Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 18th October!
Happy birthday to Mr. Charles Edward Anderson „Chuck“ Berry, who was born on the 18th October 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri! Berry is one of the most important pioneers of Rock’n’Roll music and recorded classics like „Maybellene“ (1955), „Roll Over Beethoven“ (1956), „Rock and Roll Music“ (1957) and „Johnny B. Goode“ (1958),
Since his teens Chuck Berry was playing the Blues and in 1953 he was performing with Johnnie Johnson’s trio. And he developed his very own style – a fresh mixture of Country and Rhythm & Blues. In 1955 Berry travelled to Chicago where he met his idol Muddy Waters. On 21st May the first Chuck Berry Single was recorded for the legendary Chess Records label – an adaption of „Ida Red“ called „Maybellene„. And this was the big start of his carreer: Over one million copies were sold and the single went straight to No. 1 on the Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues charts. One year later „Roll Over Beethoven“ was released and from 1957 until 1959 more hits followed: Singles like „School Days,“ „Rock and Roll Music,“ „Sweet Little Sixteen“ and „Johnny B. Goode“ entered the top ten. Chuck Berry became a real superstar but his career was stopped in 1959: In December, Berry was arrested because of transporting a 14-year-old girl over state lines (Mann Act). Two trials happened and finaly Berry was served one and one half years in prison from February 1962 to October 1963. Before going into jail, Chuck Berry’s single „Come On“ hit the shops. In the meantime many British bands discovered Berry’s music and acts like The Beatles or The Rolling Stones recorded cover versions.
After beeing released from prison, Chuck Berry returned into the studio and recorded more classics like „No Particular Place to Go„, „You Never Can Tell“ and „Nadine„. And in 1964 he did a successful tour through the UK. Between 1966 and 1969 five albums were released. And on the LP „From St. Louie to Frisco“ (1968) the song „My Tambourine“ is featured, which became later with different lyrics the hit „“My Ding-a-Ling“ (1972). In the seventies, Chuck Berry toured a lot all around the world. Also in the eighties he performed tremendously – appr. 100 concerts per year. And his last studio album „Rock it“ came out in 1979. Until present Chuck Berry concentrates on concerts instead of recording new songs.
In 1986, the documentary „Hail! Hail! Rock ’n‘ Roll“ (directed by Taylor Hackford) was released, to celebrate Chuck’s sixtieth birthday. The event was organized by Keith Richards. The film features also the gues performances of Eric Clapton, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray and Linda Ronstadt.
Get your Chuck Berry gear here (for Austrian customer):