Category: chuck berry

Albums Released In 1964

Born on this day: October 18, 1926 – Rock & Roll pioneer Chuck Berry (born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in St. Louis, MO). Happy Birthday to this musical icon on what would have been his 93rd Birthday.

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Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry and Keith Richards at Chuck Berry’s Los Angeles home during the filming of Taylor Hackford’s documentary “Hail! Hail! Rock n Roll” in 1986.

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Rolling Stone magazine covers from 1969

On this day in music history: May 21, 1955 – “Maybellene”, the debut single by Chuck Berry is recorded. Cut at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, IL, Berry bases the tune on the traditional country song “Ida Red”. Chess Records co-founder Leonard Chess feels the name is “too rural” sounding and suggests changing the title to “Maybellene”. The songs then unusual hybrid of country & western and rhythm & blues supported by a big back beat along with its lyrical themes of fast cars and love gone wrong, is instantly appealing to black and white audiences alike. Released in July, the single is a huge hit right out of the gate, spending eleven weeks at number one on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart and peaking at number five on the Pop Best Sellers chart. “Maybellene” goes on to become one of the most influential songs in the history of rock & roll, inspiring dozens of cover versions. Chuck Berry’s original recording of “Maybellene” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1988.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: March 31, 1958 – “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry is released. Written by Chuck Berry, it is the eleventh single release from the rock & roll icon from St. Louis, MO. Penned by Berry in 1955, the semi autobiographical song is partially inspired by his long time piano player Johnnie Johnson, though pianist Lafayette Leake plays on the single and not Johnson. “Goode’s” opening riff is lifted from R&B pioneer Louis Jordan’s 1946 hit “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman”. The track is recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on January 6, 1958, and features Berry backed by musicians Willie Dixon (bass), Lafayette Leake (piano), and Fred Below (drums). Chuck Berry’s version peaks at #2 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart and #8 on the Pop Best Sellers chart in June of 1958. Regarded as one of the quintessential rock & roll songs, it is covered numerous times over the years by dozens of artists. Berry’s original version is included on the Voyager Golden Record (a gold plated titanium disc with messages and music recorded on it) attached to the Voyager spacecraft in 1977 representing rock & roll music. “Johnny B. Goode is also featured in the film "Back To The Future” in 1985, where in a humorous plot twist, Berry’s fictional cousin Marvin Berry overhears the song being performed by actor Michael J. Fox (actually sung by Mark Campbell of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack), then calling his “cousin” to tell him he’s just heard the “new sound” he’s been looking for. The original single of “Johnny B. Goode” is backed with the Berry penned “Around And Around”, which also becomes a rock & roll standard that is also widely covered, most notably by The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, The Animals, and David Bowie. Chuck Berry’s original recording of “Johnny B. Goode” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: December 23, 1959 – Musician Chuck Berry is arrested in St. Louis, MO on charges of transporting a minor across state lines for “immoral purposes”. At the height of his popularity at the time, the arrest of the rock & roll pioneer stems from his association with Janice Norine Escalanti, a fourteen year old bar waitress he meets in Juarez, Mexico. Berry offers Escalanti a job working as a hat check girl at his Bandstand nightclub in St. Louis. When she is fired two weeks later, the girl alleges Berry attempted to have sexual intercourse with her. Police arrest the musician for violation of the Mann Act (first known as the United States White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910), a vaguely worded piece of federal legislation meant to crack down on organized prostitution, is used to claim that Berry has transported Escalanti “across state lines for immoral purposes”. Following his arrest, Berry is fined $5,000, and after a two week trial by an all male, all white jury, is sentenced to five years in federal prison. However, the initial sentence is turned over on appeal, on the grounds that his original trial was heavily biased and racist. A new trial is ordered by the Federal Appeals Court in October of 1960, with Chuck Berry being convicted in 1961 after his second appeal fails. He spends twenty months in federal prison from February 1962 to October 1963.

Born on this day: October 18, 1926 – Rock & Roll pioneer Chuck Berry (born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in St. Louis, MO). Happy Birthday to this musical icon on what would have been his 92nd Birthday.

On this day in music history: May 21, 1955 – “Maybellene”, the debut single by Chuck Berry is recorded. Cut at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago, IL, Berry bases the tune on the traditional country song “Ida Red”. Chess Records co-founder Leonard Chess feels the name is “too rural” sounding and suggests changing the title to “Maybellene”. The songs then unusual hybrid of country & western and rhythm & blues supported by a big back beat along with its lyrical themes of fast cars and love gone wrong, is instantly appealing to black and white audiences alike. Released in July, the single is a huge hit right out of the gate, spending eleven weeks at number one on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart and peaking at number five on the Pop Best Sellers chart. “Maybellene” goes on to become one of the most influential songs in the history of rock & roll, inspiring dozens of cover versions. Chuck Berry’s original recording of “Maybellene” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1988.

Rolling Stone magazine covers from 1969