|Single by Bo Diddley|
|B-side||"She's Fine, She's Mine"|
|Format||7" 45 RPM, 10" 78 RPM|
|Recorded||May 15, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois|
|Genre||Rhythm and blues|
|Songwriter(s)||Ellas McDaniel, Harvey Fuqua|
|Producer(s)||Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Bo Diddley|
|Bo Diddley singles chronology|
"Diddley Daddy" is a song by Bo Diddley. The song was issued as a single on Checker Records in June 1955. His second single, it followed on the heels of the success of the eponymous "Bo Diddley." The song spent four weeks on the Billboard R&B chart in the summer of 1955, peaking at #11.
Writing and recording
The song was recorded on May 15, 1955 in Chicago. Originally called "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum," it started out as a Billy Boy Arnold composition, which Leonard Chess, owner of Chess Records (Checkers was a subsidiary label of Chess), had heard Arnold play and wanted Diddley to record. However, Arnold had just signed a contract with Vee-Jay Records, and had recorded the song the day before at Universal Studios. When Chess wanted Arnold to sing the song, the latter realized he had a contract, responding, "I can't do it...I just recorded it for Vee-Jay." Chess responded, "Goddam! Ain't this a bitch!" A solution, however, was found on the spot: Diddley and Harvey Fuqua, who happened to be around, rewrote the lyrics.
As it happened, the harmonica player Little Walter was in the studio, and he asked Billy Boy Arnold for his harp; Walter plays the long solo after the first verse (Arnold plays harmonica on the B-side, "She's Fine, She's Mine"). Also decided at "the spur of the moment" was to have Chicago doo-wop group The Moonglows sing background vocals.
One of Bo Diddley's signature songs, "Diddley Daddy" evidenced Diddley's maturation process as an artist. It was described as a "terrific nugget" and an "infectious" "upbeat rocker". The Chicago Sun-Times said it combined "outrageous braggadocio with a beat that resounds like an endless sexual shudder."
Marking Diddley's popularity in England, the Rolling Stones, who early in their career often played Diddley songs live, covered the song (along with Diddley's "Road Runner") on their first demo, recorded on March 11, 1963. Brian Jones would later borrow Diddley's guitar figure from the song for the band's 1965 single "19th Nervous Breakdown".
Bo Diddley, Diddley Daddy
The title of the song has come to stand for Bo Diddley himself, as evidenced from articles about Diddley by Val Wilmer and Stuart Colman. After Diddley's death, in 2008, the phrase directly referred to Diddley in various obituaries; the usage reflected Diddley's habit of self-reference as well as the way others talked about him, such as Tom Petty: "Elvis is King. But Diddley is Daddy."
- Bo Diddley – lead vocals, lead guitar
- Little Walter – harmonica
- Jerome Green – maracas
- Clifton James – drums
- The Moonglows – backing vocals
- Chris Isaak, on Heart Shaped World (1989)
- The Pretty Things & Yardbirds Blues Band, on Chicago Blues Jam 1991 and Wine, Women & Whiskey (1994)
- Rolling Stones, first demo
- The Liverbirds, a British all-female beat group, recorded the song for their debut album in 1965. Their version reached #5 of the German Single Charts.
- "Reviews of New R&B Records". Billboard: 47. June 11, 1955. Retrieved December 18, 2010.
- 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).
- Pruter, Robert (1996). Doowop: the Chicago scene. University of Illinois Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-252-06506-4.
- "Bo Diddley: Rhythm 'n' blues guitarist who was a formative influence on the development of rock 'n' roll". The Telegraph. 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
- Living Blues. 113-118: 27. 1994. Missing or empty
- Glover, Tony; Scott Dirks; Ward Gaines (2002). Blues with a feeling: the Little Walter story. Routledge. pp. 147–48. ISBN 978-0-415-93711-5.
- Dalton, David; Lenny Kaye (1999). Rock 100: the greatest stars of rock's golden age. Cooper Square Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8154-1017-1.
- Loder, Kurt (February 12, 1987). "Bo Diddley: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. Jann S. Wenner: F.2. Archived from the original on June 6, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Roos, John (1998-06-13). "Better Off Dread: Chris Isaak's Gift Is Pain". Los Angeles Times. p. F.2. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Mcleese, Don (1986-09-12). "Diddley Spurs Trip to Heart of Rock Jungle". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Paytress, Mark (2003). The Rolling Stones: off the record. Omnibus Press. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7119-8869-9.
- Wyman, Bill; Ray Coleman (1997). Bill Wyman, Stone alone: the story of a rock 'n' roll band. Da Capo Press. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-306-80783-1.
- Stout, Gene (1986-02-07). "Bo Diddley Keeps Rock Rolling Along Path He Blazed Years Ago". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. p. 9. Retrieved 2009-12-10.[permanent dead link]
- Wilmer, Valerie (1979-05-06). "The Grand Diddley Daddy of Rock 'n' Roll". The Observer.
- Stuart Colman, "Bo Diddley: The Diddley Daddy," in "They Kept on Rockin'; The Giants of Rock 'n' Roll". Poole: Blandfort. 1982. pp. 73–82.
- "Diddley Daddy: Rock Pioneer Fathered More Than a Beat". Washington Times. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Larkin, Colin (1995). The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music, Volume 2. Guinness. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-56159-176-3.
- "Rockers mourn Diddley the Daddy". The Standard. 2008-06-04. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2009-12-10.
- Strong 303.
- Strong, Martin Charles; John Peel (2004). The great rock discography. Canongate. p. 743. ISBN 978-1-84195-615-2.
- Strong 841.