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chuck berry :: Blog

Chuck Berry in "Rock, Rock, Rock!"

Monday, October 22: 1:50 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Legendary DJ Alan Freed introduces Chuck Berry in 1956's "Rock, Rock, Rock!"

Rock, Rock, Rock!, the 1956 black-and-white film starring Cleveland disc jockey and "the King of Rock 'n' Roll" Alan Freed as himself, told the story of a teenage girl trying to gather the money she needs to buy a gown for an upcoming dance. A number of performances – including those by Hall of Fame inductees Chuck Berry, LaVern Baker, the Flamingos, Frankie Lymon and the Teengers and the Moonglows – move the picture along and provide its rock and roll soundtrack. 

In the clip below, Freed introduces the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's 2012 American Music Masters honoree Chuck Berry, who delivers his signature moves over "You Can't Catch Me." 

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Joe Lauro will present a compilation film of rare clips of Chuck Berry through out his career as part of the American Music Masters conference on Saturday, October 27 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. The film will present sections on Berry's acknowledged influences, including T-Bone Walker and Louis Jordan; clips of some of the famous musicians he influenced, such as the Rolling Stones, Beatles and Beach Boys; and film of the only known ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Education, Event

Rare Performances: Chuck Berry Live in 1994

Tuesday, July 31: 10 a.m.
Chuck Berry honored Willie Dixon in 1994 and performed "Roll Over Beethoven"

At the 1994 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Chuck Berry paid tribute to his Chess Records label mate and frequent collaborator Willie Dixon with a moving induction speech and stirring performance of “Roll Over Beethoven.” Dixon contributed his robust and propulsive bass playing to numerous Berry hits, including “Maybellene” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” Berry’s performance that evening reflects the sheer joy that he brings to every performance. Berry’s generosity as a performer is also evident, as he leaves plenty of room for members of Paul Shaffer’s Induction Ceremony house band the opportunity to shine, along with Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Grateful Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby and Blues Traveler’s John Popper. The Rock and Roll Hall Fame and Museum is delighted to honor Chuck Berry as this year’s American Music Masters honoree.

WATCH: Chuck Berry performs "Roll Over Beethoven" live


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Hall of Fame, Inductee, Rare Performances, Event

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Rock & Roll Music"

Tuesday, July 24: 10:30 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Chuck Berry is the Rock Hall's 2012 American Music Masters honoree

What do the Beatles, Beach Boys, Bill Haley, James Last, Jan and Dean, the Archies, the Dave Clark Five and REO Speedwagon have in common? They've all recorded Chuck Berry's "Rock & Roll Music." The Beach Boys even had a bigger hit with their 1976 version than Berry did with his own recording 19 years earlier. But only Berry could have created the song. "I wanted the lyrics to define every aspect of its being," he has written about the tune. They do, with his characteristic mix of enthusiasm and detached observation: a 30-year-old father of two in 1957, Berry was more objective about rock and roll – the music and the business – than his younger companions on the charts. A demo version, recorded five months before the released take, lacks what would become the opening verse, and in the chorus Berry sings, "if you wanna rock with me" – a verb later changed to "dance," probably for reasons of taste if not redundancy. Unusual for Berry, "Rock & Roll Music" contains no guitar solo. Instead, verses and choruses plow ahead, the witty product of an assured songwriter. Except for a break of mambo-styled rhythm mimicking the lyrics, "Rock & Roll Music ...


continue Categories: American Music Masters, Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll, Event

Today in Rock: Chuck Berry is Born

Tuesday, October 18: 5 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Chuck Berry

Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news: it's Chuck Berry's birthday.

Let's hear it for the man who taught us about everything from cooling off your car's engine with rain water blowin' all under the hood, to all we needed to know about girls named "Carol" and "Nadine." In fact, the Shakespeare of rock and roll informed us about most the things we needed to know in those nascent days of the music that's become the soundtrack of our lives. 

Imagine what it meant to me when he referred to my hometown of Mobile in "Let It Rock." It was great being with you recently, Mr. Berry,  and it thrills me that you are still knockin' 'em out like Johnny B. Goode.

More About Hall of Fame Inductee Chuck Berry:
(pictured: Chuck Berry's Gibson ES-335, part of the Museum's featured collection)

While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together. It was his particular genius to graft country & western guitar licks onto a rhythm & blues chassis in his very ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Today in Rock

Hanson Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Wednesday, October 7: 4:25 p.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Hanson visit the Rock Hall.

Rock Hall President and CEO Terry Stewart talks with Hanson about Chuck Berry, Leon Russell and more.

Had a great visit with some old (relatively speaking) friends of the Museum, Hanson.  These guys are incredible music lovers and self-described music geeks.  They first toured the museum almost 10 years ago when they had their break-out record.  Since then they’ve been back several times.  Yesterday they were doing a short performance and signing of their new book. Then they came down to our offices and we had a conversation about how much they love classic rock and the artists from the 50s like Chuck Berry.  In turn, it led to an interesting discussion about an artist who has a lot of influence on them, Leon Russell.  They wanted to know about the nominating process because they know I’m on the committee. I explained to them that Leon is an tremendously gifted musician, singer, producer, etc.  and really qualifies in two categories – Performer and Sidemen.  In fact, during the past year, we received numerous communications from fans and inductees and others lobbying for his induction in either of these categories. We spent some time talking about his varied and long ...


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