He’s a music Legend and one of the founding fathers of Rock and Roll, so you should already know about Chuck Berry. If you don’t, here’s five reason to Hail Hail the King of Rock and Roll!
Pioneering, Fantastic Guitar Riffs
We all recognize that classic jangly intro, the bluesy Rock n’ Roll chug, and those licks that Chuck Berry made famous. American rock legend Ted Nugent once said: “If you don’t know every Chuck Berry lick, you can’t play rock guitar.” He’s right! Berry’s riffs form the building block to Rock n’ Roll.
Sensational Songwriting Skills
Not just a talented musician and singer, Chuck Berry also wrote his own songs. Berry sang about teenagers and pop culture, capturing the hearts of youngsters across the world. His words had an exceptional rhythm and musicality to them. Read his lyrics and have the melody come to life in your head:
Well, early in the mornin, I’m a-givin you a warnin
Don’t you step on my blue suede shoes.
Hey diddle diddle, I’m playin my fiddle,
Ain’t got nothin to lose.
Roll Over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news.
Chuck Berry toured extensively, and his live shows with Johnnie Johnson always had a thrilling, dangerous feel to them. Chuck poured his heart and soul into his shows, wowing the crowd with cheeky expressions that matched his lyrics. His dance moves were unique and influential, and the man could get down and boogie while blazing through a guitar solo. Take a look at his “duck walk” in the video below and you’ll understand.
A Lasting Legacy
“All of Chuck’s children are out there playing his licks.”- Bob Seger
The music Chuck Berry created in the 1950s and 1960s inspired a whole legion of fans to sell their schoolbooks, buy some cheap guitars, and form Rock n’ Roll bands. There would be no Beatles or Rolling Stones without Chuck, think about that!
A Rock n’ Roll Story
Chuck Berry’s life is fascinating. The man was arrested countless times, studied Cosmetology, and worked as a janitor and factory worker. As a musician he was always full of surprises. In the 1970s he made it a habit of arriving at gigs with only his guitar in hand, and expecting local bands to act as his backing band and know all his songs. He managed to bring Country music to black audiences and Blues to white audiences, and continues to perform to this day in his home city of St. Louis.
If you’d like to download some of Chuck Berry’s greatest hits, check out our Legend collection here.
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