redding covered by the Queen - Aretha Franklin. Maybe not my favorite cover, but certainly the best. Most people don't know that it is a cover and when they hear the original, they say how nice, but why would someone do it. I the Stones covering Slim Harpo's Shake Your Hips.

As to Bo Diddley - talking about him getting covered is like talking about the person who invented perspective getting covered by painting in Western Civilization.

Jun. 03 2008 10:47 PM
Dave P

In my peer group, cover songs begin and end with Hendrix cover of All Along the Watchtower, but some of these listed definitely deserve mention.

Keep up the Takeaway, it's too early to tell if they're on to something or not. It took a while to understand All Things Considered in its early days, and this may feel comfortable some day too.

Jun. 03 2008 09:38 AM

I'm surprised that nobody mentioned the Cuban clave as an influence on the "Bo Diddley" beat, and on other music that used it. The clave had been around forever in Cuban dance music, long before Bo Diddley. The clave consists of the main pattern, that sounds like "1-2-3 (uh!) 4-5!" and the cross-rhythms improvised around it.

Jun. 03 2008 09:03 AM

I love the Talking Heads' cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River."

Jun. 03 2008 06:52 AM

My favorite cover songs vary a lot over time, but right now I'm obsessively listening to Stan Getz and Bill Evans play the old standard tune "Emily" (you know, the one that Sinatra did).

Jun. 03 2008 06:21 AM

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