Rolling Stones songs: Diddley Daddy
Written by: McDaniel (Bo Diddley)
Recorded: IBC Studios, London, England, March 11, 1963
From Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012:
It was 1963 and it was time for the Stones to book themselves into the IBC studios. The outcome of the sessions are distinctly blues flavoured. Diddley Daddy is a Bo Diddley number and is performed in true Rhythm and Blues style. The song, although rough in texture, is guided by Mick Jagger’s roots vocals and features two instrumental breaks: the first by Brian Jones on the harmonica and he second by Ian Stewart tinkering on the ivories to the fade out.
“Diddley Daddy” is a song by Bo Diddley. The song was issued as a single on Checker Records in June 1955. His second single, it followed on the heels of the success of the eponymous “Bo Diddley.” The song spent four weeks on the Billboard R&B chart in the summer of 1955, peaking at No. 11.
The song was recorded on May 15, 1955, in Chicago. Originally called “Diddy Diddy Dum Dum,” it started out as a Billy Boy Arnold composition, which Leonard Chess, owner of Chess Records (Checkers was a subsidiary label of Chess), had heard Arnold play and wanted Diddley to record. However, Arnold had just signed a contract with Vee-Jay Records, and had recorded the song the day before at Universal Recording Corporation. When Chess wanted Arnold to sing the song, the latter realized he had a contract, responding, “I can’t do it…I just recorded it for Vee-Jay.” Chess responded, “Goddam! Ain’t this a bitch!” A solution, however, was found on the spot: Diddley and Harvey Fuqua, who happened to be around, rewrote the lyrics.
As it happened, the harmonica player Little Walter was in the studio, and he asked Billy Boy Arnold for his harp; Walter plays the long solo after the first verse (Arnold plays harmonica on the B-side, “She’s Fine, She’s Mine”). Also decided at “the spur of the moment” was to have Chicago doo-wop group The Moonglows sing background vocals.
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