Bo Diddley Is A Songwriter Various Artists (Songwriter Series)


Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCHD 1260

In his long and illustrious career, the late Ellas McDaniel portrayed his alter ego Bo Diddley as many things – a lover, a gunslinger, crazy, even a lumberjack would you believe (and as this is Bo we’re talking about, you would…)

One thing that Bo seldom if ever proclaimed himself to be is ‘A Songwriter”. But over a period of 10 years, Bo crafted some of the most memorable songs of the rock ‘n’ roll and R & B era, including numerous Hall Of Fame perennials which many will be unaware are his songs. For instance, there can be few on this planet who’ve never heard at least one version of “Love Is Strange” – it was featured in ‘Dirty Dancing’, one of the most popular and biggest grossing films of all time, for goodness sake! How many of the thousands of young people who own that soundtrack album also know that the same man who wrote it also wrote “Mona” a 1990s UK chart topper for Craig McLachlan, and “No No No”, a Top 10 hit in 1993 for reggae artist Dawn Penn (both songs appear here, in other versions, under their real titles ‘I Need You Baby’ and ‘She’s Fine, She’s Mine’ respectively…). Not many, I’ll wager.

Bo is so well known and loved as an R & B legend that his songwriting skills tend to get overlooked in comparison with his fabulous recordings. He may be seen by some as a left field entry in Ace’s ongoing ‘Songwriter Series’, but once the CD popped into the player, it won’t take but a few minutes (as his Chess colleague Chuck Berry once wrote) to realise that he’s here on merit, and not just because everyone at Ace loves Bo Diddley.

Of course, anyone who lived through the R&B and British Beat boom will be familiar with any number of E. McDaniel copyrights – both those Bo wrote, and those that were written for him by others. And there’s considerably more variety to Bo’s songwriting than some might initially think. OK, so he did put together more numerous variations on the ‘shave-and-a-haircut, six-bits’ rhythm. But Bo’s catalogue of compositions also embraces doo-wop (‘I’m Sorry’), teen pop (‘Love Is Strange’, ‘Mama Can I Go Out’) proto-surf (‘Bo’s Bounce’), humour (‘Pills’) 12 bar blues (‘Before You Accuse Me’) straight ahead R&B (‘I Can Tell’, ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’) and so much more besides.

As well as recording his songs, many of our stellar cast of artists were major league Bo fans and, indeed, most of those who are still around continue to be. The fact that the recordings on our CD span a period of 50 years gives a strong indication of the timelessness of his work as a writer – hardly surprising when his own early recordings still sound like they were recorded yesterday.

If there’s still any shadow of doubt in your mind that Bo Diddley IS a songwriter, buy this CD immediately and let its contents rid you henceforth of such foolish supposition!

By Tony Rounce


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Bo Diddley - Buddy Holly

  • 02 Preview I Can Tell - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

  • 03 Preview Oh Yea! - The Shadows Of Knight

  • 04 Preview Dearest - Mickey & Sylvia

  • 05 Preview Dearest Darling - Gizzelle

  • 06 Preview Before You Accuse Me - Delbert McClinton

  • 07 Preview Crackin' Up - The Gants

  • 08 Preview Love Is Strange - The Everly Brothers

  • 09 Preview Road Runner - The Zombies

  • 10 Preview I'm Sorry - Los Lobos

  • 11 Preview (Mona) I Need You Baby - The Iguanas

  • 12 Preview Mama (Can I Go Out Tonight) - Jo Ann Campbell

  • 13 Preview Beaux's Bounce - C.C. Adcock

  • 14 Preview Diddley Daddy - The British Walkers

  • 15 Preview I'm A Man - John Hammond

  • 16 Preview You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care) - The Birds

  • 17 Preview Pills - New York Dolls

  • 18 Preview You Don't Love Me aka She's Fine, She's Mine - Willie Cobbs

  • 19 Preview Mama Keep Your Big Mouth Shut - Dr Feelgood

  • 20 Preview Cadillac (Demo) - The Downliners Sect

  • 21 Preview Diddy Wah Diddy - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

  • 22 Preview The Story Of Bo Diddley - The Animals

  • 23 Preview Pretty Thing - The Pretty Things

  • 24 Preview Who Do You Love? - Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks

Delivery & Returns


We offer free P&P to UK addresses. For all other territories packaging is free and postage is charged on a weight basis.

We use Royal Mail First Class for UK deliveries and standard Air Mail for all other territories, very large orders will usually be sent via parcelforce. You may cancel your order at any time prior to your order being dispatched by emailing us at ensuring that you quote your name, address and order reference number or by telephoning +44 (0) 208 453 1311 between 9am and 5pm GMT/BST, Monday to Friday. Please note: As music downloads are dispatched immediately after purchase, there is no possibility of cancelling these orders.

In the event that any products supplied to you by us are damaged or defective, we agree to replace or repair the damaged or defective products or refund the amount you paid for such goods (including postage & packaging) providing you notify us (either via post at or e-mail: ) and return the goods within 28 days of purchase. Physical goods should be sent back to us in the same condition you received them to: “Returns” Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the e-mail address above including a copy of your notification.

You have the right to cancel your order within seven days of purchase, or seven days of receipt of the goods (whichever is the longer). If you choose to cancel your order, full payment will be returned to you. Returned items should be sent to: “Returns” c/o Ace Records, Such Close, Letchworth Garden City SG6 1JF, United Kingdom. Music downloads should be returned to us via the email address: including a copy of your notice of cancellation and order number.

Press quotes



Record Collector

Customer reviews


Related products

Customers who bought this item also bought