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Ellas Otha Bates, (December 30, 1928 – June 2, 2008), African-American Blues and Rock singer, mainly prominent in the 1950s.
Copied from "Music of Note:"
He was known as "the Originator" for being one of the first artists to start playing Rock & Roll. The Beatles cited him as a favorite, and Hendrix and Clapton were directly inspired by him. His most famous contribution was the "Bo Diddley Beat" that rock bands the world over still use.
He famously made his own, distinctively rectangular, electric guitars. They have a distinctive, almost ukelele-like tone color, easily recognizable and closely associated with Bo Diddley Beat-type music.
He also served for some time as a deputy Sheriff.