Saturday, June 6, 2015

Our Mother Of Music

Someone posted to a nice collection of songs that have incorporated the "Bo Diddley beat." I may have posted this link before but came across it yesterday while I was looking for something else and it's so great I wanted to share it again. It includes:

Tribal Thunder - Dick Dale
Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
Willie And The Hand Jive - Johnny Otis
I Want Candy - The Strangeloves
Rosalyn - The Pretty Things
Not Fade Away - Buddy Holly And The Crickets
Marie's The Name (Of Her Latest Flame) - Elvis Presley
Magic Bus - The Who
1969 - The Stooges
Hateful - The Clash
She's The One - Bruce Springsteen
Panic In Detroit - David Bowie
Get Some - Lykke Li
How Soon Is Now? - The Smiths

The Bo Diddley beat, a syncopated five-beat rhythmic pattern Diddley used in his first, signature hit and sometimes revived in other songs, originates from Africa and is one of a number of different African rhythms used in music like Rumba, Salsa and Latin jazz and has been incorporated by Rock and Roll, Pop, etc. It's one of several "clave" rhythmic patterns, according to Wikipedia, which has an extensive musicology article about them.
You can play the collection in's player at the top of their page or save the entire file in one of several formats by right clicking one of the links on the right hand side. is where people post things that are in the public domain, i.e., the copyright has expired.

I also came across this 1939 recording of The Lion Sleeps Tonight by Soloman Linda and the Evening Birds. That song, made popular in the US by by The Tokens and others, is based on an African folk tune but Linda is credited with writing the commonly known version that's been recorded hundreds of times (I have at least 40 different recordings of it).

That's me on the far right. I'd given up drinking and was trying to get my life together and I really appreciated Soloman giving me the break, but soon after this picture was taken I met Melissa the cartographer and the rest, as they say, is history.

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