Chuck Berry As The King Of Rock & Roll

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The 1950s saw the rise of Chuck Berry, considered the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His musical take on rhythm and blues (R&B) was a large influence on many successful artists that rose the following decade; most notably The Rolling Stones. I examine Chuck Berry’s early career and how The Rolling Stones modeled themselves from his style, and then expanded it. During the 1950s, many R&B artists, such as Little Richard, used the piano as their main instrument. His music had that rock 'n' roll exuberance, soulful voice, and in your face shouting that is a common ingredient in rock today (“History of Rock & Roll-The 1950s”). A prime example is the energetic piano riffs from “Tutti Frutti”. However, when Chuck Berry translated the “boogie woogie” riffs from the piano to the electric guitar, it set the standard to the rock 'n' roll sound (“History of Rock & Roll-The 1950s”). The electric guitar riffs sounded more upbeat and moving than anything that could ever be done on a piano. It was his guitar playing that left a large influence in the coming decades. Robert Christgau states, “Berry's limited but brilliant vocabulary of guitar riffs quickly came to epitomize rock 'n' roll...every great white guitar group of the early Sixties imitated Berry's style”. The riffs from his famous…show more content…
The country incorporation allowed Chuck Berry to reach larger white audiences. His records had biracial appeal and became successful in the business, “A good blues single usually sold around 10,000 copies and a big rhythm and blues hit might go into the hundreds of thousands, but "Maybellene" probably moved a million” (Christgau). Still, like other race records of the time, white artists would perform covers, made possible by Tin Pan Alley, and Berry’s records were no exception. Overall, Chuck Berry’s records still managed to become successful in a business that oppressed black
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