Bo Diddley - Who Do You Love - 1957


Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" (1957) "Who Do You Love" is a song by American rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley, released in 1957. This song is a prime example of Diddley's signature rhythm, known as the "Bo Diddley beat." The song has been covered by numerous artists and is a staple in rock music history.

History and Background

In 1957, Bo Diddley recorded "Who Do You Love" at the Chess Records studio in Chicago. The song showcases Diddley's unique rhythm style that influenced many future rock artists. The lyrics involve a series of braggadocio statements, a common theme in blues music of that time.

Musical Style and Influence

"Who Do You Love" is notable for its use of the Bo Diddley beat, a rhythmic pattern that became a fundamental element in rock and roll. The beat features a 3-2 clave rhythm pattern and has been widely adopted in rock, pop, and hip hop music.

Covers and Legacy

The song has been covered by a variety of artists, including The Rolling Stones, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and George Thorogood. These covers have helped maintain the song's popularity and showcase its adaptability across different music genres.

Connection to Rock and Roll Evolution

"Who Do You Love" is considered a critical piece in the development of rock and roll. Its rhythmic pattern and bold lyrics influenced the sound of future rock music, making Bo Diddley one of the genre's pioneers.


Interactive Tasks

Quiz: Questions on the song

What year was "Who Do You Love" released? (1957) (!1960) (!1955) (!1962)

Which record label released "Who Do You Love"? (Chess Records) (!Atlantic Records) (!Motown Records) (!Sun Records)

What is the signature rhythm pattern used in "Who Do You Love"? (Bo Diddley beat) (!Shuffle rhythm) (!Swing rhythm) (!Straight rock beat)

Where was "Who Do You Love" recorded? (Chicago) (!Memphis) (!Detroit) (!New York City)

Who wrote "Who Do You Love"? (Bo Diddley) (!Chuck Berry) (!Muddy Waters) (!Little Richard)

Quiz: Questions on the Performer

What is Bo Diddley's real name? (Ellas McDaniel) (!Robert Johnson) (!Chester Burnett) (!McKinley Morganfield)

In what city was Bo Diddley born? (McComb, Mississippi) (!Chicago, Illinois) (!Detroit, Michigan) (!New Orleans, Louisiana)

Which instrument is Bo Diddley famous for playing? (Guitar) (!Piano) (!Harmonica) (!Drums)

Which of these is a signature element of Bo Diddley's performance? (His rectangular guitar) (!His harmonica solos) (!His high-pitched vocals) (!His double bass playing)

What style of music is Bo Diddley most associated with? (Rock and roll) (!Jazz) (!Country) (!Rhythm and blues)

Quiz: Questions on the lyrics

The lyrics of "Who Do You Love" are primarily about? (Braggadocio and love) (!Heartbreak and sorrow) (!Travel and adventure) (!Partying and dancing)

Which of these is a recurring line in "Who Do You Love"? ("Who do you love?") (!"What's your name?") (!"Where are you going?") (!"Why do you cry?")

How does the song's narrator travel in the lyrics? (In a brand new Cadillac) (!On a motorcycle) (!By train) (!On foot)

What animal is mentioned in the lyrics of "Who Do You Love"? (A rattlesnake) (!A lion) (!An eagle) (!A shark)

What does the narrator claim to have in the lyrics? (A cobra snake for a necktie) (!A diamond ring) (!A fast car) (!A mansion on the hill)


Bo Diddley Ellas McDaniel
1957 Year "Who Do You Love" was released
Chess Records Record label for "Who Do You Love"
Bo Diddley beat Signature rhythm pattern
Chicago Recording location of "Who Do You Love"

Open Tasks


  1. Explore different versions: Listen to different covers of "Who Do You Love" and compare how each artist interprets the song.
  2. Draw Bo Diddley's guitar: Sketch Bo Diddley's famous rectangular guitar and research its history.
  3. Bo Diddley beat practice: Try playing the Bo Diddley beat on an instrument or using a music app.


  1. Write your own lyrics: Write a verse in the style of "Who Do You Love" using braggadocio themes.
  2. Music genre comparison: Compare the Bo Diddley beat in rock and roll with rhythms in another music genre.
  3. Interview musicians: Interview local musicians about the influence of Bo Diddley's music on their work.


  1. Analyze musical influence: Research and write an essay on how "Who Do You Love" influenced the development of rock music.
  2. Create a documentary: Make a short documentary about Bo Diddley's life and his contribution to music.
  3. Organize a tribute concert: Plan and organize a Bo Diddley tribute concert in your community.

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Oral Exam

  1. Discuss the impact: Discuss how the Bo Diddley beat influenced the development of various music genres.
  2. Examine the lyrics: Analyze the cultural and historical context of the lyrics in "Who Do You Love."
  3. Explore the evolution: Trace the evolution of rock and roll from the 1950s to the present, highlighting Bo Diddley's contribution.
  4. Compare music styles: Compare and contrast Bo Diddley's style with other rock and roll artists of the 1950s.
  5. Influence on modern music: Explore how Bo Diddley's music has influenced contemporary artists and genres.

OERs on the Topic


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