Leon Redbone started out performing in nightclubs in Canada in the early 70’s. In 1974 “Rolling Stone” magazine wrote a feature article on him before he even had his first recording contract. His first album came out in 1975. He went on to release 15 albums and he became a regular guest on The Merv Griffin Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Tonight Show which is where this clip is from. He has also lent his voice to several TV theme songs and commercial jingles. The song in this clip is “Diddie Wah Diddie.” It was written by and first performed by Blind Blake in 1929.
Leon appears to be rushing the song quite a bit in this clip so the words might be a bit hard to understand. But if you look at the song’s lyrics (or just use your imagination) I think it’s pretty clear what “diddie wah diddie” means. I try not to make this claim for all musical genres but I steadfastly stand by my assertion that today’s potty mouthed kids can’t hold a candle to the superior smut song stylists of yesteryear!