Lady Bo and The Duchess and Mama's Power Chords

How about a little Girl Rock schoolin' on a rainy Wednesday afternoon?

In honor of another woman who, as the common parlance goes, rocks out loud.


After a little research, I found out that the Bo Diddley clip I posted below is from a 1966 movie called The Big TNT Show.

And that "Girl with Guitar" is The Duchess, Ms. Norma-Jean Wofford.

From and Spectropop:
"The Duchess cut an amazing figure on stage with the band...working alongside singers Gloria Morgan and Lily "Bee Bee" Jamieson, i.e. the "Bo-ettes," ...her main function was providing the lead fills on various songs or doubling with Bo Diddley's own rhythm guitar; on stage, they made a combination more overpowering than Brian Jones and Keith Richards.


Lending her inimitable style to the grooves of 1962's "Bo Diddley & Company" and 1963's "Bo Diddley's Beach Party" albums, she accompanied him on his first tour of England that same year, where her guitar prowess created a stir equaled only by that of her skin-tight gold lamé cat suit. Asked by one dauntless investigator how she managed to get into it, Norma-Jean responded by pulling out an over-sized shoehorn.
Wofford's decision to get married ended her career -- she left the band and settled down to raise a family. "

Settled down, eh?

I'd like to think that at least once during one of the holiday parties at her kids' school, Norma-Jean, as room parent, lead a raucous round of "Up On The Housetop" after teaching the 1st graders to kick out a Bo Diddley beat on the desktops.

Or that in the middle of a difficult teen-attitude, eye-rolling, "omg, Mom, you're sooooooooo embarrassing me with your square, settled-down ways" moment, Norma-Jean turned heel, grabbed the old Gretsch guitar from the back of the bedroom closet, and convinced her kids once and for all that mama ain't just about laundry and homework and cooking a tender pot roast.

Mama - okay, now I'm talking about me mostly, let's be clear here...I mean, it's still my blog, tributes notwithstanding - Mama is more than just a two-dimensional satellite that revolves around the family.

Mama loves you more than air, honey, and Mama would lift a bus to get at you, darling.

But if "settled-down" even in its definition of "Zen fulfillment of selflessness through service to others" is ever misinterpreted as "the metaphorical gold lamé cat suit of Mama's former self has individuated to become an empty, Ziplock baggie", well kiddo, let me show you a few power chords I still happen to know.

Okay...enough about me.

I mean, The Duchess.

I mean, me.


Before performing on stage with The Duchess, Bo Diddley performed with Lady Bo.

Lady Bo, a.k.a. Peggy Jones, a.k.a. Queen Mother of Guitar.

"I am not an entertainer who creates copy, nor am I the daughter of someone famous. I am strong in my beliefs and convictions. I am one; I am special; I am somebody, and most important, I am me. I've walked down the path many light years ago to prove that: Yes, I can do this! Watch me fly!" ~ Lady Bo.

That is possibly the best affirmation I have ever read.

I'm getting that quote tattooed on my forearm.

Because, you know, sometimes it's Mama telling Mama the Ziplock baggie lie.


Lesson over.

Go forth, friends, and Rock Out Loud.

Even in the settled-down service of life, hum a little power chord.

Pin a piece of gold lamé

to your pot roast.

(Metaphorically speaking.)


In fact, why don't you tell me where and when it is that you "pin your gold lamé"?

For example, I'd been sitting 3+ hours a week watching one of my daughters figure skate, and I kept thinking "I would have loved to learn how to figure skate." It took me over three years to finally slap myself in the head and then pin on my gold lamé. I bought a pair of figure skates (thank you, George Bush and the American tax payers) and I'm now taking lessons. I'll let you know when I land my first lutz.


This is for Sweetney. "Come As You Are". Go there. Do it. It's liberating.

Your hostess, 1:38 AM, with laundry. (And power chords.)


anne said...

You go sista!

I happen to personally know how well and righteous you rock it. I've heard you sing Love Shack.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

For me I think it's been going back to school. It may not be the easiest thing in terms of everyone's schedule, but I love it.

Tracey said...

you are totally so rock and roll!

Krista said...

well that just freakin' rocks!!

LOVE this post!

thanks madame jozet for the tribute to the sistahood!

too many times these talented amazing ladies that jammed faded into the background behind the "legends" when in fact, they were legends in their own right! they paved the way starting many decades ago.

i was intrigued by "the Dutchess" when you posted that Bo Diddley clip and watched her more than him, thinking "Damn! You go girl!". thanks for digging up the history on her. she rocks. and so do you...dirty laundry piles and all! :)

Mother Theresa said...

Great post. I would love to learn to tango...but it takes two to tango, and I think my hubby isn't much into the idea. Maybe I'll just learn to belly dance...ooh, and get me a belly button ring. Anyway, you get out there and skate up a storm! :)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this post. Why have I never heard of the awesomeness that is The Dutchess?

And regarding settling? That's why I'm a single, never-married mama.

Your photo -- beautiful.

And now, you're so going on the blogroll.

Mom101 said...

I never regret stopping by here. I too want that affirmation somewhere not cheesy.

And look how cool you look! In this season's chic color no less.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED this post! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I need to think about my gold lame, but have rush over to video tape the 4th grade play - GOLD DUST OR BUST! Sigh.

Nauntie Lush said...

AWESOME! And you look great in that should have had your skates on!

My glasses, all WALMART baby. They kind of make me feel all "Sexy Librarian" you should get a pair for fun!

** said...

I am so glad to have happened upon you! Don't you just love the internet?? YAY

Awesome picture, love gold's going to go great with your eyes!

Anonymous said...

I have all sorts of gold lame pinned up all over the house. I've got so much gold lame that you can hardly find the kids among all of it.

The triathlon is a means of fitting INTO the gold lame.

Paula Lynn Johnson said...

Love this. Maybe now I WILL actually screw up my courage and take that kickboxing class.

Jon said...

Rock On. Your Pal, Cousin Oliver

MommyTime said...

I am finally catching up on my reader from this week, and I had to say: this post is fabulosity itself. I LOVE it. I'm in the midst right now of a questioning, am-I-settling?, debate with myself over my career. I am not sure yet, but I do feel inspired by this post to think long and hard about this and actually DO something about it.

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