Late last year I referenced Bo Diddley’s She’s Fine, She’s Mine when writing about Willie Cobbs’ You Don’t Love Me, which clearly borrowed heavily from it. I’m happy to have since picked up the original from The Originator. It was released in 1955 as the b-side to Diddley’s second single, Diddley Daddy. Billy Boy Arnold plays harmonica, but it marks a split between the two of them because of what happened with the a-side.
Arnold had written a song, that he played with Diddley, called Diddy Diddy Dum Dum. He got the impression that Chess Records weren’t interested in him as a recording artist, so he took it to Vee-Jay and cut it with different lyrics as I Wish You Would. However, Chess had heard Diddy Diddy Dum Dum and wanted to release it as Diddley’s next single, maybe even with Arnold singing. But since he had just recorded it with Vee-Jay, that couldn’t happen. Chess were still keen on Diddley recording the song, so they also changed the lyrics and brought in Little Walter on harmonica. The result was Diddley Daddy.
Having two records as great as I Wish You Would and Diddley Daddy is some consolation for the fact that we’ll never get to hear Diddy Diddy Dum Dum as it was originally intended with Bo Diddley’s primitive guitar rhythms and Billy Boy Arnold’s heavy harmonica.