Opinion: To the late, great Chuck Berry

We recently lost the great Chuck Berry, one of the handful of people whom I’d credit as the originators of rock and roll. His guitar mastery, his stage presence, his sound and songwriting acumen — nobody had quite seen anything like him before. His song catalog is amazing, but “Memphis Tennessee” is probably my favorite, a perfect melding of lyric and music.

(The Beatles, like the Stones, were big Chuck Berry fans, and they included this song on their playlist when auditioning for Decca back in 1962. In one of the biggest mistakes in music history, Decca executives chose to pass on signing the group.)

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67 comments
Robert1959
Robert1959

If you were born in the 1950's - 1960's your mommy & daddy conceived you on this song - "My Ding a Ling, My Ding a Ling"...Can you hear my mother singing this song?.....

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Mick11 Thanks, Mick. I've had a hard time finding previous Hall induction performances online.  I'm wondering if the Hall has a copyright protection in place.  If anyone knows how to find them, I would appreciate that info.

Hope everything is good with you, buddy.

Gmare
Gmare

"Let me tell ya 'bout the birds & the bees and the flowers & the trees and the moon up above, and a thing called love." Dean Martin singing in the new VW commercial. Ah, nostalgia!

Bruno2
Bruno2

One other funny story from The Vinyl Dialogues came from Howard Kaylan (Turtles, Flo and Eddie), who was part of a group of musicians who used to hang out at Joni Mitchell's house on Friday nights in the early 70s.  The musicians would pass around an acoustic guitar so that they could debut whatever new songs they were working on for their peers.  Kaylan related that after he had already played his one good song, he didn't look forward to getting the guitar back after hearing the stuff played by Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and David Crosby.  No pressure there.......

Bruno2
Bruno2

I missed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions last night, but am super-happy that YES finally made it in.  For some reason, the Prog rockers aren't popular with the Hall voters.  Must be a bunch of Cons.  ; > }


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJM7TdshUbw

honested
honested

@Bruno2 

Songs from Yes require a bit of thought to fully enjoy.

That might explain it.

Too bad this didn't happen before Chris Squire left us.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@honested @Bruno2 Chris was the heart and soul of the band in many ways.  Along with John Entwistle, he elevated the bass to a lead instrument in rock.  I was lucky enough to see YES a couple of times in their prime, and Chris was the focal point, both musically and visually.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Bruno2

I caught the tail end of an NPR news piece on the R&RHoF with a funny bit about Joan Baez. 

The announcer went on to list the remaining inductees without further embellishment like this: 

"Pearl Jam, rapper Tupac Shakur, and Nile Rogers, an influential musician who worked with David Bow--"

and I was literally yelling at my car radio, all by myself, out loud, "we KNOW WHO NILE ROGERS IS!!"

skydog12
skydog12

@Bruno2


There was no term prog rock when these guys first came around, it was all just rock and roll. Same thing with Pablo Cruise.

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

According to Cook report via CNN "In 1997, there were 164 congressional districts that performed somewhere between five points more Democratic and five points more Republican than the nation as a whole. In the 2016 election there were only 72 of those seats." Thanks, Newt. Russia is a a one party state. How's that working?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@hamiltonAZ

Not playing blog-cop. just a gentle reminder, no offense intended, but we usually leave the political stuff to the previous thread here at FNM. Even though it's obviously no longer Friday Night.

Your call of course.


weechie
weechie

I saw Chuck Berry 7 times in the late 60's and early 70's, all in small clubs. I am a big music fan and have seen many concerts in my life, but none that I enjoyed more than Chuck in a small club with local musicians backing him up. He was a great talent, that could do it all.

jezel
jezel

motor cooled down....heat went down....that's when I heard that highway sound.....Cadillac lookin like it was sittin still....and I caught Maybelline at the top of the hill.


lol and many great memories....Chuck Berry...Father of Rock and Roll.

jezel
jezel

@skydog12 @jezel Little Richard was great too....JB...Otis....Ray....Georgia's own.


Think Wray and Paul a little before my time.

skydog12
skydog12

@jezel @skydog12


Before my time too when they started, but they both lived until a few years ago so I got to see them play.


Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@skydog12 @jezel

Les Paul played locally every week at Fat Tuesday's in NYC for... looking it up... 12 years. 

http://www.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/les-paul-holds-court-1203-2012.aspx

While his style of jazz was never my thing, he's a freakin' god in terms of technological influence. It would've been the easiest thing in the world for me to have slipped across the Hudson and see him live at some point during that time. I knew the old dude was there for me to hear and meet and shake his hand. 

Did I do this? No I did not.

(I know, I know, that way lies madness.)

skydog12
skydog12

@jezel


I would say co-founder along with Macon`s Little Richard.


Chuck was also the co-founder of rock guitar. The other 2 co-founders were Link Wray and Les Paul.

Uncle-Billy
Uncle-Billy

I grew up in the fifties and early sixties to Chuck, Fats Domino, Little Richard, the Platters, the Coasters, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley, Jerry Lee Lewis and all that gang. I play them all regularly.

WRR
WRR

Keith owes him everything.

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Well, there is something the Jaybird and I have in common, we both loved Chuck Berry ( Sweet Little 16 )

skydog12
skydog12

@TBS

I had not heard of those guy. I like them. They kinda sound like Presidents of the USA or The Avett Bros.


2geniuses
2geniuses

@TBS yep. They threw fried chicken out to the audience. One of those groups I love live but rarely listen to at home.

skydog12
skydog12

@TBS


We have a girl friend playa in Charleston who is good buds with these guys.

2geniuses
2geniuses

@skydog12 @TBS My Dad lives in Charleston so I am down there to visit often. Any tips on good venues or local  groups down there? Dad is asleep by 9pm so I am looking for the live music but have had poor luck past few times.

skydog12
skydog12

@2geniuses @skydog12 @TBS

Yeah, the Pour House is a good bar type venue. The Music Farm is kinda like the Variety Playhouse for bigger shows.

Get the local music rag and see were Skye Page or Louie D are playing. Lewis is a great sax player. (jazz, soul, funk)

Tell um Acworth Don sent you and they will take care of you.

2geniuses
2geniuses

@skydog12 @2geniuses @TBS Cool. Thanks for the info. I'm always  looking for the good local groups that may  not venture away from home town and prefer the smaller clubs, bars, etc. Acworth Don, I will have to remember that. You need to make that into a belt buckle if you haven't already!

bufordpurvis
bufordpurvis

@2geniuses @TBS their fried bologna and cheese or whatever was so over the top obnoxious. Only posers, northerners and hipsters liked that crap and they lined up at The Earl to see what they believed to be "real" southern culture. 


Gag

skydog12
skydog12

@OldJacketFan


Mary wants to whup them, before he kills them. He misunderstood the writers intent.

2geniuses
2geniuses

@skydog12 @2geniuses Wasn't until I got into my mid 30s before I delved into my Dad's extensive jazz collection. Still finding surprises to this day.

skydog12
skydog12

@2geniuses @skydog12

Like the discussion below, I grew up around the Blues, but I didn`t pay too much attention. One day, later in life, I dug  deeper into the Blues. Man oh man, that was fun.

2geniuses
2geniuses

@skydog12 Just got the latest edition of Oxford  American. The entire issue is dedicated to the Blues. It comes with a compilation CD that is outstanding. Recommended reading and listening. The CD is so good, I had to put the mag down and read it later.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Decca executives chose to pass on signing the group

I know that's one of those great business blunder stories, but if you play the alternate history game, you have to remember that maybe Decca would've done a lousier job of distribution, promotion, etc., compared to what the Beatles got from EMI. 

To say nothing of what kind of producer they might've been saddled with.

That signing was but one of a number of things that just broke their way at the right time.