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Rick Caballo Re-Enhances the Life and Legacy of the Late Bo Diddley


Friday, June 23rd, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Graphic Design USA Awards (GDUSA) announced Bo Diddley’s The Originator website as a winner in GDUSA's 60th anniversary Digital Design Awards. As head of creative and co-founder of Nashville’s award-winning marketing and PR firm, Rick Caballo of Dead Horse Branding has been recognized for his eighth GDUSA win. He is awarded this time for designing the brand new Bo Diddley website, solidifying Diddley’s legacy in the digital age.

This is the first digital brand enhancement for the man who created a genre of music that inspired generations and influenced artists like The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and Jimi Hendrix. The competition recognizes the power of design to make or break effective digital communities. As a trailblazing American rock and roll singer, guitarist, and songwriter, Diddley’s legacy lives on as the Bo Diddley Estate teams up with brand management company Dead Horse Branding.

Together they are working on a tribute album, which includes a compilation of Diddley’s greatest hits with some of the biggest A-List artists from the country, hip-hop, rock, and pop worlds, along with unreleased music, a bourbon line, guitar partnerships, charitable work, and a music bar and venue in downtown Nashville. The Bo Diddley Bar and Museum will be an immersive experience for the Diddley legacy where fans can honor the true icon and be transported back in time to the 50s and 60s, where Diddley revolutionized rock and roll music. As Rick has elevated the digital presence that has won a GDUSA Website Design Award, this brand re-enhancement offers a lasting musical legacy for a true influential act that created his own name, his own guitars, and his own sound.

During his lifetime, Diddley was a strong advocate for our youth and strengthening our communities. He spent much of his time performing at schools, encouraging kids to pursue education and excel at their highest. With each new generation of music fans, Diddley’s legacy continues to impact generations of rockers as the family continues to partner with foundations to bring awareness and make a call to ‘STAND WITH BO DIDDLEY’ by creating a merchandise line that gives back to charities that support our youth in need by keeping them off the streets, in school, and emotionally supported.

Rick shares, "It’s a true honor to be entrusted with the care and responsibility of Diddley's brand legacy. For the impact Diddley has made, he is sadly under-celebrated. My goal is for his name to be re-uplifted and remembered as a true pioneer of music and life. Having a brand that is rich sonically, visually, and emotionally made it easy for us. I continue to learn so much as I uncover his story!"

Born and raised in Australia but based in Nashville, TN, Rick is an art director across many mediums, including fashion, art, graphic design, music, video, and everything else in between. This accomplished renaissance man has found inspiration not only in Diddley but also in icons who Diddley inspired, such as U2, The Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen.

Kendall Minter, attorney for the Bo Diddley Estate, says, “As Trustee of the Estate of Bo Diddley and on behalf of his family, we congratulate our branding and marketing partner, Dead Horse Branding, on their recent Graphic Design USA Award. The preservation and re-enhancement of the legacy of the iconic Bo Diddley is our joint mission, and the re-launch of the website and new strategic alliances for merchandising, NFTs, a documentary film, product tie-ins, and branded music and dining venues are just a few of the present initiatives. And we’re just getting started.”

Diddley was known as "The Originator" and coined the term ‘Create, DON’T Imitate’ because of his key role in the merge from blues music to rock and roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and The Rolling Stones, to name a few. His 1958 debut album "Bo Diddley" is listed on the "100 Music, Movie, and TV Moments That Have Changed the World." Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

GDUSA has been celebrating and awarding designers for 60 years. In 2018, Rick was named GDUSA’s person to watch. In 2019, Rick brought home two American Web Design Awards, and in 2020, he received the International Design Award for a coffee table book he photographed, designed, and co-wrote for legendary music producer Tony Brown.

To learn more about the GDUSA Design Award, please visit

For more information on Bo Diddley, please visit Website, Spotify, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

For more information, contact Dead Horse Branding at the following:

Danielle Reiss

Dead Horse Branding

Phone: (949) 421-9787


About Bo Diddley


Bo Diddley “The Originator” (December 30, 1928 - June 2, 2008), born Ellas Otha Bates, was an original and influential American rock and roll singer, guitarist and songwriter. He was known as "The Originator" because of the key role in the transition from blues music to rock and roll, influencing a host of legendary acts including Buddy Holly, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones to name a few. He introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and hard-edged guitar sound on a wide-ranging catalog of songs. Diddley was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and a Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was also an influential guitar player who invented many special effects and other innovations in tone and attack. Diddley's trademark instrument was the rectangular-bodied Gretsch guitar, nicknamed "The Twang Machine," a guitar that he developed himself around 1958 and wielded in thousands of concerts over the years. He later had other similar-shaped guitars custom-made for him by other manufacturers. He also played the violin, which is featured on his mournful instrumental "The Clock Strikes Twelve," a 12-bar blues.

Diddley started playing the guitar after hearing bluesman John Lee Hooker in Chicago. In 1951, he landed a regular spot at the 708 Club on Chicago's South Side, with a repertoire influenced by John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and band leader Louis Jordan.

In late 1954, he teamed up with harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, drummer Clifton James, and bass player Roosevelt Jackson to record demos of “I'm A Man" and "Bo Diddley" with a backing ensemble comprised by Otis Spann (piano), Lester Davenport (harmonica), Frank Kirkland (drums), and Jerome Green (maracas). They then re-recorded the songs at Chess Studios. The record was released in March of 1955, the a-side, "Bo Diddley," becoming an R&B number-one hit. Following the hit, The Ed Sullivan Show booked Diddley to play live. Sullivan asked him to sing Tennessee Ernie Ford’s country smash “Sixteen Tons”; instead, the young star unleashed the guitar maelstrom that introduced him to the world, and whose title bore his name: “Bo Diddley.”

He invented his name, his guitar & a beat that changed music forever. - Rolling Stone

Throughout the 1950s and 1960, Diddley became a musical force with albums like Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel. Bo Diddley is best known for the "Bo Diddley beat," a driving, rumba-like beat. Although the beat conjures feelings of Africa and the Caribbean, Diddley reportedly invented it while trying to play Gene Autry's "(I've Got Spurs That) Jingle, Jangle, Jingle." The Bo Diddley beat was used by many other artists in the 1950s and 1960s, notably Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away"); Johnny Otis ("Willie and the Hand Jive"); Elvis Presley ("His Latest Flame"); Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders ("The Game of Love"); Jefferson Airplane ("She Has Funny Cars"); George Michael ("Faith"); and others. The early The Rolling Stones sound featured several uses of the Bo-Diddley beat on songs such as "Not Fade Away" and "I Need You Baby (Mona)." Buddy Holly's own cover version of "Bo Diddley" provided him with a top-ten posthumous hit in the UK in 1963. Diddley had several additional hits through the late 1950s and the 1960s, including "Pretty Thing" (1956), "Say Man" (1959), and "You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover" (1962). He released a string of albums whose titles—including Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger and Have Guitar, Will Travel—that bolstered his self-invented legend. Between 1958 and 1963, Checker Records released 11 full-length albums by Bo Diddley.

Diddley was a breakthrough crossover artist with white audiences, appearing on the Alan Freed concerts and popular television shows. However, he rarely tailored his compositions or performances to teenage concerns. His live shows—unlike those of Chuck Berry, for example—were oriented toward adult black night clubs until his later career of playing oldies shows. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

In his later years, Diddley continued to perform, conducting a world tour in 2005 to celebrate 50 years in music. In 2005, Bo Diddley celebrated his fiftieth anniversary in music with successful tours of Australia and Europe, and with coast-to-coast shows across North America. He performed his song "Bo Diddley" with Eric Clapton and Robbie Robertson at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's twentieth annual induction ceremony and in the UK, Uncut magazine included his 1958 debut album "Bo Diddley" in its listing of the "100 Music, Movie & TV Moments That Have Changed The World."

About Dead Horse Branding

Dead Horse Branding is an award-winning public relations, management and branding agency with headquarters in both Nashville, TN, and Sydney, Australia. Dead Horse Branding creates, designs, and refines each component of a brand, ensuring that the brand will always hit the right chord on every level. Dead Horse Branding’s business model is a cutting-edge management and branding service all-in-house that spans multiple industries, including music, fashion, design, business, culinary, entertainment, fitness, and more. There are 7 primary formulas to branding and Dead Horse does them all under one roof, making them a very competitive branding agency.

Branding is an identity developed through our DH7 branding formula, which includes: strategic planning, logo and image design, photography and visual assets, website design, marketing and social media, publicity, licensing, and distribution. Dead Horse Branding’s brand-building technique has been implemented into the education system in the USA and Australia. Rick Caballo and Melissa Core-Caballo were instrumental in helping to lead Kennesaw State University's Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business program (MEBUS) as one of top curriculums ranked by Billboard Magazine 2022.

Baha Men, LOVING MARY (Steven Tyler's solo band), Cyndi Lauper, Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster, Bo Diddley Estate, HENDRIX Music Academy, Grammy Winning Mark O’Connor Band, Universal Music Group, MTSU, Sony Music, ACPI Group, Interior Designer Kathy Anderson, Gigi Butler of Gigi Cupcakes, TEDx, NAMM, Songwriting University, Marc Jordan, Music Producer Tony Brown, Jayne Denham, Average Joes Entertainment, Music Expo, Joel A. Katz MEBUS Program, The Today Show, Lionsgate, and Hallmark are some of the brands we have had the pleasure of working within the USA and internationally.

Visit for more information!

Press Quotes

"He is part of the DNA of rock 'n' roll, but like many great musicians he never got the credit he was due." - Ronnie Wood; The Rolling Stones


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