Chuck Berry in ten essential songs

Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., or Chuck Berry is no more, but his music lives further. One of the founding fathers of rock & roll in ten songs.


Maybellene (1955)

Chuck Berry’s first single was less than previously heard combination of hillbilly country, blues and up-tempo jazz and ushered in the era of rock & roll. ‘Maybellene’ is one of the first arguments to a subsequent ruling of Keith Richards in Rolling Stone-to-bars: “Chuck had the swing. There’s rock, but it’s the roll that counts”.

Brown Eyed Handsome Man (1956)

The inspiration for ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man’ was in Berry during a tour of the regions in California where mostly Afro-Americans and Latino-Americans lived. He describes the experience in his autobiography: “I didn’t see too many blue eyes.” During that tour, he would be a loitering man have been arrested by the police, after which some of the women, the policeman persuaded him to let go.

Roll over Beethoven (1956)

Lucy, the sister of Chuck Berry, must be quite a bitch. They played as often as her classical repertoire on the familiepiano that the small Chuck never got the chance to strum. ‘Roll over Beethoven’ can easily be seen as a final sting in a battle between brother and sister, already announces a new era in the history of music: Roll over, Beethoven / And tell Tchaikovsky the news. Rock & roll is a keeper.

Rock and Roll Music (1957)

Berry wrote perhaps the best ode to rock & roll ever written. In his autobiography, he wrote about it: “I had to do something to create that rock & roll could completely grasp. The text had to really any aspect of it to define.” That he has so ably done by The Beatles the song in 1964 covered and The Beach Boys in 1976.

Johnny B. Goode (1958)

‘Johnny B. Goode’ is the first rock & roll hit about the life as a rock & roll star. This drew Berry inspiration from his own life: like the titelpersonage he came to a big city for fame to find. In 1955 he met Muddy Waters in 1958, he was the biggest hitschrijver in the rock & roll after Elvis Presley, which is, incidentally, the envy showed on the schrijverstalent of Berry. The original text was, incidentally, “That little colored boy could play”, according to Berry, but “I have that changed to ‘country boy’, otherwise it would not be played on the radio.”

Sweet little sixteen (1958)

The joy splash in ‘Sweet little sixteen’. It is an ode to the youth, America and the music that The Beach Boys later inspired to write ‘Surfin’ Usa’. All based they may be just a bit too much on the hit of Berry, because who threatened a lawsuit because of plagiarism. That is the end not come, because The Beach Boys him as the writer acknowledged.

Memphis, Tennessee (1959)

The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Johnny Rivers are but a few of the artists that the song is about the failed phone call from little Marie have been covered. Berry sings about a six-year-old daughter who, in trying to come up with her father after her parents divorced, but she fails to reach him or a song to leave behind. In 1964, will Berry with ‘Little Marie’ is a sequel to sing on the heartbreaking story.

You never can tell (1964)

Chuck Berry wrote his hit – which Quentin Tarantino in 1994 would use in Pulp Fiction when he was a prison properly finished in the Missouri’s Federal Medical Center prison. There he ended up, because of zedenfeiten with a 14-year-old, but his punishment prevented the man not to write about a ‘teenage wedding’ and ‘skeptical old folks’. It is remarkable that the guitar virtuoso in “You never can tell’, especially the piano and the wind instruments shine.

No particular place to go (1964)

Also this song is about teenagers and freedom wrote Berry when he was stuck. The melody is the same as in 1957 and appeared in song ‘School Days’, but on the whole it sounds just a little vinniger. The sound of frustration about being locked up while The Rolling Stones and The Beatles created a sensation with rock & roll hits?

My Ding A Ling (1972)

Remarkable enough was the only song that Chuck Berry a number one hit took out on American soil, a cover, and it seemed the song in a little on his earlier songs. ‘My Ding A Ling’ was written in 1952 by Dave Bartholomew, and is about a boy and his special toy – as you are naughty thoughts, is that correct.

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