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Transcript of Chuck Berry
Without Chuck Berry there would have been no Beatles, no Rolling Stones and no Bob Dylan
Without the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan there would be no Michael Jackson, Eminem or Beyoncé
Chuck Berry took Rhythm & Blues and focused the lyrics on things that young people liked and sped up the rhythm.
If Elvis Presley provided the image of early Rock & Roll, Chuck Berry gave it a heart and soul.
Chuck Berry was born to a into a middle class family in St Louis, Missouri in 1926.
He performed his first public concert at the age of 15 in his school. Chuck Berry grew up listening to, and playing, the blues.
but he was not always a good boy, he went to a reformatory as a young man for stealing a car.
In 1955 he travelled to Chicago
and there he met one of his heroes, Muddy Waters
who introduced him to the now legendary record label, Chess Records.
He was a bright student who excelled at poetry
He also loved Hilbilly music, a traditionally white music from the countryside.
When Chess heard him play, they really liked a version of an old Hillbilly song Ida Red. When they recorded it, Chuck changed the name to Maybelline and Rock & Roll history was born. Maybelline is one of the first Rock & Roll hits.
Chuck went on to have many well loved hits...
... like Roll Over Beethoven
and Johnny B Good.
His songs have appeared in many films but one of the most famous examples is "you never can tell" from Quentin Tarrantino's Pulp Fiction
Chuck Berry started to make a lot of money and unlike other artists of his time he invested it in businesses in his local St. Louis.
Unfortunately, he also had many problems with the law in his life and ended up in prison on two separate occasions in his adult life.
Chuck Berry's songs would have been classics in any era, but he had the good fortune to begin his career at a defining point in the history of popular music.
John Lennon said, "If you were going to give rock & roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry".
This weeks song has been chosen because it gives name to the music that Berry played and inspired so many famous musicians that came after him.
The Beatles also did a version..