The Wire

News

Peggy Jones aka Lady Bo has died aged 75

Bo Diddley’s rhythm guitarist Lady Bo has died aged 75

Bo Diddley’s rhythm guitarist Peggy Jones (aka Lady Bo) has died aged 75. Jones was born in Harlem, New York, and grew up on Sugar Hill. By the time she was ten, she was studying opera and playing the ukulele. Jones attended the High School for the Performing Arts as a teenager, specialising in tap, ballet, drama, music theory and several instruments. Two years after buying her first guitar at the age of 15, she joined local group The Bop-Chords. As a member of that group she met Bo Diddley, which led to her becoming the first female guitarist to be hired by a major rock artist. She formed her own side-group The Jewels, later known as Lady Bo And The Family Jewel, while still in Diddley’s band. Her group, which stayed active into the 1990s, recorded the northern soul classic “We Got Togetherness” for MGM Records in 1966. Lady Bo also worked as a session performer on hits including Les Cooper’s “Wiggle Wibble” (featuring her guitar work) and Eric Burdon And The Animals’ “San Francisco Nights” (to which she contributed percussion). Later, Jones performed as Lady Bo And The DC Horns.

Her husband Wally Malone announced his wife’s passing via Facebook, saying, “Today is one of the saddest days of my life. My wife and partner of 47 years has been called up to that great rock & roll band in the heavens to be reunited with Bo Diddley, Jerome Green and Clifton James. The last hour and a quarter I spent by her side and the last thing I said to her was the quote above regarding Diddley and band. The other thing I added at the end of it is that band doesn’t have a bass player and for them to please hold that seat until it is my time to join them. The incredible part of this is immediately after saying this to her there was a quick sound that came from her and right then her heart stopped beating. Many of you know about the Bo Diddley connection but in case not my wife’s professional stage name is Lady Bo.”