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Monday, June 02, 2008

Hey Bo Diddley

Rest in peace, sir.

For the scholars:
Diddley's signature rhythm, among the most distinctive beats in rock 'n' roll, can be heard on songs like "I'm a Man" and "Bo Diddley." Scholars trace the pattern to church tambourines, West African drumming, and a hand-patting rhythm called Hambone that goes back to slavery. But Diddley told the public radio show American Routes that he found it someplace else.

"I was trying to play 'I Got Spurs That Jingle Jangle Jingle' by Gene Autrey, and stumbled upon that beat," Diddley said.

The beat may have come from a television cowboy, but later, Diddley described it as "basically an Indian chant."

"Just picture dancing around a daggone big fire, dancing around with their spears," he told Morning Edition in an interview.

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