Chuck Berry - My Personal Obituary to the Great Rock and Roll Star.
March 18th 2017 was a sad day for music fans; the king of Rock and Roll, Chuck Berry, sadly passed away at the grand age of 90.
The first time I remember hearing a Chuck Berry song was on the soundtrack of the film Beethoven when that big, dumb dog caused havoc whilst Roll Over, Beethoven played in the background. The film Beethoven came out in 1992 but the song Roll Over, Beethoven came out in 1956; how had I not heard this song before 1992 you may ask? Well, I was six years old in 1992, so there’s your answer.
Rock and Roll music rocked up in the mid 1950’s. Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Elvis Presley were all making it big on the music scene. It was quite a change from the early 50’s crooner-type music of Doris Day, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. In fact, some older Americans thought it was a communist-orchestrated scheme to corrupt the youth. I imagine it was thought of in the same way that older people now think that if young people listen to rap music then they must be in a gang.
Everyone should know a Chuck Berry song. His most popular hits include: Johnny B. Goode, Sweet Little Sixteen, You Never Can Tell, Roll Over, Beethoven and Rock and Roll Music. Of course, there are many more songs and we all have our favourites but you can’t help but love the distinctive guitar riffs and catchy lyrics. It gets your foot tapping and, before you know it, you’re up and dancing.
I have a personal connection with Chuck Berry’s song You Never Can Tell, we picked it for the first dance at our 1950s themed wedding in 2015. The song tells a story of a young couple getting married. For those of you who have good taste in films as well as music, you will know that this song was also used in the classic Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction when Uma Thurman and John Travolta dance at the 50s throwback club Jack Rabbit Slims but we did not learn the choreography. We even had a table at our wedding breakfast named after Chuck Berry with his picture framed in the middle, doing his signature one-legged hop playing guitar.
On his 90th birthday, Chuck Berry announced a new album, titled Chuck, to be released in 2017. The music of Chuck Berry is not dead, it’s still alive and rocking. He’ll continue to inspire musicians and be known as the pioneer of Rock and Roll music for many years to come.