Hey, Bo Diddley

When I was growing up in a little Oklahoma town, white people lived on one side of the tracks, literally, and black people lived on the other. The black folks had a dance hall for Saturday nights. Bo Diddley used to play there from time to time. We white kids were scared to go there, but I sure wish I could have heard him in his prime. The rhythm ‘n’ blues man who turned the guitar into a percussion instrument and helped invent rock ‘n’ roll died at age 79.

Here he is from around that time in 1966. Notice that in the crowd whites are one side and blacks are on another, but it is the white teenagers who are really going wild at this sound.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://amusedmomma.blogspot.com Paula

    My dad grew up in one of those towns divided by the railroad tracks with different races on one side from the other. Of course, I think he’s a bit older than you, Mr. Veith, having been born in 1929.

    Anyway, my dad used to say that he thought that Truman’s order to integrate the military and rock n’ roll did more to bring the races together than the Civil Rights movement.

    Truman’s order put people together on a daily basis which helped erase pre-conceived notions of differences and rock n’ roll gave us a common thing to share.

  • http://amusedmomma.blogspot.com Paula

    My dad grew up in one of those towns divided by the railroad tracks with different races on one side from the other. Of course, I think he’s a bit older than you, Mr. Veith, having been born in 1929.

    Anyway, my dad used to say that he thought that Truman’s order to integrate the military and rock n’ roll did more to bring the races together than the Civil Rights movement.

    Truman’s order put people together on a daily basis which helped erase pre-conceived notions of differences and rock n’ roll gave us a common thing to share.

  • http://www.jcurtiswatson.com Curtis

    What town did you grow up in Oklahoma? My home town is Miami, OK. Though I’ve been in Chicago for almost 10 years now.

  • http://www.jcurtiswatson.com Curtis

    What town did you grow up in Oklahoma? My home town is Miami, OK. Though I’ve been in Chicago for almost 10 years now.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Curtis, that would be Vinita, OK, just 30 miles away from Miami. We also lived in Miami for six years right after grad school. I taught at N.E.O. That was also where we joined the Lutheran church.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    Curtis, that would be Vinita, OK, just 30 miles away from Miami. We also lived in Miami for six years right after grad school. I taught at N.E.O. That was also where we joined the Lutheran church.


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