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Chuck Berry

1926-2017

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Chuck Berry - Rock & Roll Music
 

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry
 
FAQ
  • One of the fathers of rock and roll
  • Famous for his "duck walk"
  • Made many classic rock records such as Sweet Little Sixteen, Jonnie B Goode, Roll Over Beethoven.
  • Recently recorded "safety-belt" ads for an airline
  • Still performing after 50 years
 
 
Hail hail ! Rock and Roll
and Johnnie Johnson
Free downloads offer

June 27th is the release date of the DVD for "Hail! Hail ! Rock and Roll!" The film was ostensibly about Chuck Berry. It also was the beginning of Johnnie Johnson's rise from obscurity. The film began the process by which the public began to learn the truth about Johnnie’s role in the creation of the songs credited to Chuck Berry, and in the creation of Rock and Roll itself. The public is still learning. There is still a lot to tell, and a lot more for people to learn about Johnnie Johnson.

To honor Johnnie Johnson, on June 27th, Cousin Moe Music will begin to offer free downloads of Johnnie's last solo recording project, "Johnnie Be Eighty! And Still Bad!". The downloads will be available free until July 8th. Johnnie’s date of birth. The music will be available at our website at cousinmoemusic.com

“Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad!” is a completely original project, taped live in the studio to capture the essence of a Johnnie Johnson performance. As such it offers a unique perspective on Johnnie’s collaborating and songwriting contributions.

[ cousin moe music ]
[ Rocksite Johnnie Johnson page ]
Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad - CD
 
Web-site Links
Chuck Berry - Discography - Singles
Title
 
Date
Remarks
Maybelline *    
Rock and Roll Music      
Sweet Little Sixteen      
Johnny B Goode      
No Particular Place to Go      
Roll Over Beethoven      
Reeling and Rocking      
Memphis Tennessee      
My Ding-a-Ling   1972  
 
 
Chuck Berry - Discography - Album CD
Title
 
Date
Remarks
  *    
 
 
 

Chuck Berry 16 CD box set

 
Berry, 88, still performs regularly in St. Louis, but don't expect new music from him. "Give you a song? I can't do that," Berry says. "My voice is gone. My throat is worn. And my lungs are going fast."
German label Bear Family has set out to honor every twist and weird turn in Berry's career with a new 16-CD, 21-hour box set, Chuck Berry: The Complete Studio Recordings . . . Plus!,
[ read more.. ]
 
Buy Chuck Berry
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Chuck Berry - bio

Chuck Berry was born Charles Edward Berry on 18 October 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri.

He is an American guitarist, singer and composer. and was the first member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000. While there is debate about who recorded the first rock and roll record, there is little doubt that Chuck Berry's early recordings, including "Maybellene" (1955) were profoundly important: A full synthesis of the rock and roll form, combining blues and country music with teenaged lyrics about girls and cars sung with impeccable diction, smoking electric guitar solos and an energetic duckwalking stage personality.

Most of his famous recordings were on Chess Records with pianist Johnnie Johnson from Berry's own band and legendary record producer Willie Dixon on bass, Fred Below on drums and Berry's guitar, arguably the epitome of an early rock and roll band. Producer Leonard Chess recalled laconically: I told Chuck to give it a bigger beat. History the rest, you know? The kids wanted the big beat, cars, and young love. It was a trend and we jumped on it.

He recorded more than thirty Top Ten records and his songs have been covered by hundreds of blues, country, and rock and roll performers. The Rolling Stones literally founded their style on Berry. When Keith Richards inducted Chuck into the Hall of Fame, he said, "It's hard for me to induct Chuck Berry, because I lifted every lick he ever played!" Chuck toured for many years carrying only his Gibson guitar, confident that he could hire a band that already knew his music no matter where he went. Among the many bandleaders performing this backup role were Bruce Springsteen and Steve Miller. Springsteen backed Chuck again when he appeared at the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995.

Many of his hits are among the leading rock and roll anthems: "Johnny B. Goode", the autobiographical saga of a country boy who could "play a guitar just like ringing a bell", was chosen as one of the greatest achievements of humanity for the Voyager I collection of artifacts. The song was also prominently featured in the movie Back to the Future. "Rock and Roll Music", one of the first tunes recorded by The Beatles "Sweet Little Sixteen", with new lyrics it became a hit for the Beach Boys as "Surfin' USA". "Roll Over Beethoven", a cheeky announcement if ever there was one. "School Days", whose chorus, "Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll", was chosen as the title of a documentary concert film organized by Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones as his tribute to Chuck, who appears in the film with many others. "Let It Rock", fantasia of gambling railroad workers that lives up to the title, written under the pseudonym E. Anderson.

Other hits, many of them novelty narratives, include: "Maybellene" -- car, girl, rival, jealousy -- based on the country tune, "Ida Red", performed originally by Bob Wills & his Texas Playboys. "Too Much Monkey Business", teenaged attitudes, predecessor to rap, "Same thing every day, gettin' up, goin' to school, no need of me complaining, my objection's overruled". "Brown-eyed Handsome Man", adult attitudes, "arrested on charges of unemployment" "Back in the USA", which inspired The Beatles' "Back in the USSR". "Nadine", the elusiveness of identity, strong lyrics, rhyming "coffee-colored Cadillac" with "campaign shouting like a Southern diplomat" "Memphis", unique beat, sweet story. Lonnie Mack and Johnny Rivers both built entire careers starting with this song. Among his blues tributes: "Confessing the Blues", signature tune of the famed Kansas City, Missouri jazz band of Jay McShann "Merry Christmas, Baby", originally by Charles Brown "Things I Used to Do", by Louisiana's Guitar Slim.

Chuck's only number one record came late in his career, the salacious "My Ding-a-Ling", an old New Orleans novely that he had been singing for years and fortuitously included on a live recording in London in 1970. In the late 1980s, Berry owned a restaurant in Wentzville, Missouri, called The Southern Air. Berry also owns an estate in Wentzville called Berry Park. For many years, Berry hosted rock concerts throughout the summer at Berry Park. He eventually closed the estate to the public due to the riotous behavior of many guests.

Berry continues to perform regularly, playing both throughout the United States and overseas. He performs one Wednesday each month at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and bar located in the Delmar Loop neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri.

Chuck Berry has also been in conflict with the law on a couple of occasions !

 
 
Johnnie Johnson dies
- 13th April 2005
Johnnie Johnson, pianist, who collaborated with Chuck Berry on many of his early hits has died. They later had a falling out over royalties in 2000.
Rock and Roll Hall of Shame
"... Johnson sat in front of the TV set and watched Berry perform Johnnie B. Goode in front of 60,000 fans at the Rock Hall's grand-opening concert.
"It was the song that Chuck wrote as a tribute to Johnnie, the national anthem of rock 'n' roll,'' Turek says. "And they didn't even invite him to the concert."
[ see Knocking the Rock ]
[ RRHoF inductee in 2001 ]
[ Johnnie Johnson site ]
[ BBC News ]
 
Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad - new CD
Johnnie Johnson, collaborator and pianist with Chuck Berry, just released a new CD. "Johnnie Be Eighty. And Still Bad".
Johnnie and I co-wrote all the songs, I produced it on my label, Cousin Moe Music. All original and it rocks. I used all St Louis musicians, and Johnnie played his heart.
We cut it late last year. The manufactured product returned from the factory the day before Johnnie passed. He knew his music was here.
Jeff Alexander - producer
details at [ Cousin Moe Music ]
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