Chuck Berry


Who is Chuck Berry? Why maybe the most widely styled musician in history. He is known for his rhythm & blues, pop, and the newest type of music in the 1950s rock and roll. I will talk about how Chuck started, what got him big, and the influence he spread through out the music industry. When done reading this report you might find Chuck Berry to be the most intriguing person in African-American history, or you might find him to be just another lucky guitarist to get big.


It was 1955, as New Orleans style rhythm and blues tunes hit the United States, that a young Chuck Berry achieved nation wide fame from his “country-influenced” song “Maybeline”. Now he first start off playing on his school music stage singing “Confessin’ the Blues”, accompanied by his friend, Tommy Stevens, on guitar. Tommy’s powerful influence inspired Mr. Berry how to play the guitar. Soon he would be taking a road-trip to Chicago with a new group getting his first recording contract, with big hits such as “Maybeline” and “Wee Wee Hours”. His contract was with Muddy Waters’, which was a company looking for revolutionizing style of rockabilly, with jump blues. In 1961, Berry was so famous that they opened up his own amusement park in his home town St. Louis, which they named Berry land. Now on January 23, 1986, our guitar legend was entered into the rock and roll hall of fame. We can sure say that Chuck was certainly notified.


Now a report about Chuck Berry is nothing with all telling about some of his greatest hits. Here are just a few and some of the results they brought in.


1 Maybelline-1955-Number five for 11 weeks.


2 Roll over Beethoven-1956-Number twenty-nine for 5 weeks.


3 Sweet Little Sixteen-1958-Number two for 16 weeks.


4 Johnny B. Goode-1958-Number eight for 15 weeks.


These songs are a part of history, art, and media. Johnny B. Goode was in one of my all time favorite movies “Back to the Future”. In the movie Chuck Berry's cousin, Marvin, was in a local band playing for a school dance, and Michael J. Fox bust in and plays the song before it was even written. . He and/or his music were also in other films such as; “Rock, Rock, Rock”, “Go Johnny Go”, “Jazz on a Summers Day”, “National Lampoons Class Reunion”, and “Blues land, a Portrait of American music”. So these songs just didn’t inspire African-Americans nation wide, or influence classical and modern music, but brought life to television and set a dream for musicians every.


Now, as I’ve said before Chuck had a very unique style of music, combing white hilly billy and jump blues. Not only this, when playing rhythm and blues he used a guitar as the lead instrument in stead of a rhythm based instrument, which revolutionized the music industry. Now Chuck’s music influenced the most famous of the famous such as the “Rolling Stones”, “The Beatles”, and “The Beach Boys”. He also sketched out the blue prints for rock and roll, for modern rockers to use. With out him, you could say there would be no Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Lynard Skynard, and definitely no legendary Chuck Berry starting lick.


Now there is what I say about Chuck Berry, you have it in black and white. Before you make up your mind about him keep in mind he is its greatest songwriter, the main shaper of its instrumental voice, one of the greatest guitarists and one of the greatest performers. There would be no standard "Chuck Berry guitar intro," the instrument's clarion call to get the joint rockin' in any setting. The clippety clop rhythms of rockabilly would not have been mainstreamed into the now standard 4/4 rock & roll beat. There would be no obsessive wordplay by modern-day tunesmiths; in fact, the whole history of rock & roll songwriting would have been much poorer without him.


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