Bo Diddley beat takes its name from Bo Diddley and his eponymous song
Bo Diddley beat.

The song incorporates the famed Bo Diddley beat, a classic rock and roll rhythm.

- Faith (George Michael song)

"Faith" by George Michael (1987)

- Bo Diddley beat

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Bo Diddley

American singer, guitarist, songwriter and music producer who played a key role in the transition from the blues to rock and roll.

Bo Diddley in 1957
Diddley on tour in Japan with the Japanese band Bo Gumbos
Bo Diddley at the Long Beach Jazz Festival, 1997 (with drummer Dave Johnson)
Bo Diddley in 2002
"Bo Diddley beat" /Son clave.

His use of African rhythms and a signature beat, a simple five-accent hambone rhythm, is a cornerstone of hip hop, rock, and pop music.

Not Fade Away (song)

Song credited to Buddy Holly and Norman Petty (although Petty's co-writing credit is likely to have been a formality ) and first recorded by Holly and his band, the Crickets.

US picture sleeve

The rhythmic pattern of "Not Fade Away" is a variant of the Bo Diddley beat, with the second stress occurring on the second rather than third beat of the first measure, which was an update of the "hambone" rhythm, or patted juba from West Africa.

Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley song)

Rhythm and blues and rock and roll song first recorded by Bo Diddley at Universal Recording Corporation in Chicago and released on the Chess Records subsidiary Checker Records in 1955.

Single reissue with picture sleeve, Checker Records

Written by Diddley, its lyrics are based on the traditional lullaby titled "Hush Little Baby", and it prominently features the Bo Diddley beat that the singer made famous.

Rhythm and blues

Genre of popular music that originated in African-American communities in the 1940s.

Louis Jordan in New York City, c. undefined July 1946
The habanera rhythm shown as tresillo (lower notes) with the backbeat (upper note)
Fats Domino in 1956
Piano excerpt from the rumba boogie "Mardi Gras in New Orleans" (1949) by Professor Longhair. 2–3 claves are written above for rhythmic reference.
3–2 clave written in two measures in cut-time
Tresillo answered by the backbeat, the essence of clave in African American music
Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley beat" is a clave-based motif.
Ray Charles in 1971
Ruth Brown was known as the "Queen of R&B"
Della Reese
Sam Cooke
Eric Burdon & the Animals (1964)

The "Bo Diddley beat" (1955) is perhaps the first true fusion of 3–2 clave and R&B/rock 'n' roll.

I Want Candy

Song written and originally recorded by the Strangeloves in 1965 that reached No. 11 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Standard cover art for UK and international vinyl editions
Side-A label of the American vinyl single

It is a famous example of a song that uses the Bo Diddley beat.

Juba dance

African-American style of dance that involves stomping as well as slapping and patting the arms, legs, chest, and cheeks (clapping).

Modern variations on the dance include Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley Beat" and the step-shows of African American Greek organizations.

Rock and roll

Genre of popular music that evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Sign commemorating the role of Alan Freed and Cleveland, Ohio, in the origins of rock and roll
Chuck Berry in 1957
Bill Haley and his Comets performing in the 1954 Universal International film Round Up of Rhythm
Elvis Presley in a promotion shot for Jailhouse Rock in 1957
Little Richard in 1957
Buddy Holly and his band, the Crickets.
Tommy Steele, one of the first British rock and rollers, performing in Stockholm in 1957
"There's No Romance in Rock and Roll" made the cover of True Life Romance in 1956

Also in 1955, Bo Diddley introduced the "Bo Diddley beat" and a unique electric guitar style, influenced by African and Afro-Cuban music and in turn influencing many later artists.

Magic Bus (song)

Song recorded by British rock band the Who.

The song makes use of the Bo Diddley beat.

American Girl (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song)

Rock song written by Tom Petty and recorded by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for their self-titled debut album in 1976.

Beaty Towers on the University of Florida campus

The tempo is fast and "urgent," and is built on a repeated jangling guitar riff based on a "Bo Diddley beat."

Desire (U2 song)

Song by Irish rock band U2 and the third track on their 1988 album, Rattle and Hum.

U2 cite the Stooges' song "1969" as the primary influence on "Desire," which is an interpolation of the Bo Diddley beat.