Chuck Berry

  • American

Hail! Hail! Rock N' Roll

Chuck Berry was an American guitarist, singer, songwriter and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.

While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together. It was his particular genius to graft country and western guitar licks onto a rhythm and blues chassis in his very first single, Maybellene. - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Berry was the first blues-based performer to successfully reclaim guitar tricks that country and western innovators had appropriated from black people and adapted to their own uses 25 or 50 years before. By adding blues tone to some fast country runs, and yoking them to a rhythm and blues beat and some unembarrassed electrification, he created an instrumental style with biracial appeal. Alternating guitar chords augmented the beat while Berry sang in an insouciant tenor that, while recognizably Afro-American in accent, stayed clear of the melisma and blurred overtones of blues singing, both of which enter only at carefully premeditated moments. - Chief Music Critic and Senior Editor for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau

Themes with Chuck Berry


Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
Y/M/D Description Association Composition Place Locale Food Event
1926/10/18 Charles Edward Anderson Berry is born in The Ville, St Louis. The Berry home was located at 2520 Goode Ave (now Annie Malone Dr, demolished). Born The Ville, STL Chuck Berry's Birthday
1930/00/00 Charles Berry attends Antioch Baptist Church where his father, Henry, was a Deacon and his mother Martha sang in the Gospel choir. Faith Antioch Baptist Church City of St Louis
1930/00/00 Charles Berry attends Simmons Colored School. Later, he wrote that his 7th and 8th grade teacher Julia Davis was "a Baptist, but she is like a Catholic nun in the classroom." Education Simmons Colored School City of St Louis
1935/00/00 Berry family moves to 4319 Labadie Ave St Louis, Missouri in the mid 1930s (razed). Home
1940/09/00 Berry enters Sumner High School in 1940, by 1944 he was struggling to reach his Junior year and drops out. Education Sumner, Charles, High School City of St Louis
1941/00/00 Chuck Berry launches his musical career, singing Jay McShann's "Confessin' the Blues" at a school program. The school auditorium explodes with applause and Berry is complimented with a tremendous ovation. Performer Sumner, Charles, High School City of St Louis
1950/06/28 Chuck Berry and his wife Themetta buy a $4,500 house in Greater Ville in the summer of 1950. Home Chuck Berry House City of St Louis
1958/00/00 Jazz greats "Jazz on a Summer's Day" at the Newport Jazz Festival. The film was released in 1959. Performer Jazz on a Summer's Day Fort Adams Newport, RI Newport Jazz Festival
1958/03/31 "Johnny B Goode" is released. Recorded 6 January 1958, Chess Studios, Chicago, Illinois. Performer, Songwriter Johnny B Goode Chicago Illinois
1958/07/15 Rock and Roll star Chuck Berry and his wife Themetta move from their house in Greater. Home Chuck Berry House City of St Louis
1962/02/00 Charles Berry begins serving a three year prison sentence for having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old Apache waitress, Janice Escalante. He will be released October 1963. Criminal
1964/12/29 T.A.M.I. Show is released. The two concerts were filmed at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on October 28 and 29, 1964 Performer The TAMI Show Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Santa Monica
1986/01/23 Chuck Berry performs "Johnny B Goode" and "Rock and Roll Music" accompanied by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Performer Johnny B Goode Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Cleveland
1994/00/00 Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace dance in Jack Rabbit Slim's "Twist contest" to "You Never Can Tell", written and performed by Chuck Berry. Performer Pulp Fiction
2017/03/18 Charles Edward Anderson Berry dies at home, near Wentzville, Missouri. Died Wentzville Missouri
2017/04/09 Funeral rites for Chuck Berry funeral are held at The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd in St Louis, Missouri. In Memoriam

2 Creative Works by Chuck Berry »

Title Type Association Y/M/D Moniker
Title Type Association Y/M/D Moniker
Johnny B Goode Performer, Songwriter Song 1958/03/31
  • 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die
The TAMI Show Performer Film 1964/12/29
  • US National Film Registry

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