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19th March 2017

chuck berry

Rock'n'roll legend Chuck Berry has passed away aged 90.

Oft credited as the man who invented rock'n'roll, the guitarist and songwriter's seven-decade career boasted a string of hits, including classics 'Roll Over Beethoven' and 'Johnny B Goode'.

Chuck had his first hit in the 1950s, received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1984 and was among the first inductees to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986.

Police in the US state of Missouri confirmed his passing after he was found unresponsive at 12:40 local time (17:40 GMT) on Saturday, 18th March 2017, St Charles County police said in a statement. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at 13:26.

"The St. Charles County Police Department sadly confirms the death of Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr., better known as legendary musician Chuck Berry," it said.

Charles 'Chuck' Berry was born in St Louis, Missouri on 18th October 1926 and had his first hit, 'Maybellene', in 1955. Berry heavily influenced The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, amongst many, many others. It's fair to say that without him, rock'n'roll, Heavy Metal and absolutely everything in-between would not be the what it is now.

"If you tried to give rock'n'roll another name," John Lennon once said, "you might call it 'Chuck Berry'" while Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones said that Berry "lit up our teenage years and blew life into our dreams".

He announced last year that he would be releasing his first album in nearly four decades in 2017. He said the disc would be dedicated to his wife of sixty-eight years, Themetta Berry.

"My darlin', I'm growing old," he said at the time. "I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes."

The album, recorded in St Louis, Missouri, will be titled 'Chuck' and will now be released posthumously. It will be his first studio album since 1979s 'Rock It'.

Geme Simmons of Kiss paid tribute to Chuck at An Evening with Gene Simmons And His Band in Cleveland last night and here's some fan filled footage of that.

In a 2012 interview with, Lemmy recalled the first time he heard Chuck Berry's music?

"It was on a jukebox where I lived in North Wales, which is pretty desolate, so we didn't get stuff like London did — there were no TV shows then with rock'n'roll on them, and there was no way to hear because the radio didn't play it. You had to tune into Radio Luxembourg, which was in Luxembourg, in Europe, so that was very dodgy with the reception. You'd often find that a song would come on and you didn't find out who played it until three weeks later — the fucking tuner would fade out.

"So, I first heard Berry on the jukebox, in the local cafe that we used to go to — I think it was 'Sweet Little Sixteen'. I'm not sure. Would've been 13-14.

chuck berry

"There were only two things to be then: you were either in or out. You were either straight or rock'n'roll. Some songs just spoke to you and some didn't, and Berry's songs always did. We'd already heard Elvis and Little Richard and, I guess, Johnny Burnette — people like that filtered through. But [Berry] was the first one who really told stories.

"Berry always had humour even though he was going through shit in his life. That was about the same time he went to jail for that bullshit charge involving a minor, which you wouldn't have ever heard about if it were a white man. He always gave you all the details, even in the car songs, which were kind of state of the art — he'd give you all the makes of the cars, the things he was having done to them to make them fine. In just a few words, he'd lay it all out, and that was his great skill. He was the first one."


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