5/4 time one more time

Bomp, bomp, bomp…bomp bomp.

How many Dead shows have you been to? See them play Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away?” Okay, not a Dead Head? Then how many of you saw U2 perform “Desire?” Hell, I’m sure there is at least one George Michael fan out there who loves “Faith?”

Know what they all have in common? Just tap the beat on the table in front of you.

Bomp, bomp, bomp…bomp, bomp.

The Bo Diddley Beat.

There probably aren’t enough people who like music who give credit where it’s due. Diddley didn’t invent 5/4 time, but he made it famous. He made it sound so good that generations of musicians made millions jamming on the Bo Diddley Beat.

Diddley died today in Florida. He may not have been the most famous, most prolific, or even the best blues rock artist ever. He left a legacy, though, and that’s a lot more than a lot of people can hope for.

Photo courtesy CNN

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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5 Responses

  1. StB says:

    Ah, the Bo Diddley beat.

  2. Da Goddess says:

    All I have to remember him by are a couple photos I took as he sang and the image in my head of the gleam in his eye.

    Oh, and lots of great music.

    Bo won’t ever be too awfully far away as long as a radio plays somewhere.

  3. Buckeyetimmy says:

    Isn’t it a 4/4 spread over two measure, which is sometimes referred to as 6/8?

    ONE and two AND three and FOUR and one and TWO and THREE and four and


    Regardless….just listen Here

  4. otis says:

    I think I and most of the sheep in the worldwide media may stand corrected on this one. Good catch T….and wikipedia.

  5. Buckeyetimmy says:

    C’mon, I was in band for four years. I know a thing or two about music. And I gots me a little one and two and three and four running through my blood.

    Otherwise, I would have never doubted your astute musical knowledge — as snobbish as it may be.

    So don’t be gettin’ all up in my Wiki grill just because I do my homework before zipping off a hey-didja-know-I-like-music blog entry.

    Hugs and Kisses 🙂


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