Fabulous Fifties

Sharing my love for the first decade of rock and roll!

Chuck Berry


Chuck Berry died 5 years ago today, March 18, 2017.  It is only fitting that this week’s post features him.

Berry was considered a pioneer in the emerging rock and roll scene of the 1950’s.  He was renowned for his exemplary guitar playing skills, bringing the instrument to the forefront of the genre.  Although borrowed from the black rhythm and blues players of the late forties and early fifties, Berry’s guitar solos became his own unique and undeniable sound.  In addition, his showmanship became a major influence on artists who came after him, namely his one-legged hop and duck walk.  Furthermore, Berry related to the record-buying youth of the day by writing songs about teen culture, high school, and fast cars.

Chuck Berry-Maybellene

Berry is known for a plethora of rock and roll hits including, Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, Maybellene, School Days, Sweet Little Sixteen, Rock and Roll Music, and No Particular Place to Go.

Chuck Berry-Sweet Little Sixteen

Berry was the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s first inductee in 1986.

Chuck Berry – Too Much Monkey Business

One of the best!

PowerPop... An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

Love the Chuck’s bright guitar intro! Chuck is the father of rock and roll guitar. Everything comes from him. Rockabilly, pop, rock, hard rock, and heavy metal…Chuck is at the core.

The guitar influence he has over rock music is obvious but his rock and roll poetry shouldn’t be forgotten either. While Keith Richards was listening to his guitar closely…Bob Dylan was also listening to his poetry about life.

Too Much Monkey Business was released in September 1956 as the B-side of Brown Eyed Handsome Man. I love how Chuck spits out the lyrics to this song. Bob Dylan did something simiiar on Subterranean Homesick Blues a little later in the sixties.

Berry made up a word in this song, singing, “I don’t want your botheration.” This wasn’t the first time he used his own language: In Maybellene he sings about motorvating.

Too Much Monkey Business peaked at #9…

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