Monday, November 05, 2007

Mississippi Music Legend Honored

The Mississippi Blues Commission unveiled a blues marker honoring legend Bo Diddley Friday in McComb, Mississippi, Didley's hometown. Governor Haley Barbour declared the day "Bo Diddley Day" across the state in honor of the legend.

"He was elated. Tears came down, and he couldn't believe this was actually happening after all these years," Evelyn "Tan" Kelly, Diddley's daughter said.

Friday marked Bo Diddley's first public appearance since suffering from a stroke several months ago and his first time back home in McComb, Mississippi in more than a decade. Kelly took the stage with her dad, and they shared a family performance during the ceremony.

"Being his daughter, just being at home with the amplifier in my ear all the time. That's where I learned how to sing, and now I sing for the Lord," Kelly said.

Bo Diddley never allowed his children in the clubs where he performed. But the music he played found its way into their lives and now beats on in the third generation.

"It meant everything to him. If you know him, it just meant everything to him," Jatonne Mitchell, Didley's granddaughter said.

Mitchell has been playing the drums since she was six years old. Friday she got to play with her granddad for only the second time in her life.

The blues marker in honor of Diddley is part of the Mississippi Blues Trail honoring blues legends from Mississippi. Diddley is one of the few blues legends still alive to take part in the honor.

-By Emily Wood

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