Billy Boy Arnold Quotes
In the fifties, it was real hard, electric blues. Muddy Waters in his heyday in 1950 and '51, Little Walter's harmonica was blasting and really on Muddy's records, which was 75 or 80% of the success of Muddy's records is Little Walter's harmonica playing. That's my opinion. Walter made "Juke," I think, in '52, and that launched him with a hit record. Electric blues and harmonica and Muddy's type of country singing and low-down blues was at its pinnacle at that time. In fact, you couldn't even get a job in a club unless you had a harmonica player in the band. Harmonica players were popping up from everywhere. All up and down the little small clubs on Madison Street, South side, West side, you could hear that harmonica blasting on the amplifiers. The two guitars strumming behind 'em. 'Cause that was the thing. And if you had a saxophone player in the band at the time, nobody wanted it. The saxophone players couldn't hardly get jobs. And piano was just about obsolete. There was a few piano players around, like Sunnyland Slim, Henry Gray, and Otis Spann. Spann and Henry was about the best. Elmore James featured piano, but most bands didn't have a piano.
Billy Boy Arnold
As I say, I wrote the song "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum." And I told VJ I had a song that I wrote for Bo Diddley. And they said, okay. So he told me, why don't you change the lyric around? So I went home and wrote "I Wish You Would." The only reason why I made a record was the Bo Diddley beat. Because I was playing with Bo Diddley at the time. I had no intention of ever capitalizing on Bo Diddley's beat. I had wrote this song, "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum," and I was playing the harmonica like I did on "I Wish You Would." That's how "I Wish You Would" came about. See, Bo Diddley's "Diddy Diddy Dum Dum" went bawm-bawm, bawm-bawm, bawm-bawm, bawm-bawm-bawm, bawm. Well I had Jody Williams, a more advanced guitarist, and he was the same age I am, so he was (sings riff faster). So then I'd made me get a label for the rest of my life with a Bo Diddley type of song. Which I had no intention of ever doing. I was a straight blues guy. I didn't want to be capitalizing on no Bo Diddley type of thing. But once you do something, you're stuck. That's how I got labeled with the Bo Diddley type of thing. Bo Diddley's stuff was rock'n'rollish, it wasn't straight blues, and when I did "I Wish You Would," and it had that similar type of beat, that just throws me in the same pot with Bo Diddley, 'cause everybody identified the song as a Bo Diddley type of song. But I had no intention of ever doing anything like Bo Diddley, 'cause that wasn't my style of music, and I didn't play the guitar like he did. That's his music. But I wrote the song, and he said Leonard didn't like me, and so I went to VJ, and that's what happened.
Billy Boy Arnold
Category: Music Quotes