Tag Archives: Chuck Berry

“Johnny B. Goode”

31 Mar

The guy with the new guitar sound and great rock and roll lyrics, Chuck Berry, released the rock and roll anthem “Johnny B. Goode” on March 31, 1958. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at #1 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.




How many bands covered this after the fact?



21 May

Chuck Berry recorded his first single, “Maybellene,” at the Chess Recording Studio in Chicago on May 21, 1955. This recording is one of the first records to be successful on rhythm & blues, country & western, and the pop charts at the same time!

These three genres were the recipe for the new hybrid genre called rock and roll.

In 1988 “Maybellene” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its influence as a rock and roll single.

“Surfin’ USA” and “Sweet Little Sixteen”

4 Mar

The Beach Boys  “Surfin’ USA.” was a copy of  the melody of Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” but uses new lyrics. After Berry sued, he was granted royalties, and all further issues of the song gave him writing credit.

 According to Wilson,

“I was going with a girl called Judy Bowles, and her brother Jimmy was a surfer. He knew all the surfing spots. I started humming the melody to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ and I got fascinated with the fact of doing it, and I thought to myself, ‘God! What about trying to put surf lyrics to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’s melody? The concept was about, ‘They are doing this in this city, and they’re doing that in that city’ So I said to Jimmy, ‘Hey Jimmy, I want to do a song mentioning all the surf spots.’ So he gave me a list.”[1]

“Surfin’ U.S.A.” was released as a single on March 4, 1963. “Sweet Little Sixteen” was released in January 1958.

Rock and Roll Guitar starts with Chuck Berry and his First Hit in 1955!

27 Jul

Maybellene is a song recorded by Chuck Berry, adapted from the traditional fiddle tune “Ida Red” that tells the story of a hot rod race and a broken romance. It was released in July 1955 as a single on Chess Records of Chicago, Illinois.[1] It was Berry’s first single release and his first hit. “Maybellene” is considered one of the pioneering rock and roll singles: Rolling Stone magazine wrote, “Rock & roll guitar starts here.”[2] The record is an early instance of the complete rock and roll package: youthful subject matter, small guitar-driven combo, clear diction, and an atmosphere of unrelenting excitement.

July 2 in Rock and Roll

2 Jul

A lttle early, but in 1946 Louis Jordan hits #1 on the R&B chart and #9 on the pop chart with “Buzz Me.” Louis Jordan the Father of the Rhythm & Blues  pursued a basic rhythm of Shuffle Boogie. This was later taken over by early Rock ‘n’ Roll. As he said, he “made the blues jump,” and in so doing, influenced B. B. King, Chuck Berry, and Bill Haley.