Rock Icon Chuck Berry Dies

Rock pioneer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chuck Berry died March 18 in St. Charles, Missouri at the age of 90. Law enforcement authorities state that Berry was unresponsive when they answered a call to his home but did not give a specific cause of death.

Chuck_Berry_Midnight_Special_1973

Known for a number of hits and novelty songs including “My Ding-a-Ling”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Run Run Rudolph”, and “Maybellene”; Berry may best be known to younger audiences through his song “Johnny B. Good” on the hit movie starring Michael J Fox “Back to the Future” when one of the band members is hurst and Marty McFly (Fox) takes over and performs the song including Berry’s iconic duck walk.

Like Marty McFly, Berry’s professional music career began as a fill in spot at a New Year’s Eve gig in 1952. Berry was soon leading the band and bringing rock and roll into the lives of fifties teenagers.

Along with “Back to the Future”, Berry has had his music appear in over 200 film and television productions including his 1956 debut in “Rock Rock Rock”, “The Dick Clark Show”, “The Ed Sullivan Show”, 14 episodes of “Hollywood a Go Go”, 22 episodes of Shindig”, “The Beatles’, “New American Bandstand”, “American Graffiti”, “Midnight Special”, “Saturday Night Live”, “American Hot Wax”, “Happy Days”, “WKRP in Cincinnati”, “St. Elsewhere”, “Superman III”, “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, “Teen Wolf”, “La Bamba”, “Young Einstein”, “Back to the Future II”, “Home Alone” and “Home Alone 3”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”, “Beethoven” and “Beethoven’s 2nd”, “Married with Children”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Mystery Science Fiction Theater 3000”, “Men in Black”, “Rush Hour”, “Gilmore Girls”, “Cars”, “The Sopranos”, “New Girl”, “Big Bang Theory”, and numerou reality competition shows.

After signing with Chess Records, Berry released his debut single “Maybellene” and took the song to the top of the R&B charts.

Chuck Berry was among the artists who were inducted into the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Other awards and accomplishments include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammy Foundation, performed for President Jimmy Carter, had his song “Johnny B. Goode” included on the recording that accompanies the Voyager 1 spacecraft, has won the Polar Music Prize, is a PEN Literary Award winner, is a BMI Icon Award winner, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and on Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis, is a Kennedy Center Honour, and has been inducted into the Nashville Songwriter Association International Hall of Fame.

He was born Charles Edward Anderson Berry on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. As a child he never settled on one style of music but listened to and played numerous styles.

Before becoming a rock and roll legend, Berry was a less than stellar student and with a few friends an 18 year old Chuck was involved in a robbery that landed him in jail. Sentenced to 10 years in jail, Berry served three of them. While in jail he played with a band and sang with the gospel group.

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In 1961 Berry again ran a fowl of the law when he was charged with transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes and spent another three years in jail.

Berry continued to play and perform wherever he could get a gig. He preferred to work for cash and in 1979 the Internal Revenue Service charged Berry with tax evasion for which he spent three months in a federal prison.

By the time he was released in 1964, the British invasion had arrived and continued to derail Berry’s musical career.

Survivors include his wife of nearly 70 years Thermetta. The couple had four children

Chuck Berry discography:
“Chuck Berry – In Concert”
“Johnny B. Goode”
“Blast from the Past: Chuck Berry””Live on Stage”
“Johnny B. Goode” Legacy
“Live!”
“Chuck Berry – Anthology”
“20
th Century Masters – The Best of Chuck Berry”
“Rock & Roll Music”
“Live: Roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll”
“The Latest & The Greatest” / “You Can Never Tell”
“Guitar Legends”
“Chuck Berry – His Best, Vol. 1”
“Let it Rock”
“Roll Over Beethoven
“The Best of Chuck Berry”
“On the Blues Side”
“Live at The Fillmore Auditorium”
“The Chess Box” – Boxed Set
“Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll”
“Rock ‘N’ Roll Rarities”
“20 Hits”
“Chuck Berry” (picture disc)
“Chuck Berry”
“Reelin’ and Rockin’”
“Retro Rock” – Chuck Berry – Broadcast Week
“The Great Twenty-Eight”
“Toronto Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival 1969 Vol. III”
“Toronto Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival 1969 Vol. II”
“Chuck Berry Live”
“Alive and Rockin’”
“Chuck Berry All-Time Hits”
“Rock It”
“Chuck Berry Live in Concert”
“Chuck Berry’s 16 Greatest Hits”
“The Best of the Best of Chuck Berry”
“Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits
“Chuck Berry”
“Chuck Berry and His Friends”
“Flashback”
“Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade Vol. 3”
“Wild Berry’s”
“Sweet Little Rock and Roller”
“Bio”
“Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade Vol. 2”
“Johnny B. Goode”
“St. Louie to Frisco to Memphis”
“The London Chuck Berry Sessions”
“San Francisco Dues”
“Back Home”
“Concerto in B. Goode”
“From St. Louie to Frisco”
“Live at The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisci”
“Chuck Berry in Memphis”
“Chuck Berry’s Golden Hits”
“Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade”
“Fresh Berry’s”
“Chuck Berry in London”
“St. Lois to Liverpool”
“Two Great Guitars – Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley”
“Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits”
“Chuck Berry on Stage”
“Chuck Berry Twist”
“New Juke-Box Hits”
“Rockin’ at the Hops”
“Berry is on Top”
“After School Session”
“One Dozen Berrys”
“Rock Rock Rock”

photos courtesy of:
By NBC Television – eBay itemphoto frontphoto back, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17079114

By Masahiro Sumori – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2220700


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