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If you were going to give rock & roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'.

- John Lennon

Chuck Berry (Charles Edward Anderson Berry) was born on October 18, 1926, in St. Louis.  Widely acknowledged as one of the founding architects of Rock & Roll, the singer, songwriter and guitarist has had a major impact on American and world culture.  Dozens of phrases from his lyrics have found their way into the lexicon -- “any old way you choose it,” “play the guitar like ringing a bell,” “Drop the coin right into the slot, you've gotta hear somethin' that's really hot,” among many more examples.  His hit recordings of his own classic songs -- including “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Rock and Roll Music,” “Memphis,” “Back in the USA,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and dozens more – have been covered countless times and have inspired songwriters and guitarists for generations.

As a very young man, Berry spent some time in a reformatory and then trained as a beautician.  Already married and a father by 1950, he soon began supplementing his income by playing dates around St. Louis with local groups, heavily influenced in his guitar-playing by T-Bone Walker.  Berry’s long collaboration with pianist Johnnie Johnson began in 1953, a turning point in his career when he began adapting Country material for audiences expecting R&B.  Berry and band became a major St. Louis club attraction.  He became a national phenomenon in 1955 after being signed to Chess Records and releasing “Maybelline,” which topped the Pop, R&B, and Country & Western charts.  It was the beginning of a storied recording and songwriting career that would include dozens of bona fide Rock & Roll classics, including “Johnny B. Goode,” “Too Much Monkey Business,” “You Can’t Catch…

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Discography Highlights

Isalee Music Publishing Co./Arc Music Corp.

Arc Music Corp.

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