The Bo Diddley beat is easily recognizable because of its unique accent pattern. Bo used this accent pattern to great effect in many of his biggest hit records. And it became one of the identifying trademarks of early rock and roll. Two drummers were actually involved in the creation of the Bo Diddley beat. Well, really it was more like a drummer and percussionist.
First, you had Chicago Blues veteran Clifton James hammering out the famous accent pattern on his toms. And on top of that you can hear maraca man Jerome Green laying down a solid shaker pattern. When combined with Diddley’s reverb-laden guitar riff, the result was a greasy, syncopated, thunderous wall of sound that blew people’s minds and could truly be defined as one of the first authentic rock and roll records.