Have Guitar Will Travel (Bo Diddley album)

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Have Guitar Will Travel
Studio album by Bo Diddley
Released January 1960 (1960-01)[1]
Recorded July 14, 1955 – September 1959 in Chicago, Illinois[2][3][4]
Genre Rock and roll, rhythm and blues
Length 32:03[5]
Label Checker
Producer Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley chronology
Go Bo Diddley
Have Guitar Will Travel
Bo Diddley in the Spotlight
Singles from Have Guitar Will Travel
  1. "Cops & Robbers"
    Released: November 1956 (1956-11)[6]
  2. "Say Man, Back Again"
    Released: November 1959 (1959-11)[7]

Have Guitar Will Travel is the third album by rock and roll pioneer and blues icon Bo Diddley. It was released on the Checker Records label in 1960.

Scotty Moore, Bill Black, Joe Lee as The Scotty Moore Trio recorded an instrumental song "Have Guitar Will Travel" in June 1958 (Fernwood 107).[8] Scotty Moore and Bill Black are both famous as Elvis Presley's early band mates, and recorded the song after leaving Presley.[9][10] When rereleased years later the song was hailed as a lost classic.[11]

Another release by Dick Lee came out in October of 1958 on the Metro label (20001). Billboard described as a "rocker with Western flavor." [12]

Duane Eddy released his first LP, Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel, in November 1958. He became a close friend of Richard Boone, star of the hit western TV program, Have Gun-Will Travel, appearing in two episodes of the series and two motion pictures with the actor.[13]

An Eddie Arnold album titled Have Guitar Will Travel was released by RCA Victor in January 1959.[14]

The front cover of Diddley's album displays a white calling card similar to that which Boone's 'Have Gun-Will Travel' character Paladin carried and gave out on every episode of the series.


The song "Cops and Robbers" was released as an A-side of Checker single #850 in November 1956,[6] the b-side "Down Home Special" did not appear on this album. The song "Mona (I Need You Baby)" was released as the b-side to "Hey! Bo Diddley" in October 1957, the a-side appearing on Bo Diddley in 1959. "Say Man, Back Again" was released as a single in November 1959[7] The rest of the songs were album-only releases.

Cover versions[edit]

Several songs on Have Guitar Will Travel were covered by many British Invasion bands.[15] Originally recorded and released in 1956 by Boogaloo and his Gallant Crew lead by singer Kent Harris (reissued on the Road Songs collection by Frémeaux et Associés), "Cops and Robbers" was recorded by The Rolling Stones, Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, Downliners Sect, and George Thorogood.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Ellas McDaniel, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "She's Alright"   3:56
2. "Cops & Robbers" (Kent Harris) 3:21
3. "Run Diddley Daddy"   2:36
4. "Mumblin' Guitar"   2:49
5. "I Need You Baby (Mona)"   2:18
Total length:
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Say Man, Back Again"   2:53
2. "Nursery Rhyme"   2:43
3. "I Love You So"   2:20
4. "Spanish Guitar"   3:58
5. "Dancing Girl"   2:17
6. "Come On Baby"   2:52
Total length:


Per liner notes[2][3][4]


"Say Man, Back Again" reached #23 on the R&B Singles chart.[16]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States January 1960 Checker Records LP LP-2974
United States 1984 Chess Records LP CH-9187
Cassette CHC-9187


  1. ^ "Reviews of This Week's LP's". Billboard: 29. January 4, 1960. 
  2. ^ a b His Best (CD liner). Bo Diddley. United States: Chess Records/MCA Records. 1997. CHD-9373 http://aln3.albumlinernotes.com/Bo_Diddley_His_Best.html |url= missing title (help). 
  3. ^ a b I'm a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958 (CD liner). Bo Diddley. United States: Hip-O Select. 2007. B0009231-02. 
  4. ^ a b Road Runner: The Chess Masters, 1959-1960 (CD liner). Bo Diddley. United States: Hip-O Select. 2008. B0011076-02. 
  5. ^ a b c Have Guitar Will Travel (Vinyl sleeve). Bo Diddley. United States: Checker Records. Back cover. LP 2974. 
  6. ^ a b "Reviews of R&B Records". Billboard: 134. November 10, 1956. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Reviews of This Week's Singles: Spotlight Winners of the Week". Billboard: 47. November 9, 1959. Retrieved December 29, 2010. 
  8. ^ "fernwood". Cmshowcase.org. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ [2][dead link]
  11. ^ The Blue Moon Boys: The Story of Elvis Presley's Band. Chicago Review Press. 2006. p. 122. ISBN 1-55652-614-8.
  12. ^ Billboard Oct 13, 1958. Reviews of New Pop Records. page 39.
  13. ^ "Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel". Tony50.tripod.com. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  14. ^ Billboard Jan 5, 1959. Folk Talent & Tunes. page 4.
  15. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Overview: Have Guitar, Will Travel by Bo Diddley". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 9, 2010. 
  16. ^ Have Guitar Will Travel (Bo Diddley album) at AllMusic