There are some notable cats in music. When you just see a picture of a certain musician or hear the first few seconds of a song, you know it’s them. One of these recognizable figures and quintessential rock and roll pioneers and innovators is the late great Chuck Berry.
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1926. His father’s position in the community as a deacon of a church and his mother’s as a school principal, allowed Berry to follow his passion in music at a younger age than most kids back in those days.
Fast forward to the 50’s and Berry was already a hot shot on the scene playing blues music in the style of one of his favorite musicians, T-Bone Walker. By 1955, Berry had traveled to the land of overwhelming blues magnitude, Chicago. There he hooked up with the likes of Muddy Waters and other huge names and from there, he was prompted to reach out to Leonard Chess, the founder of the pivotal blues record label, Chess Records.
At that time, Chess was predicting the slowing of blues music but thought Chuck Berry would be a perfect fit with “country fiddle tunes like Ida Red.” From this point to the end of his life, to say that Berry had great success would be a drastic understatement. He had some of the biggest rock and roll songs that are still instantly recognizable today like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and many others.
He was “among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.”
Chuck Berry lived a very long and full life, passing away at the age of 90 in March of 2017.