Chuck Berry, guitarist and songwriter, passed away at the age of 90 leaving behind his legacy. Father of rock ‘n’ roll and known to be a pioneer, Chuck Berry will be remembered for his musical influence to the coming generations of rock music.
St. Charles County Police Department responded to an emergency call to Berry’s home, he was reported dead on Saturday, March 18 after efforts of medical procedures weren’t enough to revive him. Causes of his death are still unknown.
Born with the name Charles Edward Anderson Berry he became well known as Chuck Berry. He grew up in a time where there was segregation and where the Jim Crow laws were very much alive. Berry absorbed all types of music such as gospel, blues, rhythm and blues and country music.
Berry was a guitar player who revolutionized sounds by learning the technique of bending two guitar strings. This technique later became the “rock ‘n’ roll talisman” or the Chuck Berry Lick. His music style had guitar solos and showmanship which would later influence rock music. Along with his guitar techniques, there was the duck walk dancing he did on stage while playing which received attention.
However, Chuck Berry received his recognition through his hybrid music that was aimed towards an adolescent audience. His songs were mostly focused on cars, girls and everyday life. To Berry, everything he wrote was for his listeners and not about him.
Some of his well-known songs hit the charts when they came out where “Maybellene,” “Johnny B. Goode,” and “Roll Over Beethoven”. Songs that inspired another generation of musicians, The Beatles, The Rolling Stone, and the Beach Boys, who covered his songs. Berry inspired the California Rock and the British Invasion.
Although throughout his career he ran into some problems with the law, he continued to make his music while in jail where he wrote the song “Thirty Days.” Even though this hits went down, he remained a popular act while touring. But he was most notable in England and in London where it placed him back in the charts. Berry’s last and only number 1 pop single was “My Ding-a-ling.”
Berry continued to play well into his 80s with local pickup bands like how he did throughout his career, but he also played among other rock stars.
In 1986 he was inaugurated to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. He has a statue dedicated to him in St. Louis and has been awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a BMI Icon honor along with many other recognitions.
And just last year he announced after four decades he would release another album this year, although the release date wasn’t given.