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Rock 'N' Roll Legend Bo Diddley Dies

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Chicago native Bo Diddley has died at the age of 79. Diddley was a founding father of rock ‘n’ roll whose distinctive rhythm and innovative guitar effects inspired legions of other musicians. He died today after months of ill health.

Diddley was born Ellas Bates in McComb, Mississippi. When he was five, his family moved to Chicago, where he learned the violin at the Ebenezer Baptist Church. He learned guitar at ten and entertained passers-by on street corners.

In a 1999 interview, he said the name Bo Diddley came from other youngsters when he was growing up in Chicago. He said he wasn’t sure where they got it but he liked it so much it became his stage name.

The company that issued his early songs was Chess-Checkers records, the storied Chicago-based labels that also recorded Chuck Berry and other stars.

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