Chuck Berry: The Rise Of The King Of Rock & Roll

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There is without a doubt that the 1950s saw the rise of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, known as Chuck Berry. His musical take on rhythm and blues was a large influence on many successful artists that rose the following decade, but most notably The Rolling Stones. This paper examines the earlier musical career of Chuck Berry and how The Rolling Stones modeled themselves upon him and then expanded themselves further. During the 1950s, many rhythm and blues (R&B) artists, who were of African American descent, used the piano as their main choice of instrument,such as Little Richard. 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”). An example, is the sound of his energetic piano riffs from “Tutti Frutti” . However, when Chuck Berry translated those “boogie woogie” riffs from the piano to the electric guitar, it just set the standard to how rock and roll should sound (“History of Rock & Roll-The 1950s”). The electric guitar riffs that Chuck Berry played, just sounded more upbeat and moving than anything that can be done on a piano. It was his guitar playing that ultimately left a large influence in the coming…show more content…
As mentioned, the country incorporation allowed Chuck Berry to reach larger white audiences. His records had biracial appeal and became successful in the business (Christgau). Christgau states, “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”. Still, like other race records of the time, white artists would perform covers, made possible by Tin Pan Alley, and Chuck’s records were no exception. Overall, Chuck Berry’s records still managed to become successful in a business that was geared to oppressed black

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