Chuck Berry

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Artist / Musician
Artist / Performer

Chuck Berry        (1926-2017)

Chuck Berry was one of the most influential rock and roll pioneers of all time and is considered by some, the “Father of Rock and Roll.”  His swagger, focus on guitar riffs, and emphasis on songwriting as storytelling would inspire all who followed him.  John Lennon would offer, “If you were to give rock and roll another name, you might call it “Chuck Berry.”

In 1955, Chuck traveled to Chicago where he met his idol Muddy Waters.  When Chuck asked Muddy where a good studio to record his blues was, Muddy suggested Chess Records on 47th and Cottage.  The following Monday, Chuck met the Chess Brothers who, surprisingly, were more interested in his hillbilly song “Ida Red,” than his blues.  The Chess brothers renamed the song “Maybelline” and released it as a single.  It rose to #5 on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues chart.

Between 1955 and 1959, Chuck Berry would hit the top ten with over a dozen hits including “Johnny B. Goode,” “You Can’t Catch Me,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Rock and Roll Music,” and “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man.”

In 1972, Chess Records released his only #1 hit— “My Ding-a-Ling.”

Chuck Berry was the subject of a documentary film “Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll” with Keith Richards and Eric Clapton in 1987.  A recording of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” was attached by NASA to the spacecraft Voyager 1, and is today more than 10 billion miles from Earth.