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The Incredible Talent of Chuck Berry

Updated on January 24, 2018
Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

I'm a writer, a poet, a dreamer. Born and raised in New York City. I now live in Daytona Beach, Florida with my wonderful cat Sid.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1926 Chuck Berry was among the first rockers, who began singing in the 1950s. This very talented man became a rock legend and throughout his rock and roll life he wrote many different rock and roll classics which have been covered by various artists and have been discovered and listened to by many new generations. Chuck Berry’s very first single was “Maybelline” released in 1955. He had a sizzling stage presence and was never without his trademark double-string guitar. He had a style all his very own and wrote songs that went straight to a teens heart. Songs such as “School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)” and “Sweet Little Sixteen”.

He was included in the album Rock, Rock, Rock which is also the soundtrack album for a motion picture of the same name. It was released in 1956 and includes his first single “Maybelline”.

In May of 1957 he came out with After School Session. Songs on this album included the singles “School Days”, “Too Much Monkey Business” and “No Money Down”.

Next came One Dozen Berrys in 1958 with the singles “Rock and Roll Music” and “Sweet Little Sixteen”.

In 1959 Chuck Berry Is On Top and the singles “Maybellene”, “Johnny B. Goode” and “Carol”.


1960 Rockin’ At The Hops with “Bye Bye Johnny” and “Let It Rock”.


All of these albums were followed by 15 more as well as live albums and also compilation albums. His style and rock and roll songs remain outstanding even today.



Other songs which are considered to be some of his greatest hits are “Come On”, “Promised Land”, “You Can’t Catch Me”, “Brown-Eyed Handsome Man”, “Memphis, Tennessee”, “Downbound Train”, “Let it Rock” and “Nadine (Is It You?)”.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s Chuck Berry became a regular performer at rock festivals and rock and roll revival shows. During this time he scored once more with a number one pop hit titled “My Ding-a-Ling”. This song was included in his album The London Chuck Berry Sessions recorded in a London studio. Another song from the album was “Reelin’ & Rockin’”. This album became his highest-charting album and also became his only gold album.

Chuck Berry received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1983 Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame the same year. In 1986 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A documentary about Berry’s life was released in 1987 “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll” and that same year he had his autobiography published.

In 2011, a statue of Chuck Berry was erected on the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Today Chuck Berry is 89 years old and still going strong. You could say that it’s the rock and roll that keeps him young. He toured in Europe in 2008 and gave a New Year’s Day concert in 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. He performs one Wednesday each month at a restaurant and bar called Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri.

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      I can relate. I'm a month behind in my reading and haven't written anything since December!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Many talents ruin their personal lives in many ways Shauna. Chuck is lucky he's still around and can still rock and roll hopefully given up on crime and violence. Sorry for the late reply I've fallen behind again and today I signed up for the April poetry challenge on my poetry blog and I don't know how I'll keep up.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Chuck Berry certainly was a pioneer for black performers on the rock and roll scene. He's a legend, but not only for his music. He has quite the soiled past, known for his propensity for underage girls and violence towards women in general. In fact, he's served time for some of his crimes against women.

      I like his music, but can't help but know what a despicable character he really is. That's what I remember when I think of Chuck Berry. It's a shame.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Glad you enjoyed this emge. You can find a lot of his music on YouTube.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Chuck Berry is not known much here, but this is a great writeup on him. Thanks for widening my knowledge. I like his music.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Yes, Manatita at 89 still here and still performing. Hope we all have that kind of long life and energy. I'm not taking any chances and I keep listening to that rock and roll music.

      You welcome Bill. So often I hear many of his most popular songs on certain radio stations here.

      You welcome Ruby. Imagine this man at his age still rocking. Rock and roll must be one of the secrets to longevity.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Chuck Berry was and is one of the great rock n roll artist of all time. I have danced many times at sock hops to his music. He was a handsome dude too. Thank you for the share..

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One of the great pioneers of modern music and really a pioneer of stage performance. Loved this mini-biography...thanks, Rasma.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      I most certainly see what you mean by 'a sizzling stage presence.' He was very captivating, and a very nice man. Funny, witty, and yes, my Ding a Ling was awesome!

      Great Hub! Great Man! Still alive, you say? Wow!

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