BY: NICOLE EMANUEL
It’s been four decades since Chuck Berry has released a studio album, and he’s best known for his single, ‘Johnnie B. Good’. Just days after the tragic announcement that Berry had passed away another announcement made its way through the media. Berry’s newest album would be released 38 years later after his last album ‘Rock It’. Berry was 90 years old when he passed away from natural causes at his home in St. Louis MO. Berry was most famously known for his classics ‘Johnny B. Good’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven.’ Berry was a pioneer of rock and roll music and cultivated and developed rhythm and blues into the foundations and distinctive nature it’s known for today. Berry’s new album simply titled ‘CHUCK’, is dedicated to “his beloved Toddy,” who was his wife of 68 years, according to the article published on chuckberry.com.
Berry said in a statement, “My darling, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes.” The album was recorded in various studios around the St. Louis area, and the songs were written, recorded and produced by Berry, the founder. The album features the hometown backing group, which included his children, Charles Berry Jr, Ingrid Berry plus Jimmy Marsala. This group has supported and been with Berry for over two decades. In an article about the newly released album, Charles Berry Jr said, “what an honor to be part of this new music,” he said that his dad called the band the “The Blueberry Hill Band,” and in the beginning, the band fell right into the groove of things and followed his lead. “The album covers the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”
A legend who shaped the foundation of rhythm and blues, and wrote many lyrics for rock and roll passes onto the other side, but not before leaving behind a life’s work to close out a legacy. “Anyone who ever has picked up a guitar has been influenced by Berry,” said rock hall CEO Greg Harris. He admitted as a growing teen guitarist, he himself played the opening riff of ‘Johnny B. Good’ over and over. Berry was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go join the rock hall, and The Rolling Stones Keith Richards said at Berry’s induction ceremony that Berry was the one who started it all.
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Photo Credit: Universal Attractions