Sunday, September 20, 2015

RIP Lady Bo

From Lady Bo's Myspace page: "So sad to have to report the passing yesterday (Wednesday) of Peggy Malone, nee Jones - aka Lady Bo. She was 75.

A teenage protegee of Bo Diddley, Peggy toured and recorded with Diddley between circa 1957 thru 1961 and then intermittently until the mid-1990s. 

She also successfully led her own band, The Jewels (also variously known as The Fabulous Jewels and Lady Bo & The Family Jewel etc), which became a top R&B band on the New York/Boston/East Coast club scene in the 1960s & 1970s. 

The Jewels' single "We Got Togetherness", released on MGM Records in 1966, is now a popular staple on the current northern soul music scene.Sincerest condolences to Wally, Peggy's dear husband of 47 years  and to her family & friends at this sad and difficult time."

From Afropunk - Lady Bo, queen mother of the guitar (2011): "Peggy Jones, aka Lady Bo grew up in New York City, attending Manhattan's famed High School for the Performing Arts (of Fame fame) as a singer and dancer. She studied tap and ballet and trained in opera.

She had been playing guitar for only 2 years when a chance encounter with Bo Diddley before a show at the legendary Apollo Theatre led to a life-changing gig as Bo Diddley's lead guitarist. Diddley was awestruck by the sight of a beautiful young woman with a guitar and struck up a conversation.

When Jerome Greene (the single luckiest maraca player in the history of music) ran out to tell Bo that dinner was being served in the dressing room, Bo invited Jones in. Jones recounts in an interview with Lea Gilmore:

"After a while he opened his guitar, asked me to grab mine and play something. When I opened my case he laughed louder than anyone I’d heard before. I wanted to know what¹s funny? Hysterically he said what is that? He had never seen a Supro guitar.

I said, “Now that’s a dumb question! First you probably never saw a girl carrying a guitar down the street before and want to know if I played it, did you think that was funny?” He said, “NO!” I continued, “then you insult my ax and I listen to Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell and Charlie Parker and I THINK I’ve heard of you! Do you think that’s funny?” 

He said, “No, but I like your attitude, let’s play something.” I said OK and the rest is history."

From Ponderosa Stomp: "Lady Bo bought her first guitar in 1955, at the age of 15, and met up with Bo Diddley a year later, becoming his first of several guitar-slinging female sidekicks. Playing on Bo's recordings of "Hey, Bo Diddley," "Mona," "Say Man," "Crackin' Up," "Road Runner," "Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger," and the jaw-dropping "Aztec" and "Lady Bo Live"... 

... in 1962 she moved onto studio work that found her kickin' up a ruckus on hits by the Bopchords and the Continentals, but most notably Les Cooper ("Owee Baby") and the Soul Rockers' crazed smash "Wiggle Wobble" (King Curtis on sax) backed with "Dig Yourself." 

She later spent time in the rhythm sections of James Brown's and Sam and Dave's bands and, not surprisingly, was heavily influenced by the Latin rhythms of Mongo Santamaria."