Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Legendary Chuck Berry Dead At 90!

Blues guitarist and Rock and Roll icon Chuck Berry was found unresponsive at his home earlier today, March 18, 2017. It was determined that he died of natural causes and it is believed he died of a heart attack.

Berry was born October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri to William and Martha Berry. Berry was a fan of Nat "King" Cole growing up. His first public performance was while he was in high school in 1941. It was also while in school that he had his first major run-in with the law and he was incarcerated. He was released on his 21st birthday in 1947 and the next year he married. He worked at various jobs to support his wife and daughter and eventually began playing with local bands by the early 50s.

By 1953 he was working in a tio and played blues, country and ballads. The group played many of Muddy Waters' tunes and Berry would meet him in Chicago in 1955. It was Waters who suggested that Berry should contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records.

Maybellene was recorded on May 21, 1955 and would go on to sell over a million records. His career took off and he continued recording hits and touring. Songs like Johnny B. Goode, Sweet Little Sixteen and Carol all made the Top 10.

Chuck performing Johnny B. Goode in 1958.

In 1959, however, he had his second major run-in with the law and was arrested for transporting a 14 year old girl over state lines with whom he had sexual relations with. He served a year and a half in prison.

After he was released from prison, he continued his musical career. Dear Dad, Nadine, You Can Never Tell, and Promised Land were a few of his hits in the 1960s.

He released an album of all original music in 1979 which the critics liked. Then he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys. In 1986, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In October 2016 he announced his plans for a new album. His name and his recordings will always be synonymous with the birth of Rock and Roll.

Here is one of his last concerts in Moscowin 2014. He was 88 years old.