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Chuck Berry

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (born October 18, 1926) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as "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 major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle-class family in St. Louis, Missouri, Berry had an interest in music from an early age and gave his first public performance at Sumner High School. While still a high school student he was arrested, and served a prison sentence for armed robbery from 1944 to 1947. After his release, Berry settled into married life and worked at an automobile assembly plant. By early 1953, influenced by the guitar riffs and showmanship techniques of blues player T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio.[2] His break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955, and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded "Maybellene"—Berry's adaptation of the country song "Ida Red"—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances to his name as well as a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis-based nightclub, called Berry's Club Bandstand. But in January 1962, Berry was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines.

After his release in 1963, Berry had more hits in the mid 60's, including "No Particular Place to Go," "You Never Can Tell," and "Nadine." By the mid-1970s, he was more in demand as a nostalgic live performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality.[2] In 1979 he served 120 days in prison for tax evasion.

Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986, with the comment that he "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance." Berry is included in several Rolling Stone "Greatest of All Time" lists, including being ranked fifth on their 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll included three of Berry's songs: "Johnny B. Goode," "Maybellene," and "Rock and Roll Music."

Berry was ranked #5 in the 2004 Rolling Stone Magazine's list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
Chuck Berry was a major influence of AC/DC guitarist, Angus Young, who has even used Berry's duckwalk as one of his many gimmicks.
Berry's last album to date is his 1979 album, Rockit, for Atco Records
Chuck Berry owns a few restaurants in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1990, several women sued Chuck because they claim he installed video cameras in the women's bathrooms in two of his restaurants.
Berry has a degree in cosmetology.
Chuck Berry has four children: Ingrid Berry Clay; Chuck Berry, Jr.; Aloha Isa Lei Berry; and Melody Exes Berry.
He was married to Themetta "Toddy" Suggs.
His parents were Henry and Martha Berry.
He is often referred to as the "Prime Minister" of Rock and Roll.
Chuck Berry was given a star on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis in 1989.
He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame in 1982.
He was one of the first well-known rock and roll musicians in 1955.
Chuck greatly influenced future rock icons such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and The Rolling Stones.
Chuck Berry performed publicly during high school in 1941, where he sang "Confessing the Blues." A friend of Berry's, Tommy Stevens, assisted him by playing guitar. After watching Stevens play on the guitar, it inspired him to learn to play it himself.
Berry owns an amusement park, Berryland, located outside St. Louis.
Chuck Berry first appeared on film in the 1956 film, Rock, Rock, Rock.
Chuck Berry made his first recording on May 21, 1955. He recorded "Wee Wee Hours" and "Maybellene."
Chuck Berry went on tour with the "Biggest Show of Stars for '57" at the end of 1957. Among those who accompanied Berry was Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers.
Chuck Berry made an appearance in the movie, American Hot Wax, a biography of disk jockey Alan Freed. Berry appeared as himself in the film.
On June 1, 1979, Chuck Berry got the privilege of playing live for President Jimmy Carter.
On October 8, 1987, a live tribute to Chuck Berry called Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll is released. It was re-released on DVD for the first time on June 27, 2006.
Several influences on Chuck Berry include Nat King Cole, T-Bone Walker, and Louis Jordan.
Six of Chuck Berry's songs were included in the 2004 Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. These songs were "Johnny B. Goode" (7), "Maybellene" (18), "Roll Over Beethoven" (97), "Rock and Roll Music" (128), "Sweet Little Sixteen" (272) and "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" (374).
In 1984, Chuck Berry was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Rolling Stones' first song was a cover of Berry's "Come On," and it was their very first single ever released.
Chuck Berry wrote his famous song "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" on current adult attitudes, especially with racism (example: "arrested on charges of unemployment").
According to Paul McCartney, The Beatles' song "Back in the U.S.S.R." was a parody of Berry's "Back in the U.S.A."
Chuck Berry's song, "Too Much Monkey Business," inspired Bob Dyland to write his song, "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
Chuck's song, "Johnny B. Goode," was played in the movie, Back to the Future.
Chuck Berry made the "duckwalk" famous.
The melody of The Beach Boys song "Surfin' USA," had the same melody as Chuck's song, "Sweet Little Sixteen." They sounded so alike that the Beach Boys had to give Berry co-writing credit in order to avoid a lawsuit.
Chuck Berry was arrested after trying to bring a 14-year old waitress from Mexico to the U.S. in 1959. He was fined $5,000 and was sentenced to five years in prison.
John Lennon once said "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."
The only Chuck Berry song to ever reach number one was his live 1972 performance of "My Ding-a-Ling," which caused a lot of controversy.
Berry is the third child in a family of six children.
Chuck received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000.
His favorite comedian is Lucille Ball.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, when it opened in 1986.
His Astrological sign is Libra.
Chuck is right handed
A recording of the Chuck Berry song, Johnny B. Goode, is on the voyager spacecraft.
For many years, he toured carrying only his Gibson guitar, hiring bands along the way.
He was once arrested for stealing a car.

 

 

50s, 60s Hits

Johnny B Good
Maybellene
No Particular Place To Go
Oh, Carol
Reelin And Rockin
Rock & Roll Music
Roll Over Beethoven
Sweet Little Sixteen

Holiday

Run Rudolph Run

Rock

School Days

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