SING MY NAME: Who Is Mona?

“Hey Mona, ooooh Mona…”

Mona – Who are you?

“Mona” is a song written and performed by Ellas McDaniel, better known as Bo Diddley (1928-2008), an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter, in 1957. It was featured as the B side to his hit “Hey, Bo Diddley”.

Apparently ‘Mona’ is a 45 year old exotic dancer who worked in the Flame Show Bar in Detroit, with whom Bo became infatuated with and so wrote a song about her and for her.

“Mona” has been covered many times as well as serving as the template for Buddy Holly’s 1957 hit “Not Fade Away”.

The Rolling Stones recorded a version of “Mona” in 1964 for their debut album, as did The Troggs in 1967.

Other versions have been recorded by the Grateful Dead in 1972, The Roosters in 1980 and even Bruce Springsteen when he toured in the late 1970’s!

The best known version in modern times came in 1990 when former Australian soap star Craig McLachlan together with his band Check 1-2 recorded the song and released it as a single. It peaked at No.2 in the UK and No.3 in the Australian singles charts.

Bo Diddley himself performed the song with Tom Petty and his group The Heartbreakers live on stage during an American tour in the mid-1990’s.

What other songs with someone’s name in the title should we look into in more detail?

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!