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BQSELECTA

LADY BO WAS MORE THAN JUST BO DIDDLEY’S SIDEKICK, AND SHE’S PROVING IT TO THIS DAY BY ROCKING THE ROOM ON A REGULAR BASIS. MARIE KEATING HAS AN APPOINTMENT
© LADY BO-TFJ Archives

Guitar-wielding women in rock are a common sight these days, but only thanks to pioneering female players such as Memphis Minnie, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lady Bo, who all paved the way in a male-dominated business. Lady Bo (real name Peggy Jones) made history in 1957 when she became the first female lead guitarist ever to be hired by a major rock and roll act.

Now Elias McDaniel, aka Bo Diddley, is as famous for his use of female musicians as he is for his flamboyant guitars. His lamé-clad sidekick, The Duchess, aka Norma- Jean Wofford, may have passed away in April 2005, but she left an indelible impression on music. Yet despite being severely underrated, Lady Bo is still pulling crowds on the West Coast where she now lives, with her band, Lady Bo and the BC Horns, featuring her bass-playing husband, Wally Jones. Not long ago she performed alongside Elvis guitarist Scotty Moore at 2009’s Ponderosa Stomp, a soul and blues shindig usually hosted by New Orleans but held in Memphis due to Hurricane Katrina.

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Vintage Rock: Winter issue 2011 features: 50 Greatest Rockabilly tracks - Prepare yourself for the greatest party tape in history with our essential cuts. The Roots of Rock’n’Roll - The definitive lowdown on how it all began The stars - Fantastic features on Elvis, Hank Marvin, Jet Harris, Carl Perkins, Ike Turner and many more Rockabilly Hair - Tope stylist Mr Ducktail tells all, ably assisted by Levi and Bernie Dexter All Mama’s Children - News, reviews and events for the incorrigibly beat-minded