“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?