Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger

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Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger
Diddley gun slinger.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1960 (1960-12)[1]
RecordedOctober 1959 – February 1960[2]
GenreRock and roll, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, country and western
LabelChecker LP-2977
ProducerLeonard Chess, Phil Chess, Bo Diddley
Bo Diddley chronology
Bo Diddley In the Spotlight
Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger
Bo Diddley Is a Lover

Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger is the fifth studio album by American rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley released in December 1960 by Checker Records.[1] The album title comes from the album's first track called "Gunslinger" and the cover art has Bo Diddley dressed in Western-style clothing. The songs for Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger were recorded from October 1959 to February 1960.[2] Several tracks of interest[citation needed] are "Sixteen Tons" which Bo was supposed to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show,[citation needed] the title track, and "Diddling" (an instrumental between guitar and saxophone).



This song was originally released as the a-side of Checker single 965 in November 1960.[3] The singles b-side "Signifying Blues" was never released on the album. The song features a Bo Diddley beat. Warren Zevon performed the song as "Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger" on his 1981 live album, Stand in the Fire.

Ride on Josephine[edit]

"Ride on Josephine" was a rock and roll song with backing vocals and piano work by either Otis Spann, Lafayette Leake, or Billy Stewart.[4] The song has been covered by George Thorogood & The Destroyers, Sleepy LaBeef, and Eric Sardinas.

Sixteen Tons[edit]

Bo Diddley was asked to perform "Sixteen Tons" on The Ed Sullivan Show but performed "Bo Diddley" instead[citation needed].


The song "Cadillac" features Gene Barge on tenor saxophone,[4] and has been covered by The Kinks, The Downliners Sect, New Colony Six, and sung as a duet by Van Morrison and Linda Gail Lewis. Cadillac was also the name of the guitar that is featured on the album's front cover.[5]

Other songs/styles[edit]

The song "Googlia Moo", as well as "No More Lovin'" and others, gives the album a doo-wop feel.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ellas McDaniel, except where noted.

Side one
2."Ride on Josephine"3:00
3."Doing the Craw-Daddy"2:58
Total length:12:52[7]
Side two
6."Cheyenne" 2:05
7."Sixteen Tons"Merle Travis, arranged by McDaniel2:30
8."Whoa Mule (Shine)" 2:28
9."No More Lovin'" 2:25
10."Diddling" 2:20
Total length:11:48[7]
1988 bonus tracks
11."Working Man"3:00
12."Do What I Say"2:46
2004 reissue bonus tracks
13."Prisoner of Love"Russ Columbo, Leo Robin, Clarence Gaskill2:31
14."Googlia Moo" 3:02
15."Better Watch Yourself" 2:54


Per allmusic[4]


The album spent only one week on the UK Album Charts on November 9, 1963 at #20.[8]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States December 1960 Checker Records mono LP LP 2297
United Kingdom November 1963 Pye Jazz Records mono LP NJL 33
United States August 13, 1966 Checker Records 4-track cartridge 21-369A
United States 1988 Chess Records CD CHD-9285
United States April 13, 2004 Geffen Records CD 000176102
Worldwide reissue 2008 Universal International LP 1529771


  1. ^ a b "Reviews and Ratings of New Albums". Billboard: 24. December 19, 1960. Retrieved December 19, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Dahl, Bill. "Overview: Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger by Bo Diddley". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  3. ^ Strong, Charles (2002) [Originally published in 1994]. The Great Rock Discography (Sixth ed.). United Kingdom: Canongate Books. p. 371. ISBN 1-84195-312-1.
  4. ^ a b c d "Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger". Allmusic. Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  5. ^ Ed Roman (December 30, 1928). "Bo Diddley". Retrieved January 4, 2012.
  6. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger [Bonus Tracks] > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger (Vinyl sleeve). Bo Diddley. United States: Checker Records. back cover. LP 2977.CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley Is A Gun Slinger". Chart Stats. Retrieved January 4, 2012.