Looking back, it was like being zapped with a lightning bolt delivering the kind of electric jolt one could never forget. It was 1956, or maybe 1955 or 1957. Try to remember, try to visualize the popular recorded music of that day, some beginning to play on colorless TV. Big bands, Lawrence Welk, Jesse Crawford on the Hammond Organ, tuneful vocalists, Eddie Fisher crying O Mein Papa, Patti Page wondering How Much is that Doggie in the Window, Perry Como, and slow dancing only cheek-to-cheek allowed. All white, all lifeless, and totally boring to a fourteen year old wanting something more. Until, that is, a super-charged taser by the unlikely name Bo Diddley dropped a 45 rpm A-bomb on my, going nowhere, 78 rpm turntable that launched me into an unstable geosynchronous orbit where I've been pulsating ever since to the addictive Bo Diddley Beat.
He died on June 2nd this year at the age of seventy-nine leaving behind 4 children, 15 grand children, 15 great grand children, 3 great-great grand children, and an enraptured orphan stranded in high earth orbit with original pressings of his early albums ready to turn and electrify again.
Try a little thought exercise. Transport yourself to 1956, or maybe 1955 or 1957. Channel with Pat Boone, Dinah Shore, the Mitch Miller Chorus and the Hit Parade, Tex Ritter, Red Foley or Vaughan Monroe… Then, turn up the volume and start this video.
His dying words were, "I'm going to heaven." And, he's sure to find an out of this world orbit uniquely his own.
Doctor HP Flowers
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Friday 18 July 2008