Theme Times – Chuck Berry

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Chuck Berry By Universal Attractions (management)

Charles Edward Anderson Berry (October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017) was an American singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. Nicknamed the “Father of Rock and Roll”, Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive with songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958). Writing lyrics that focused on teen life and consumerism, and developing a music style that included guitar solos and showmanship, Berry was a major influence on subsequent rock music.

Born into a middle-class African-American 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 convicted of armed robbery and was sent to a reformatory, where he was held 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 the blues musician T-Bone Walker, Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. 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 magazine’s rhythm and blues chart.

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Here’s my Top 10 Chuck Berry Songs – his very best in my opinion. So yourselves, fans or not?

1958 – Johnny B.Goode – 1

1955 – Maybellene – 2

1956 – Roll Over Beethoven – 3

1958 – Sweet Little Sixteen – 4

1957 – Rock and Roll Music – 5

1959 – Little Queenie – 6

1964 – No Particular Place To Go – 7

1957 – School Days – 8

1973 – My Ding-A-Ling – 9

1958 – Run Rudolph Run – 10

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