|(March 18, 2017) -- LBREPORT.com is very sad to report the passing today (March 18) of Chuck Berry at his home near St. Louis, Missouri at age 90. He performed at the LB Blues Festival in 1998, when he was 71.
His showmanship (including his famous "duck walk," below) coupled with infectious guitar licks and generationally inspired lyrics built modern rock and roll. His music transcended race and borders and influenced budding musicians from the Beach Boys in our nearby south bay to John Lennon and Paul McCartney in the UK. As John Lennon once put it, "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry.'"
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Among his hits: Mayebellene (one of the first songs by a Black artist to outsell white "cover" versions), Sweet Little 16, School Days, Johnny B. Goode and No Particular Place To Go ("holdin' a grudge, against a safety belt that wouldn't budge...") plus Roll Over Beethoven and Rock and Roll Music (tracks included years later on Beatles albums.)
The first video (scroll down) is from a US TV show in the late 50s. The second is from a French TV broadcast, its exact date uncertain but appears to be about a decade later. The French audience seems a bit stiff at first, but after over four minutes of Mr. Berry's blazing performance, they finally seem to get it.
Mr. Berry performed at the Long Beach Blues Festival in August 1998...when he was age 71.
For those who remember hearing it on six transistor AM radios, from "School Days":
Ring, ring goes the bell
And the beat goes on. Thank you, Mr. Berry.
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