Chuck Berry was a pioneer, master guitarist and one of Rock N Roll's founding fathers who helped define and expand the genre's attitude and direction.
The 1980s were a time of Berry revival: the film "Back to the Future" included a clever wink, as a time-traveling Michael J. Fox brought "Johnny B. Goode" to a '50s dance. Chuck Berry was suddenly an overnight sensation with a hit record. The home of the blues.
The Rolling Stones said they were "deeply saddened" by his death. The Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" hung ten on the melody of "Sweet Little Sixteen".
When producing BTO, I'd listen to "A Dozen Berries", "Revolver + Rubber Soul" endlessly to get ideas for grooves, tempos, song format, and other tricks to make guitar-bass-drums sound interesting and build excitement in my songs.
Mick Jagger led the barrage of celebrity tributes to legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, who died at 90 Saturday at his home in the St. Louis area. Berry's great-grandparents were slaves.
Media captionListen: Chuck Berry was "a magical man" who was "enthusiastic about life". A couple auto thefts and an armed robbery attempt got Berry sent to reform school for three years, but he learned to cut hair and apply makeup.
"This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy", Berry said, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta Berry. He didn't start playing music professionally until he was in his mid-20s. He emerged to go to work in an automobile factory, but he was playing music publicly with the Johnnie Johnson Trio by 1953. Chess Records was where Howlin' Wolf, the Moonglows and Big Bill Broonzy laid tracks.
Bruce Springsteen spoke of Berry's unparalleled abilities as a songwriter. The "B" sides were also fabulous blues based rock and roll and Chucks lyrics were the most awesome story telling music on the radio. That was probably Ike Turner with "Rocket 88".
Berry claimed on The Tonight Show that he was influenced primarily by 1940s swing artist Louis Jordan. Rock and roll as we know it would not exist without him.
Despite mesmerizing the country with his infectious hooks and rhythm, he was temporarily pulled from the spotlight in 1959 when he was arrested for violating the Mann Act by driving an underage girl across state lines from Texas to his native Missouri, according to Biography.com.
Despite his troubles with the law and the conditions of the times, Berry rose to the top of his profession. He appealed, but the conviction was upheld at a 1961 trial. Louis, Mo. on October 18, 1926, he released his first album, After School Session, in 1957.