Chuck Berry | The Passing of a Legend

We can forever hold him in our memory by listening to the timeless music he played.

March 2017 saw the passing of a legend, as guitarist, singer/songwriter, and music groundbreaker Chuck Berry passed away at age 90. Known as the Godfather of Rock ’n’ Roll, Berry broke every racial and musical boundary.

Berry was born October 28, 1926, as one of six children. His love for entertaining people came early, as did his love for learning. His passions included writing poetry, literature, and anything to do with science. However, most people only know of him as a rock ’n’ roll legend with a career spanning some 70 years.

With hits like “Maybelline” and the career-defining “Johnny B. Goode,” Berry did more than play rock ’n’ roll: He helped define it. While other guitarists of his time were pushing out the blues, it was obvious that Berry wanted to rock—and did so with great aplomb. Yet, no matter how famous he would become, he never left his hometown of St. Louis. Although he traveled the world extensively, he always came back to his roots.

The recipient of many awards—he was the first person inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honor, and many more accolades—Berry always remained down to earth. He performed once a month at his favorite St. Louis hot spot, Blueberry Hill. His likeness has been forever forged in bronze in the form of a statue on the Delmar Loop.

As the creator of the “Duck Walk,” Berry wowed audiences all over the world. His legacy is great and shall never be forgotten. He is survived by Thelmetta, his wife of 68 years, four children, and 13 grandchildren. His spirit shall forever be a part of St. Louis and of the rock ’n’ roll world. Attendees included many media outlets, as well as celebrities like Paul Schaffer of the Late Night with David Letterman band and KISS bassist Gene Simmons.

As the world says goodbye to the legend that was Chuck Berry, we can forever hold him in our memory by listening to the timeless music he played. He will continue to inspire musicians all over the world. | Marc Farr

About Marc Farr 238 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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