Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll. Nicknamed the “Father of Rock and Roll”, he refined and developed rhythm and blues into the key parts that made rock and roll distinctive with songs resembling “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958).[1] Writing lyrics that centered on teen life and consumerism, and growing a music fashion that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a significant affect on subsequent rock music.[2]

Born right into a middle-class black household in St. Louis, Berry had an curiosity in music from an early age and gave his first public efficiency at Sumner Excessive College. Whereas nonetheless a highschool pupil he was convicted of armed theft and was despatched to a reformatory, the place he was held from 1944 to 1947. After his launch, Berry settled into married life and labored at an vehicle meeting plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship methods of the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry started performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.[3] His break got here when he traveled to Chicago in Might 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who advised he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Information. With Chess, he recorded “Maybellene”—Berry’s adaptation of the nation music “Ida Crimson”—which bought over 1,000,000 copies, reaching primary on Billboard journal’s rhythm and blues chart.[4]

By the tip of the Fifties, Berry was a longtime star, with a number of hit data and movie appearances and a profitable touring profession. He had additionally established his personal St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Membership Bandstand.[5] He was sentenced to a few years in jail in January 1962 for offenses beneath the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old lady throughout state traces for the aim of getting sexual activity.[3][6][7] After his launch in 1963, Berry had a number of extra profitable songs, together with “No Specific Place to Go”, “You By no means Can Inform”, and “Nadine”. Nevertheless, these didn’t obtain the identical success or lasting influence of his Fifties songs, and by the Nineteen Seventies he was extra in demand as a nostalgia performer, taking part in his previous materials with native backup bands of variable high quality.[3] In 1972 he reached a brand new stage of accomplishment when a rendition of “My Ding-a-Ling” turned his solely document to prime the charts. His insistence on being paid in money led in 1979 to a four-month jail sentence and neighborhood service, for tax evasion.

Berry was among the many first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having “laid the groundwork for not solely a rock and roll sound however a rock and roll stance.”[8] Berry is included in a number of of Rolling Stone journal’s “best of all time” lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 and 2011 lists of the 100 Biggest Artists of All Time.[9] The Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame’s 500 Songs That Formed Rock and Roll contains three of Berry’s: “Johnny B. Goode”, “Maybellene”, and “Rock and Roll Music”.[10] Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” is the one rock-and-roll music included on the Voyager Golden Document.[11]


Chuck Berry’s guitar, Maybellene, a Gibson ES-350T

Born in St. Louis,[12] Berry was the youngest little one. He grew up within the north St. Louis neighborhood generally known as the Ville, an space the place many middle-class individuals lived. His father, Henry William Berry (1895–1987) was a contractor and deacon of a close-by Baptist church; his mom, Martha Bell (Banks) (1894–1980) was a licensed public college principal.[13] Berry’s upbringing allowed him to pursue his curiosity in music from an early age. He gave his first public efficiency in 1941 whereas nonetheless a pupil at Sumner Excessive College;[14] he was nonetheless a pupil there in 1944, when he was arrested for armed theft after robbing three retailers in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri, after which stealing a automotive at gunpoint with some associates.[15][16] Berry’s account in his autobiography is that his automotive broke down and he flagged down a passing automotive and stole it at gunpoint with a nonfunctional pistol.[17] He was convicted and despatched to the Intermediate Reformatory for Younger Males at Algoa, close to Jefferson Metropolis, Missouri,[12] the place he fashioned a singing quartet and did some boxing.[15] The singing group turned competent sufficient that the authorities allowed it to carry out exterior the detention facility.[18] Berry was launched from the reformatory on his twenty first birthday in 1947.

On October 28, 1948, Berry married Themetta “Toddy” Suggs, who gave beginning to Darlin Ingrid Berry on October 3, 1950.[19] Berry supported his household by taking varied jobs in St. Louis, working briefly as a manufacturing facility employee at two vehicle meeting vegetation and as a janitor within the residence constructing the place he and his spouse lived. Afterwards he skilled as a beautician on the Poro Faculty of Cosmetology, based by Annie Turnbo Malone.[20] He was doing effectively sufficient by 1950 to purchase a “small three room brick cottage with a shower” on Whittier Road,[21] which is now listed because the Chuck Berry Home on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations.[22]

By the early Fifties, Berry was working with native bands in golf equipment in St. Louis as an additional supply of earnings.[21] He had been taking part in blues since his teenagers, and he borrowed each guitar riffs and showmanship methods from the blues musician T-Bone Walker.[23] He additionally took guitar classes from his pal Ira Harris, which laid the muse for his guitar fashion.[24]

By early 1953 Berry was performing with Johnnie Johnson’s trio, beginning a long-time collaboration with the pianist.[25][26] The band performed blues and ballads in addition to nation. Berry wrote, “Curiosity provoked me to put plenty of our nation stuff on our predominantly black viewers and a few of our black viewers started whispering ‘who’s that black hillbilly on the Cosmo?’ After they laughed at me a number of occasions they started requesting the hillbilly stuff and loved dancing to it.”[12]

In 1954, Berry recorded the tracks “I Hope These Phrases Will Discover You Effectively” and “Oh, Maria!” with the group Joe Alexander & the Cubans. The songs had been launched as a single on the Ballad label.[27]

Berry’s showmanship, together with a mixture of nation tunes and R&B tunes, sung within the fashion of Nat King Cole set to the music of Muddy Waters introduced in a wider viewers, notably prosperous white individuals.[3][28]


1955–1962: Signing with Chess: “Maybellene” to “Come On”

Berry in a 1958 publicity photograph

In Might 1955, Berry traveled to Chicago, the place he met Muddy Waters who advised he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Information. Berry thought his blues music would curiosity Chess, however Chess was a bigger fan of Berry’s tackle “Ida Crimson”.[29] On Might 21, 1955, Berry recorded an adaptation of the music “Ida Crimson”, beneath the title “Maybellene”, with Johnnie Johnson on the piano, Jerome Inexperienced (from Bo Diddley’s band) on the maracas, Ebby Hardy on the drums and Willie Dixon on the bass.[30] “Maybellene” bought over 1,000,000 copies, reaching primary on Billboard journal’s rhythm and blues chart and quantity 5 on its Finest Sellers in Shops chart for September 10, 1955.[12][31] Berry mentioned, “It got here out on the proper time when Afro-American music was spilling over into the mainstream pop.”[32]

When Berry first noticed a replica of the Maybellene document, he was stunned that two different people, together with DJ Alan Freed had been given writing credit score; that will entitle them to a number of the royalties. After a court docket battle, Berry was in a position to regain full writing credit score.[33][34]

On the finish of June 1956, his music “Roll Over Beethoven” reached quantity 29 on the Billboards High 100 chart, and Berry toured as one of many “High Acts of ’56”. He and Carl Perkins turned associates. Perkins mentioned that “I knew once I first heard Chuck that he’d been affected by nation music. I revered his writing; his data had been very, very nice.”[35] In late 1957, Berry took half in Alan Freed’s “Largest Present of Stars for 1957”, touring america with the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and others.[36] He was a visitor on ABC’s Man Mitchell Present, singing his hit music “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music”. The hits continued from 1957 to 1959, with Berry scoring over a dozen chart singles throughout this era, together with the US High 10 hits “College Days”, “Rock and Roll Music”, “Candy Little Sixteen”, and “Johnny B. Goode”. He appeared in two early rock-and-roll films: Rock Rock Rock (1956), during which he sang “You Cannot Catch Me”, and Go, Johnny, Go! (1959), during which he had a talking function as himself and carried out “Johnny B. Goode”, “Memphis, Tennessee”, and “Little Queenie”. His efficiency of “Candy Little Sixteen” on the Newport Jazz Competition in 1958 was captured within the movement image Jazz on a Summer time’s Day.[37]

The opening guitar riff of “Johnny B. Goode”[38] is surprisingly much like the one utilized by Louis Jordan in his Ain’t That Simply Like a Lady (1946).[38] Berry acknowledged the debt to Jordan and several other sources have indicated that his work was influenced by Jordan normally.[39][40][41]

By the tip of the Fifties, Berry was a high-profile established star with a number of hit data and movie appearances and a profitable touring profession. He had opened a racially built-in St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Membership Bandstand, and invested in actual property.[42] However in December 1959, he was arrested beneath the Mann Act after allegations that he had had sexual activity with a 14-year-old Apache waitress, Janice Escalante,[43] whom he had transported throughout state traces to work as a hatcheck lady at his membership.[44] After a two-week trial in March 1960, he was convicted, fined $5,000, and sentenced to 5 years in jail.[45] He appealed the choice, arguing that the decide’s feedback and perspective had been racist and prejudiced the jury in opposition to him. The enchantment was upheld,[6][46] and a second trial was heard in Might and June 1961,[47] leading to one other conviction and a three-year jail sentence.[48] After one other enchantment failed, Berry served one and one-half years in jail, from February 1962 to October 1963.[49] He had continued recording and performing through the trials, however his output had slowed as his recognition declined; his ultimate single launched earlier than he was imprisoned was “Come On”.[50]

1963–1969: “Nadine” and transfer to Mercury

Berry and his sister Lucy Ann (1965)

When Berry was launched from jail in 1963, his return to recording and performing was made simpler as a result of British invasion bands—notably The Beatles and The Rolling Stones—had sustained curiosity in his music by releasing cowl variations of his songs,[51][52] and different bands had reworked a few of them, such because the Seashore Boys’ 1963 hit “Surfin’ U.S.A.”, which used the melody of Berry’s “Candy Little Sixteen”.[53] In 1964 and 1965 Berry launched eight singles, together with three that had been commercially profitable, reaching the highest 20 of the Billboard 100: “No Specific Place to Go” (a humorous remodeling of “College Days”, in regards to the introduction of seat belts in vehicles),[54] “You By no means Can Inform”, and the rocking “Nadine”.[55] Between 1966 and 1969 Berry launched 5 albums for Mercury Information, together with his second dwell album (and first recorded fully onstage), Dwell at Fillmore Auditorium; for the dwell album he was backed by the Steve Miller Band.[56][57]

Though this era was not a profitable one for studio work,[58] Berry was nonetheless a prime live performance draw. In Might 1964, he had made a profitable tour of the UK,[54] however when he returned in January 1965 his habits was erratic and moody, and his touring fashion of utilizing unrehearsed native backing bands and a strict nonnegotiable contract was incomes him a popularity as a troublesome and unexciting performer.[59] He additionally performed at giant occasions in North America, such because the Schaefer Music Competition, in New York Metropolis’s Central Park in July 1969, and the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival pageant in October.[60]

1970–1979: Again to Chess: “My Ding-a-Ling” to White Home live performance

Berry helped give life to a subculture … Even “My Ding-a-Ling”, a fourth-grade wee-wee joke that used to mortify true believers in school concert events, permitted plenty of twelve-year-olds new perception into the moribund idea of “soiled” when it hit the airwaves …

Robert Christgau[61]

Berry returned to Chess from 1970 to 1973. There have been no hit singles from the 1970 album Again Dwelling, however in 1972 Chess launched a dwell recording of “My Ding-a-Ling”, a novelty music which he had recorded in a distinct model as “My Tambourine” on his 1968 LP From St. Louie to Frisco.[62] The monitor turned his solely number-one single. A dwell recording of “Reelin’ and Rockin'”, issued as a follow-up single in the identical 12 months, was his final High 40 hit in each the US and the UK. Each singles had been included on the part-live, part-studio album The London Chuck Berry Classes (different albums of London periods had been recorded by Chess’s mainstay artists Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf). Berry’s second tenure with Chess ended with the 1975 album Chuck Berry, after which he didn’t make a studio document till Rockit for Atco Information in 1979, which might be his final studio album for 38 years.[63]

Berry as visitor host of The Midnight Particular in 1973

Within the Nineteen Seventies Berry toured on the power of his earlier successes. He was on the street for a few years, carrying solely his Gibson guitar, assured that he may rent a band that already knew his music regardless of the place he went. AllMusic mentioned that on this interval his “dwell performances turned more and more erratic, … working with horrible backup bands and delivering sloppy, out-of-tune performances” which “tarnished his popularity with youthful followers and oldtimers” alike.[42] In March 1972 he was filmed, on the BBC Tv Theatre in Shepherds Bush, for Chuck Berry in Live performance,[64] a part of a 60-date tour backed by the band Rocking Horse.[65] Among the many many bandleaders performing a backup function with Berry within the Nineteen Seventies had been Bruce Springsteen and Steve Miller when every was simply beginning his profession. (Springsteen associated within the documentary movie Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll that Berry didn’t give the band a set record, and anticipated the musicians to comply with his lead after every guitar intro. Berry didn’t converse to the band after the present. However, Springsteen backed Berry once more when he appeared on the live performance for the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame in 1995.) On the request of Jimmy Carter, Berry carried out on the White Home on June 1, 1979.[57]

Berry’s touring fashion, touring the “oldies” circuit within the Nineteen Seventies (typically being paid in money by native promoters), added ammunition to the Inner Income Service’s accusations that Berry had evaded paying earnings taxes. Dealing with legal sanction for the third time, Berry pleaded responsible to evading practically $110,000 in federal earnings tax owed on his 1973 earnings. Newspaper studies in 1979 put his 1973 joint earnings (together with his spouse) at $374,982.[66] He was sentenced to 4 months in jail and 1,000 hours of neighborhood service—performing profit concert events—in 1979.[67]

1980–2017: Final years on the street

Berry performing on the 1997 Lengthy Seashore Blues Competition

Berry continued to play 70 to 100 one-nighters per 12 months within the Nineteen Eighties, nonetheless touring solo and requiring a neighborhood band to again him at every cease. In 1986, Taylor Hackford made a documentary movie, Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll, of a celebration live performance for Berry’s sixtieth birthday, organized by Keith Richards.[68] Eric Clapton, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray, and Linda Ronstadt, amongst others, appeared with Berry on stage and within the movie. Through the live performance, Berry performed a Gibson ES-355, the posh model of the ES-335 that he favored on his Nineteen Seventies excursions. Richards performed a black Fender Telecaster Customized, Cray a Fender Stratocaster and Clapton a Gibson ES 350T, the identical mannequin that Berry used on his early recordings.[15]

Within the late Nineteen Eighties, Berry purchased the Southern Air, a restaurant in Wentzville, Missouri.[69]

In November 2000, Berry confronted authorized points when he was sued by his former pianist Johnnie Johnson who claimed that he had co-written over 50 songs, together with “No Specific Place to Go”, “Candy Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven”, that credit score Berry alone. The case was dismissed when the decide dominated that an excessive amount of time had handed because the songs had been written.[70]

Berry in 2008

In 2008, Berry toured Europe, with stops in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the UK, the Netherlands, Eire, Switzerland, Poland, and Spain. In mid-2008, he performed on the Virgin Competition in Baltimore.[71] Throughout a live performance on New Yr’s Day 2011 in Chicago, Berry, affected by exhaustion, handed out and needed to be helped off stage.[72]

Berry lived in Ladue, Missouri, roughly 10 miles (16 km) west of St. Louis. He additionally had a house at “Berry Park”, close to Wentzville, Missouri the place he lived part-time because the Fifties and was the house during which he died. This residence, with the guitar-shaped swimming pool, is seen in scenes close to the tip of the movie Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll.[73]
He repeatedly carried out one Wednesday every month at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and bar positioned within the Delmar Loop neighborhood of St. Louis, from 1996 to 2014.

Berry introduced on his ninetieth birthday that his first new studio album since Rockit in 1979, entitled Chuck, can be launched in 2017.[74] His first new document in 38 years, it contains his youngsters, Charles Berry Jr. and Ingrid, on guitar and harmonica, with songs “masking the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful thought-provoking time capsules of a life’s work” and devoted to his beloved spouse of 68 years, Toddy.[75]

Bodily and sexual abuse allegations

In 1987, Berry was charged with assaulting a girl at New York’s Gramercy Park Lodge. He was accused of inflicting “lacerations of the mouth, requiring 5 stitches, two unfastened enamel, [and] contusions of the face.” He pleaded responsible to a lesser cost of harassment and paid a $250 fantastic.[76] In 1990, he was sued by a number of ladies who claimed that he had put in a video digital camera within the rest room of his restaurant. Berry claimed that he had had the digital camera put in to catch a employee who was suspected of stealing from the restaurant. Though his guilt was by no means confirmed in court docket, Berry opted for a category motion settlement. One in every of his biographers, Bruce Pegg, estimated that with 59 ladies it price Berry over $1.2 million plus authorized charges.[15] His attorneys mentioned he had been the sufferer of a conspiracy to revenue from his wealth.[15] Throughout this time Berry started utilizing Wayne T. Schoeneberg as his authorized counsel. Reportedly, a police raid on his home discovered intimate videotapes of ladies, considered one of whom was apparently a minor. Additionally discovered within the raid had been 62 grams of marijuana. Felony drug and child-abuse costs had been filed. Because the child-abuse costs had been dropped, Berry agreed to plead responsible to misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence, positioned on two years unsupervised probation and was ordered to donate $5,000 to a neighborhood hospital.[77] Later, movies Berry recorded of himself urinating on a girl and one other of her defecating on him would floor.[78][79][80]


On March 18, 2017, Berry was discovered unresponsive at his residence close to Wentzville, Missouri. Emergency staff referred to as to the scene had been unable to revive him, and he was pronounced useless by his private doctor.[81][82] TMZ posted an audio recording on its web site during which a 911 operator will be heard responding to a reported cardiac arrest at Berry’s residence.[83]

Berry’s funeral was held on April 9, 2017, at The Pageant, in Berry’s hometown of St. Louis.[84][85] He was remembered with a public viewing by household, associates, and followers in The Pageant, a music membership the place he typically carried out. He was considered together with his cherry-red Gibson ES-335 guitar bolted to the within lid of the coffin[86] and with flower preparations that included one despatched by The Rolling Stones within the form of a guitar. Afterwards a non-public service was held within the membership celebrating Berry’s life and musical profession, with the Berry household inviting 300 members of the general public into the service. Gene Simmons of Kiss gave an impromptu, unadvertised eulogy on the service, whereas Little Richard was scheduled to steer the funeral procession however was unable to attend as a consequence of an sickness. The night time earlier than, many St. Louis space bars held a mass toast at 10 pm in Berry’s honor.[87]

One in every of Berry’s attorneys estimated that his property was price $50 million, together with $17 million in music rights. Berry’s music publishing accounted for $13 million of the property’s worth. The Berry property owned roughly half of his songwriting credit (principally from his later profession), whereas BMG Rights Administration managed the opposite half; most of Berry’s recordings are at the moment owned by Common Music Group.[88] In September 2017, Dualtone, the label which launched Berry’s ultimate album, Chuck, agreed to publish all his compositions in america.[89]

Berry is interred in a mausoleum in Bellerive Gardens Cemetery in St. Louis.[90]


“The founding father of rock n roll” avenue artwork on Denmark Road, London

Whereas no particular person will be mentioned to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single determine to being the one who put all of the important items collectively. It was his explicit genius to graft nation & western guitar licks onto a rhythm & blues chassis in his very first single, “Maybellene”.

Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame[91][92]

A pioneer of rock and roll, Berry was a major affect on the event of each the music and the perspective related to the rock music life-style. With songs resembling “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the key parts that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics efficiently aimed to enchantment to the early teenage market by utilizing graphic and humorous descriptions of stripling dances, quick vehicles, highschool life, and shopper tradition,[3] and using guitar solos and showmanship that will be a significant affect on subsequent rock music.[2] Thus Berry, the songwriter, in accordance with critic Jon Pareles, invented rock as “a music of teenage needs fulfilled and good occasions (even with cops in pursuit).”[93] Berry contributed three issues to rock music: an irresistible swagger, a concentrate on the guitar riff as the first melodic ingredient and an emphasis on songwriting as storytelling.[94] His data are a wealthy storehouse of the important lyrical, showmanship and musical parts of rock and roll. Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, numerous vital popular-music performers have recorded Berry’s songs.[3] Though not technically completed, his guitar fashion is distinctive—he integrated digital results to imitate the sound of bottleneck blues guitarists and drew on the affect of guitar gamers resembling Carl Hogan,[95] and T-Bone Walker[3] to provide a transparent and thrilling sound that many later guitarists would acknowledge as an affect in their very own fashion.[77] Berry’s showmanship has been influential on different rock guitarists,[96] notably his one-legged hop routine,[97] and the “duck stroll”,[98] which he first used as a baby when he walked “stooping with full-bended knees, however with my again and head vertical” beneath a desk to retrieve a ball and his household discovered it entertaining; he used it when “performing in New York for the primary time and a few journalist branded it the duck stroll.”[99][100]

He has been cited as a significant reference to a wide range of a number of the most influential acts of all time:

  • Elvis Presley lined “Memphis, Tennessee”, Too A lot Monkey Enterprise”, “Johnny B. Goode” and “Promised Land”
  • Jimi Hendrix lined “Johnny B. Goode”
  • The Beatles lined “Rock and Roll Music”, “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Memphis, Tennessee” amongst others
  • The Rolling Stones have lined “Round and Round”, “Bye Bye Johnny”, “Carol”, “Come On”, “Let It Rock”, “Little Queenie”, “Talkin’ About You”, and “You Cannot Catch Me”, amongst others
  • The Seashore Boys used the melody from “Candy Little Sixteen” for “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and later lined “Rock and Roll Music”
  • Carl Perkins lined “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode”
  • The Dave Clark 5 lined “Reelin’ and Rockin'”
  • Electrical Gentle Orchestra lined “Roll Over Beethoven”
  • Standing Quo have lined “You By no means Can Inform” and “Carol”
  • ACϟDC have lined “College Days”
  • Bryan Adams, Keith Richards and Dave Edmunds have lined “Run Rudolph Run”
  • Faces lined “Memphis, Tennessee”
  • David Bowie lined “Round and Round”
  • The Yardbirds lined “Guitar Boogie” as “Jeff’s Boogie”
  • The Kinks lined “Too A lot Monkey Enterprise”
  • Buddy Holly lined “Brown Eyed Good-looking Man”
  • The Grateful Lifeless have lined “Round and Round”, “Promised Land”, “Johnny B. Goode”, and “Let it Rock”

On July 29, 2011, Berry was honored in a dedication of an eight-foot, in-motion Chuck Berry Statue within the Delmar Loop in St. Louis proper throughout the road from Blueberry Hill. Berry mentioned, “It is glorious–I do admire it to the best, little question about it. That form of honor is seldom given out. However I do not deserve it.”[101]

Rock critic Robert Christgau considers Berry “the best of the rock and rollers”,[102] and John Lennon mentioned, “should you tried to provide rock and roll one other identify, you would possibly name it ‘Chuck Berry’.”[103] Ted Nugent mentioned, “If you do not know each Chuck Berry lick, you possibly can’t play rock guitar.”[104] Bob Dylan referred to as Berry “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n’ roll”.[105] Bruce Springsteen tweeted, “Chuck Berry was rock’s best practitioner, guitarist, and the best pure rock ‘n’ roll author who ever lived.”[106]

When requested what prompted the explosion of the recognition of rock ‘n roll that came about within the Fifties, with him and a handful of others, primarily him, Berry mentioned, “Effectively, really they start to take heed to it, you see, as a result of sure stations performed sure music. The music that we, the blacks, performed, the cultures had been up to now aside, we must have a play station so as to play it. The cultures start to return collectively, and you start to see each other’s vein of life, then the music got here collectively.”[107]

Chuck Berry carrying the Kennedy Middle Honors, 2000

Among the many honors Berry acquired had been the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984[108] and the Kennedy Middle Honors in 2000.[109] He was ranked seventh on Time journal’s 2009 record of the ten finest electrical guitar gamers of all time.[110] On Might 14, 2002, Berry was honored as one of many first BMI Icons on the fiftieth annual BMI Pop Awards. He was offered the award together with BMI associates Bo Diddley and Little Richard.[111] In August 2014, Berry was made a laureate of the Polar Music Prize.[112]

Berry is included in a number of of Rolling Stone journal’s “Biggest of All Time” lists. In September 2003, the journal ranked him quantity 6 in its record of the “100 Biggest Guitarists of All Time”.[113] In November his compilation album The Nice Twenty-Eight was ranked twenty first in Rolling Stones 500 Biggest Albums of All Time.[114] In March 2004, Berry was ranked fifth on the record of “The Immortals – The 100 Biggest Artists of All Time”.[9][115] In December 2004, six of his songs had been included in “Rolling Stone’s 500 Biggest Songs of All Time”: “Johnny B. Goode” (#7), “Maybellene” (#18), “Roll Over Beethoven” (#97), “Rock and Roll Music” (#128), “Candy Little Sixteen” (#272) and “Brown Eyed Good-looking Man” (#374).[116] In June 2008, his music “Johnny B. Goode” was ranked first within the “100 Biggest Guitar Songs of All Time”.[117]

The journalist Chuck Klosterman has argued that in 300 years Berry will nonetheless be remembered because the rock musician who most intently captured the essence of rock and roll.[118] Time journal said, “There was nobody like Elvis. However there was ‘positively’ nobody like Chuck Berry.”[119] Rolling Stone referred to as him “the daddy of rock & roll” who “gave the music its sound and its perspective, at the same time as he battled racism – and his personal misdeeds – all the best way,” reporting that Leonard Cohen mentioned, “All of us are footnotes to the phrases of Chuck Berry.”[120] Kevin Strait, curator of the Nationwide Museum of African American Historical past and Tradition in Washington, DC, mentioned that Berry is “one of many main sonic architects of rock and roll.”[121]

In response to’s Troy L. Smith, “Chuck Berry didn’t invent rock and roll all by his lonesome. However he was the person who took rhythm and blues and remodeled it into a brand new style that will ever change common music. Songs like “Maybellene,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music” would showcase the core parts of what rock and roll would turn into. The sound, the format and the fashion had been constructed on the music Berry created. To some extent, everybody who adopted was a copycat”.[122]


Studio albums

  • After College Session (1957)
  • One Dozen Berrys (1958)
  • Chuck Berry Is on High (1959)
  • Rockin’ on the Hops (1960)
  • New Juke Field Hits (1961)
  • Two Nice Guitars (with Bo Diddley) (1964)
  • St. Louis to Liverpool (1964)
  • Chuck Berry in London (1965)
  • Contemporary Berry’s (1965)
  • Chuck Berry’s Golden Hits (1967)
  • Chuck Berry in Memphis (1967)
  • From St. Louie to Frisco (1968)
  • Concerto in B. Goode (1969)
  • Again Dwelling (1970)
  • San Francisco Dues (1971)
  • The London Chuck Berry Classes (1972)
  • Bio (1973)
  • Chuck Berry (1975)
  • Rock It (1979)
  • Chuck (2017)

  • Pegg, Bruce (2003). Brown Eyed Good-looking Man: The Life and Arduous Instances of Chuck Berry. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-93751-5. Archived from the unique on February 16, 2021. Retrieved November 28, 2015. p. 144 Archived March 19, 2017, on the Wayback Machine p. 173 Archived June 27, 2014, on the Wayback Machine p. 262 Archived February 16, 2021, on the Wayback Machine

Additional studying

  • Christgau, Robert (March 22, 2017). “Sure, Chuck Berry Invented Rock ‘n’ Roll – and Singer-Songwriters. Oh, Youngsters Too”. Billboard. Retrieved March 24, 2017.

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