I was out spending a nice afternoon with a colleague when a quick check of the latest world happenings on Facebook found me learning of the passing of one of the true founders of Rock ‘n Roll music in the legendary Chuck Berry. Mr. Berry was a pioneer of the still forming Rock genre as he helped to refine its overall style and as his Wikipedia entry notes “developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and music featuring guitar solos and showmanship that were a major influence on subsequent rock music.” It’s safe to say with some certainty that the Metal music that so many of us enjoy would not even remotely exist had not Chuck offered up his founding skills for Rock so many decades ago. Some of Mr. Berry’s most notable tracks are most likely part of your own musical mind with “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957), “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) and “No Particular Place to Go” (1963). Each of these numbers are iconic and were probably jammed by any of the musicians that are reading this memorial reflection. Which was your favorite of his biggest hits?
According to reports, the police responded to a call at his St. Charles County, Missouri home where he was found unresponsive. Attempts were made to revive him but they were to no avail. Chuck Berry was 90 at the time of his passing and its safe to say that he lived a very full and productive life. Though I never ever saw him in concert, I did know that he often played the B.B. King Blues Club until his mid 80’s which was always impressive to find being the case. The musicians storied life can be examined on his Official Wiki entry which is linked below. There is a lot of interesting stuff to read about him and I suggest that you take the time to learn about some of the stuff you might not have known. Thank you Chuck Berry for the earliest work on this music and all of your influences. You were one of a kind and we are forever grateful for your pioneering contributions. Rest In Peace.
Official Wiki Entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Berry