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BERRY, Charles Edward Anderson, Sr. "Chuck"

Chuck Berry
was born on: 
Mon, 18/10/1926
St Louis, Missouri, USA
and died on: 
Sat, 18/03/2017
St Charles County, Missouri, USA

Bad boy made good music


Chuck Berry is often described as "controversial" but in truth he was a badly behaved man, jailed twice and convicted on at least one other occasion of various offences including offences of violence and subject to a range of criminal and civil legal investigations and cases. He was arrogant and rude. Although in the current vogue, his family is described as "middle class," in fact his mother was a school teacher and his father a carpenter. Some biographies say he was born in St Louise, Missouri and others say in San Jose, California.

And yet, it would not be overstating the case to describe him as one of the founding fathers of Rock & Roll - and with a new record in the works for 2017, one of the last (for now) exponents of the genre. He created the "Duck Walk" aped for decades by Angus Young of AC/DC, he was regarded as a great influence by both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (pretty much the only thing those two bands agreed on in the 1960s), he as a protegé of Muddy Waters and Leonard and Phil Chess.

His signature semi-acoustic Gibson guitar has recently come back into fashion for pop groups who enjoy the mix of crispness and fuzzyness that only Gibson can manage - and then only in the hands of expert.

Maybellene, Rock and Roll Music, Roll over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode brought a new style of brutal sound, driven by rhythm, and an economy of guitar work until a virtuoso "lick" would break out turned him into an icon.

Editorial Staff