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Chuck Berry Early Rock and Roll Great

Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry passed yesterday at the age of 90. His music shaped Rock and Roll for decades.

“There’s only one true king of rock ‘n’ roll,” said Stevie Wonder. “His name is Chuck Berry.”

The Chicago bluesman, who has died aged 90, basically invented rock.

Sure, there were other contributors: Bill Haley’s northern band rock ‘n’roll; Pat Boone and his New Orleans dance blues; and Berry’s label mate at Chess Records, Bo Diddley.

But no-one else shaped the instrumental voice and lyrical attitude of rock like Chuck. His recordings were lean, modern and thrilling. In the words of pop critic Bob Stanley, “they sounded like the tail fins on Cadillacs”.

He was the first to admit he drew inspiration from days of old. “There is really nothing new under the sun,” he said in the mid-1980s tribute film Hail, Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll – citing the likes of T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian as his forebears.

Even the famous “Chuck Berry guitar riff“, which opened hits like Maybellene and Johnny B. Goode, was lifted – by his own admission – from a Louis Jordan record.

What he did with those influences, though, was something else. He gave country the bite of the blues, writing defiant odes to cars and girls at a time when rock lyrics were all Tutti Frutti and A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop.

As Brian Wilson said, he wrote “all of the great songs and came up with all the rock and roll beats”.

“He laid down the law,” added Eric Clapton.

 

The biggest knock on Chuck Berry is he typically performed with pickup bands. As such, the quality of his live performances varied wildly – often not to the good. In this video, he does his classic “Nadine”, backed up by Kieth Richards of the Rolling Stones.

 

Lastly, and interview with Johnny Carson in 1987…

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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At 90. Chuck Berry Releases First Album in 40 Years

Amazing…

At 90, Chuck Berry to release first new album in four decades

Chuck Berry (Reuters)

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry celebrated his 90th birthday on Tuesday by announcing that his first album of new music in 38 years would be released next year.

Called simply “Chuck,” the album will consist mostly of new, original material recorded and produced by Berry, his record company said.

Berry’s children, Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica, form part of his backing band on the record. The specific date of the album’s release was not mentioned.

“What an honor to be part of this new music,” Berry Jr. said in a statement. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us the Blueberry Hill Band, fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful thought-provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”

Berry said he was dedicating the new album to his wife of 68 years, Themetta. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!” the musician said in a statement.

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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St. Louis Erects Statue Honoring Chuck Berry

He Could Play a Guitar Like Ringing a Bell….

Hail! Hail! Chuck Berry

ASSOCIATED PRESS PHOTOGRAPHS "I don't know how to speak - I can sing a little bit," said Chuck Berry in remarks to a crowd gathered for the unveiling of a statue of himself at its dedication last Friday in University City, Mo., outside St. Louis.

Chuck Berry in his signature cap and tie.

The image is timeless Americana: Chuck Berry hunched over, ready to launch into his famous Duck Walk, picking his Gibson guitar and wailing a song.

It’s the image captured in the statue of the man considered by many to be the father of rock and roll, dedicated Friday in the University City Loop area of suburban St. Louis.

Mr. Berry, now 84, still performs monthly at Blueberry Hill, a club and restaurant across the street from the new statue. He spoke only briefly at the dedication ceremony on a sweltering day as hundreds paid tribute to the St. Louis native.

“I don’t know how to speak – I can sing a little bit,” Mr. Berry, wearing his signature captain’s hat and bolo tie, said after thanking people for braving the heat to come out. “I’m going to say thank you again, and I love you all.” Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2011 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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