Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger is the fifth album by American rock and roll pioneer Bo Diddley released in December 1960 by Checker Records.[1] The album title comes from the album's first track called "Gunslinger" and the cover art has Bo Diddley dressed in Western-style clothing. The songs for Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger were recorded from October 1959 to February 1960.[2]Several tracks of interest are "Sixteen Tons" which Bo was supposed to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show, the title track, and "Diddling" (an instrumental between guitar and saxophone).


 [hide*1 Songs



This song was originally released as the a-side of Checker single 965 in November 1960.[3] The singles b-side "Signifying Blues" was never released on the album. The song features a Bo Diddley beat.

Ride on Josephine[edit]Edit

"Ride on Josephine" was a rock and roll song with backing vocals and piano work by either Otis SpannLafayette Leake, or Billy Stewart.[4] The song has been covered by George Thorogood & The DestroyersSleepy LaBeef, and Eric Sardinas.

Sixteen Tons[edit]Edit

Bo Diddley was asked to perform "Sixteen Tons" on The Ed Sullivan Show but performed "Bo Diddley" instead. Being as "Sixteen Tons" is a country and western song it gives the album a different feel.


The song "Cadillac" features Gene Barge on tenor saxophone,[4] and has been covered by The KinksThe Downliners Sect, the New Colony Six, and sung as a duet by Van Morrison and Linda Gail Lewis. Cadillac was also the name of the guitar that is featured on the album's front cover.[5]

Other Songs/Styles[edit]Edit

The song "Googlia Moo", as well as "No More Lovin'" and others, gives the album a doo-wop feel.[6]

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written and composed by Ellas McDaniel, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Gunslinger"   1:50
2. "Ride on Josephine"   3:00
3. "Doing the Craw-Daddy"   2:58
4. "Cadillac"   2:39
5. "Somewhere"   2:25
Total length: 12:52[7]
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Cheyenne"   2:05
7. "Sixteen Tons(Merle Travisarr. McDaniel) 2:30
8. "Whoa Mule (Shine)"   2:28
9. "No More Lovin'"   2:25
10. "Diddling"   2:20
Total length: 11:48[7]
1988 Bonus Tracks
No. Title Length
11. "Working Man"   3:00
12. "Do What I Say"   2:46
2004 Reissue Bonus Tracks
No. Title Length
13. "Prisoner of Love(Russ ColumboLeo Robin, Clarence Gaskill) 2:31
14. "Googlia Moo"   3:02
15. "Better Watch Yourself"   2:54


Per allmusic[4]


The album spent only one week on the UK Album Charts on November 9, 1963 at #20.[8]

Release history[edit]Edit

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States December 1960 Checker Records mono


LP 2297
United Kingdom November 1963 Pye Jazz Records mono LP NJL 33
United States August 13, 1966 Checker Records 4-track cartridge 21-369A
United States 1988 Chess Records CD CHD-9285
United States April 13, 2004 Geffen Records CD 000176102
Worldwide reissue 2008 Universal International LP 1529771
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