Born in New York City in 1940, Peggy Jones was an early-blooming talent; by age 9, she was a tap-dancing prodigy and a master of the ukulele. After graduating from New York’s High School of the Performing Arts, she got the gig that would define her career and put her name in the history books forever – replacing Jody Williams after he was drafted into the military, she took the lead guitar spot in Bo Diddley’s band.
The newly christened Lady Bo was the first woman ever hired to play lead guitar by a major act. She played full-time with Bo’s band until 1961, helping to develop the singular Bo Diddley guitar sound and co-writing many of his best-known hits. Lady Bo went back to Bo's band in 1969 and stayed until 1989.
After her 1961 departure, she was replaced by the Duchess, another female guitarist Bo Diddley hoped would continue the novelty appeal of an axe-slinging woman – but then and now, it was impossible to imitate the first lady of guitar, the holy terror on the strings that is Lady Bo. Learn more about Lady Bo and hear some of her music.
The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, our not-for-profit organization, is giving you the opportunity to thank your favorite musician for their work or an even just a particular song that has been important in your life. You can help us recognize and celebrate the unsung heroes of American music and support Living History by Living the Mission of the Stomp.
From now until May 1st 2009, when you make a donation to the Foundation, let us know your favorite Stomp artist and any personal story or note you would like to tell them. We will be sending a note of appreciation to all of the heroes named, or to their families if they are no longer with us, letting them know who made a contribution in their honor and offering your personalized thanks for their work in shaping the sound of your life! We hope you will join us in recognizing these amazing American music contributors throughout the next several months.The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation is sustained in large part by the donations of music lovers like you. Now you can show your appreciation for your favorite Stomp artist and help the Foundation continue its preservation and education based initiatives, ensuring we can serve additional musicians.
We will feature 10 Ponderosa Stomp Foundation artists and unsung heroes over the next several months. If you contribute in response to today’s email, Lady Bo will receive a personalized letter letting her know of your contribution and thanking her for her work in shaping the American sound. You can make an online donation for any musician, though, by including their name in the “Note(s) to the Foundation” field on our secure donation server. You can also contribute by mail, if you prefer, or in a variety of other ways. Learn more by visiting the Support Us section of our website.
Thank you, in advance, for your support and generosity. And may the wisdom of Teenie Hodges of the Hi Rhythm Section shine through: “Love and happiness. Love will make you do right.”