Bo Diddley Honored In Hometown - - Jackson, MS

McComb 11/02/07

Bo Diddley Honored In Hometown

Bert Case

Bo Diddly developed a unique sound and beat which he played in electronic distortion, which made it sound as if it came from an echo chamber. It was a technique copied by most of the early rock and rollers like Buddy Holley and The Rolling Stones and many others.

Bo Diddly is now 78 years old and is still recovering from a massive stroke and heart attack, but he came back to his home town for the unveiling of a plaque, on the National Blues Trail devoted to him. The plaque says he is "acclaimed as a founder of rock and roll." We asked him what it meant to be honored by his home town when he arrived.

He was not supposed to perform but as he listened to the music of local musician Jesse Robinson, who sang a song written for this occasion, you could see Bo Diddley was ready to perform again.

Robinson sensed it and handed him a microphone.

I asked Robinson the name of the song they were performing and Robinson we were just improvising. Bo Diddley's 77 year old brother, Rev. Kenneth Haynes of Biloxi told us this occasion meant a lot to Bo Diddley.

Bo Diddley spent the first five years of his life in this house on Carver Street, just east of Highway 51 in McComb. 

So Bo Diddley comes back to his hometown to be honored and performs publicly for the first time since his stroke and heart attack.

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