Lady Bo, the ‘Mother of Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ Dies at 75
Groundbreaking guitarist Peggy Jones, who achieved fame as a long-running member of Bo Diddley's band, has died at the age of 75.
Born in 1940, the New York native recorded a few regional hits in the mid-'50s before a chance meeting led to Jones replacing Diddley's previous guitarist, Jody Williams, who'd been drafted into military service. Quickly developing a symbiotic creative relationship, the duo worked together on a string of recordings between 1957 and 1962, with Diddley teaching Jones to play in open tunings and Jones incorporating an increasing array of effects and technical innovations (in later years, she'd become one of the few guitarists to make use of the unwieldy MIDI controller known as the Synthaxe).
Present for early trademark Diddley hits such as "Road Runner" and "Hey Bo Diddley," Jones embarked on a solo career in the early '60s, leading a band that started out as the Jewels before eventually settling on Lady Bo and the Family Jewel. Recording with the Jewels (including the 1966 hit "We Got Togetherness") as well as working as a session player for other artists (Jones appeared on Eric Burdon's "San Franciscan Nights"), she established herself as a performer in her own right before returning to Diddley — and bringing the Family Jewel along with her — in 1970.
Jones and Diddley remained together until the early '90s, performing countless shows along the way, and after they parted ways again, she remained active on the live circuit; here, you can watch fan-shot footage from her performance at the Ponderosa Stomp in 2011.
According to She Shreds, news of Jones' death was spread by Stomp organizers following an announcement from her husband Wally Malone, who met her while playing bass for the Family Jewel in the '70s. "Today is one of the saddest days of my life," wrote Malone. "My wife and partner of 47 Years has been called up to that great rock 'n' roll band in the heavens to be reunited with Bo Diddley, Jerome Green and Clifton James."
For more information about Lady Bo's life and distinguished career, visit her official site.
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