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Chuck Berry

Updated on March 18, 2017
The KING of Rock and Roll!
The KING of Rock and Roll!

Rock and Roll King, Chuck Berry

As a songwriter, guitarist and performer, Chuck Berry shaped rock and roll.

Inside this tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, find his most classic music videos, Chuck Berry quotes and little known facts about the man and his life.

It was Chuck Berry who fused many elements of blues, jazz and country into this unique sound he created that became the roots of rock music from that time forward.

Chuck took the guitar from a supporting instrument to flat out front stage serious lead guitar musical entertainment!

image: adapted from Amazon "Hail Hail Rock and Roll" CD set (link below).

RIP Chuck Berry
RIP Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry Dies at age 90

Still rocking and rolling til the end, Chuck Berry died in his home on March 18, 2017. First responders came to his home near St, Louis, MO on a medical emergency call. They found an unresponsive man and administered lifesaving techniques, but the King of Rock and Roll was pronounced deceased at 1:26 PM.


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Rolling Stone Magazine Hails Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry has definitely earned his place in the Top 5 of the Rolling Stone list of The Immortals.

In 2004 six of his songs found their way onto their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, though these are only small number of the total which have been popular over the last 50 years.

In 2004 these top six included: Johnny B. Goode, Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven and Sweet Little Sixteen.

Chuck Berry: The Definitive Collection

Chuck Berry Became Wildly Popular during the 1960s

"The Eternal Teenager"

Much of Chuck Berry's incredible success was due to his ability to relate to the concerns and attitudes of his audience in his music. At the height of his success, Berry was a 30-year-old black man singing to a mostly white, teenage audience - earning him the nickname the 'Eternal Teenager' from fans.

Berry's knowledge of the pop market made it possible for him to break color barriers and play to an integrated audience. Chuck Berry mixed blues and country with a witty defiant teen outlook into sounds and rebellious lyrics that vitally influenced every rock musician in his wake.

Berry's music was the inspiration in the 1960s and 1970s for such groups as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Berry had a number of wildly successful recordings, but surprisingly only one "My Ding-A-Ling" made it to the top of the pop music charts in 1972.

The time came when no other rock guitarist was taken seriously unless he could play Chuck Berry tunes. From his infamous 'duck walk' to other crowd pleasing stage antics, Chuck didn't just play music, he performed on stage and the crowd LOVED it!

As a stage performer, no one could out-rock Chuck Berry. Hail Hail Rock and Roll!

ROCKIN the House to Johnny B. Goode !!!

Chuck Berry on stage with Bruce Springstein and Clarence Clemmons

ALL on stage at the same time -->> Priceless!!!

One HOT performance with Springsteen at the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995!!!

This one is this author's all time personal favorite Chuck Berry stage performance! Chuck was nearly 70 years old at that time, hard to believe. HIGH energy.

More Classic Chuck Berry on Stage Videos

Just a few of MANY

Chuck Berry concert classics.

  • Roll Over Beethovan ==>
  • Sweet Little Sixteen
  • Maybelline
  • Hail Hail Rock and Roll
  • Reelin Rockin & Rollin til the Break of Dawn

Sweet Little Sixteen

"Nadine" Chuck Berry with Keith Richards

Reelin Rockin ROLLIN Til the Break of Dawn

Chuck Berry Career Highlights

  • First singer/songwriter of 1955
  • First guitarist/singer to get on Billboard charts
  • Directly inspired great rock icons The Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley
  • United blacks and whites by producing music that appealed to everyone
  • His single "Johnny B. Goode" made the top 10 in 1958
  • Had the number one single in 1972 with "My Ding-a-ling"
  • Performed for President Jimmy Carter at the White House in 1975
  • Was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986
  • Released his autobiography in 1987
  • "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" made its debut in 1987
  • Berry performed "Johnny B. Goode" with Bruce Springsteen at the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995
  • No individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, however Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together.

HAIL HAIL Rock and ROLL!

Amen Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry Quotes

What has been said about the KING of rock and roll?


"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.

— John Lennon

"[My mama] said you and Elvis are pretty good, but you're no Chuck Berry.'"

— Jerry Lee Lewis

"All of Chuck's children are out there playing his licks."

— Bob Seger 'Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets' (lyrics)

"There's only one true king of rock 'n' roll. His name is Chuck Berry."

— Stevie Wonder

"Elvis might still reign as the king of rock'n' roll, but Chuck Berry clearly invented the form."

— Library Journal
Chuck Berry is still performing in his 80's. Most of his public appearances currently are held at Blueberry Hill and the Pageant in St. Louis, MO - his hometown.
Chuck Berry is still performing in his 80's. Most of his public appearances currently are held at Blueberry Hill and the Pageant in St. Louis, MO - his hometown.

Chuck Berry ...LATER in LIFE

Chuck Berry is still rockin' after all these years.

A businessman as well as a musician, Chuck also was owner of a restaurant called The Southern Air. It was just west of St. Louis in in the suburb of Wentzville, Missouri.

Unfortunately, Chuck's later life was marked with some controversy including a couple of jail terms, one for tax evasion and the other...well it had to do with illegal activity with a young girl.

Saint Louis, Missouri remains his home and even though he is now in his 80s (born in 1926), he still performs in St. Louis regularly at 'Blueberry Hill'.

Chuck has remained lifelong friends with Jim Edwards, the owner of Blueberry Hill, and plays there in a venue named for him called The Duck Room. He also plays now and then at The Pageant, which is a larger concert venue just down the street from Blueberry Hill in the University City Loop. The Pageant is also owned by Jim Edwards.

image: CrossCreations - Blueberry Hill 2009

Chuck in 2012 Johnny Be Goode - Still performing at age 85!

Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry

On the Cover of Rolling Stone

Chuck Berry appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine on June 14, 1969.

This commemorative photographic print of that cover is suitable for framing.

Chuck Berry, Rolling Stone no. 35, June 14, 1969

Photographic Print
Buy at AllPosters.com

CHUCK Concert DVD Collection - HAIL HAIL Rock and Roll!

The unforgettable life and music of pioneering legend Chuck Berry are celebrated in this landmark feature film, capturing a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of rock and roll's finest!

In 1986, Keith Richards invited a roster of musicians to honor Berry for an evening of music to commemorate his 60th birthday.

This outstanding event includes performances by:

Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Linda Rondstadt, Etta James and Julian Lennon, along with footage of an unforgettable duet by Chuck and John Lennon! Also featuring interviews with many of the original creators of rock and roll: Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, Bo Diddley, The Everly Bros, and Willy Dixon.

ROCKING EXTRAS! 54 minutes of never-before-seen Chuck Berry rehearsals in DTS and 5.1 audio, featuring Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Johnnie Johnson, Chuck Lavell and Etta James! "Witness to History," featuring Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry together for the first time.

"The Burnt Scrapbook," with Chuck Berry and Robbie Robertson revealing the remains of Chuck's collection of musical memories; "Chuckisms," a collection of classic Chuck Berry remarks; "Witness to History 2," an amazing 3-and-a-half hour look at the birth of rock music with Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and more!
This dynamite crowd pleaser from director Taylor Hackford (Ray) will keep your toes tapping and your soul rocking all night long!

Chuck Berry Biography

The ONLY biography on Chuck Berry in print!

This author put a staggering amount of research into this detailed account of Chuck Berry's life in St. Louis as a youth as well as concert tours and other ventures later in life.

Beyond being well-known as a gifted guitarist, Berry was also a serious businessman in his younger years. Interviews with friends and associates shed light on a few shadows that Berry was reluctant to reveal, including some jail time.

The author also examines each of Berry's records in depth, tracing the development of his groundbreaking blend of blues, hillbilly, and jazz.

The Chuck Berry Autobiography - The king of rock and roll tells his own story.

Chuck Berry Autobiography

Another story of Chuck Berry's life, this one written by the man himself, the founder of Rock and Roll.

The story takes us through everything from his invention of the "Duck Walk" to his inspiration for "Johny Be Good".

He is not only a wild man on stage but off the stage as well.

This book gives the reader a first hand look into the life of a complicated man.

He could play a guitar just like ringing a bell.

Says Kieth Richards about Chuck Berry...

One more quote about Chuck Berry...

"Chuck Berry was always the epitome of rhythm and blues playing, rock and roll playing. It was beautiful, effortless and his timing was perfection. He is rythym supreme.

He plays that lovely double-stringed stuff... which I'm still getting the hang of. Later I realized why he played that way, it was because of the sheer size of the man. I mean, he makes one of those huge Gibsons look like it was a ukulele!"

~ Kieth Richards of the Rolling Stones

Comments about Chuck Berry?

What are YOUR thoughts about Chuck Barry? Join the discussion below.

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    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      18 months ago from St. Louis, MO

      Chuck Berry is doing the duckwalk in Heaven now. Surely the angels will welcome this legend.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens, Chuck Berry is one of the best.

    • nooksquid profile image

      nooksquid 

      5 years ago

      "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'." -- John lennon..

    • profile image

      Edutopia 

      6 years ago

      The history of rock in its early years was a history of who could rip off who the fastest and repackage the music or sound with their own lyrics. Well all that copying had to start with an original source and Chuck was one of those original creators of the Rock 'n Roll sound. Real American Genius deserving a salute... as it were.

    • davies86 profile image

      davies86 

      6 years ago

      legend

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Great job!

    • profile image

      grnidlady 

      6 years ago

      wonderful lens!

    • hughgrissettsr lm profile image

      hughgrissettsr lm 

      6 years ago

      terrific lens! chuck was one of the most important pioneers of rock. visit me at www.hgssite and at my lenses for more music info. thanks.

    • chemrat profile image

      chemrat 

      7 years ago

      This is really a great lens! Nice work. I have a small lens about Chuck based on hearing him last year at a concert, plus some lists of his music.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 

      7 years ago

      You've captured his essence very well. Good job.

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 

      7 years ago

      Blessed by a Squid Angel. This lens ROCKS!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Chuck Berry rocked this world of music, and his influence lives on.

      What a great taste of history, memories, and great rock and roll.

      Yes, John Lennon said it best. Chuck gave us so much by way of his gift.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Oh yes! Lensrolled to my guitar lenses and blessed! Great stuff - Chuck Berry was Rock n' Roll! :)

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 

      8 years ago

      No party is complete without Chuck Berry songs. Love this lens.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 

      8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Hey, great lens about Chuck Berry! Lensrolled to some of my music ones:)Congrats on the star!

    • Deborah Swain profile image

      Deborah Swain 

      8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      a great tribute to a wonderful performer...i'm so envious that you've seen him play!

    • Twmarsh profile image

      Twmarsh 

      8 years ago

      Still performing in his 80's! Amazing! Nice tribute lens to a true Rock and Roll legend.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I don't think you could grow up in St. Louis in the 60's and not love Chuck Berry! Blessed.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 

      8 years ago from Concord VA

      Great lens! My grandson loves Chuck Berry and loves to "rock the house" with Johnny B Good! Lensrolling with my Guitar/Musical Party lens. :)

    • lefty78 profile image

      lefty78 

      8 years ago

      Great lens! Chuck Berry is a true legend!

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      8 years ago

      This is really a great lens! There's a heap of info I didn't know. Congratulations on having this lens featured on Squidoo Music in Dans post!

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Thanks. Yep, Chuck Berry still performs. I saw him a few months ago, took my sister for her birthday and made this lens the following week. Absolutely amazing to watch a guy in in 80's rock the house like that. He's a legend.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Wow, I didn't know Chuck Berry was still performing. He is amazing and so is this lens. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 

      8 years ago from Pueblo West

      His music is classic and forever. Great tribute to a legend.

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