R.I.P. The Father Of Rock N Roll

R.I.P. The Father Of Rock N Roll

Posted 19 Mar 2017

Sad news just in, the "father of rock n roll", Chuck Berry, who was one of the key foundation stones that this thing called ‘rock’ is built upon, has died at the age of 90. More than any other artist perhaps, especially in regards to his songwriting and his indelible guitar playing, Chuck Berry can perhaps be seen as THE major influence on everything that followed in rock and pop.

With his lively guitar licks, self-confidence that could sometimes be brazen, and enduring songs about partying, pretty girls and fast cars, he defined rock ’n’ roll’s attitude in its early years and influenced so many, from Elvis to the Stones to the Foo Fighters.

Chuck was a pioneer and an innovator. His song "Maybellene", written and recorded in 1955 and based on a country tune, was released by Chess records (RIP Phil Chess!) and is considered one of the very first rock n roll songs. Though this might be a restrained version of the rock n roll that we've come to know and love from Chuck, you can see the wild excitement of rock n roll to come just itching to get out.

His songs became part of the rock n roll canon - songs like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over, Beethoven" - and have been covered by everyone from the Beach Boys, to David Bowie, to the Sex Pistols. The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Mick Jagger got together as teenagers over a shared love of Berry's music (meeting on a train platform with Jagger was clutching his prized LP, Chuck Berry’s Rockin’ At The Hops), and even said (when inducting Berry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in '87), "I've stolen every lick he ever played." Here's a selection of 20 of our favourite Chuck Berry covers.

Chuck was still rocking until the end, announcing a new album (his first in 38 years) dedicated to his wife and recorded with his longtime backing band that includes his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (harmonica). It is scheduled for release in 2017.

RIP Chuck.

- RB

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