Chuck Berry

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Chuck Berry is one of the founders of rock and roll. He is the only one living today. He has performed for millions of people with his famous “Duck Walk.” He still has what Corliss & Bland describe as a slim, toned body, wavy hair drenched in Valvoline oil, and a sharply cut masculine chin and cheeks etched with pain and promise. Even today he only wants a Lincoln Town Car, his Fender Bassman amp, and his guitar. Chuck Berry has had for decades one of the shortest and most ironclad contracts in the music business (Jacobson 6). One would think his music would be heard among today’s teenagers and young adults. However, the current teenage generation and the generation before it idolizes bands like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, groups Chuck Berry directly influenced. Rolling Stones and The Beatles seem to be everywhere in 21st century culture. This is proof Chuck Berry has been not only instrumental but also highly underappreciated. To know Chuck Berry, one must know his early life, his influence, and the way he uses many different genres in his music. Mainstream music in the 21st century is known to blend many different genres. Chuck Berry has influenced such genres as rhythm and blues (R&B), country, and today’s pop music. He realized at a young age he had to play more than just “black” music as a black artist. He had to appeal to whites since most Americans in the 1950s were white. He had exposure to several different genres growing up in his St. Louis, MO hometown. He heard country from the whites, rhythm & blues (R&B) from mostly blacks, even Latin music. His family environment set him up well for future success while growing up in a middle class home in the middle of the Great Depression of the 1930s. His parents sun... ... middle of paper ... ...014. DeWitt, Howard A. Chuck Berry: Rock ‘N’ Roll Music. 2nd Ed. Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, 1985. Print. Gulla, Bob. Guitar Gods: The 25 Players Who Made Rock History. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2009. Print. Jacobson, Mark. “Chuck Berry, the Father of Rock, Turns 75.” Rolling Stone. December 6, 2001: 1-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. 24 March 2014. Johnson, Kevin C. "Chuck Berry Hopes for 200 More Duck Room Concerts." St. Louis Post- Dispatch. 10 Jan. 2014. General OneFile. Web. 29 Mar. 2014. McLeese, Don. “The Spirit of a Rocker.” New York Times. 18 October 1987. Web. 11 April 2014. McPherson, Ian. “The Salt of the Earth: 1955-1960 R&B-Derived Rock & Roll.” Time Is On Our Side. 2000-2008. Web. 11 April 2014. Taylor, Timothy D. “His Name Was in Lights: Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode.’” Popular Music. January 1992: 27-40. JSTOR. Web. 29 March 2014.

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