A founding father of rock 'n' roll was 90 years old.
The musician’s death was confirmed by police in St Charles County, Missouri. The rock 'n' roll legend, guitarist, author of such hits as “Maybellene”, “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode”, Chuck Berry died in his home in St Louis at the age of 90 on March 18.
Chuck Berry is considered to be among the most influential muicians who shaped rock 'n' roll. Rolling Stone ranked him fifth on the list of 50 greatest artists of all time and sixth on the list of 100 greatest guitarists. Berry was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. His song “Johnny B. Goode” was included on the golden record launched with Voyager in 1977.
John Lennon once said about Chuck Berry’s role in rock 'n' roll:
“If you had to give rock ’n’ roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”
He paved the way for such music legends as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and others.
Chuch Berry was born in St Louis on October 18, 1926. He was one of six children in a middle-class African-American family. His full name is Charles Edward Anderson Berry. His father was a contractor, his mother was a school principal. Berry showed an interest in music at an early age.
In 1944, Berry, a high school student, and his friends robbed three shops in Kansas and stole a car. They were sentenced to 10 years in prison. Berry continued to play music in jail and formed a quartet. Chuck Berry was released on parole on his 21st birthday. A year later, he married Themetta Suggs, with whom he had four children. Berry worked as a factory worker, janitor and even cosmetologist to support his family.
In the early 1950s, he began to play in St Louis clubs with local musicians to earn extra money. He soon joined pianist Johnnie Johnson’s Sir John’s Trio that later became known as the Chuck Berry Combo. Musicians played mostly blues ballads.
Berry’s debut album titled After School Session was released in 1957. Meant for a young audience, it featured lyrics about fast car, drag races, teenage angst and romantic stories combined with upbeat guitar rhythms. Later, his 1972 album The London Chuck Berry Sessions, which featured the best of the best British rock musicians, went gold within a month with more than 500,000 copies sold.
Berry released 20 studio albums during his career. His last original record titled Rock It was released in 1979. Since then, a great number of compilations and concert albums have been released. It was announced last October that the rock 'n' roll legend was preparing his first studio album in 38 years titled Chuck. It was recorded in 2016. The album will be released posthumously, featuring mostly new original songs recorded and produced by one of the founding fathers of rock 'n' roll. The album is dedicated to Chuck Berry’s wife of 68 years.Subscribe to our mailing list: