48 Facts About Chuck Berry

1.

Charles Edward Anderson Chuck Berry was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist who pioneered rock and roll.

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2.

Chuck Berry's break came when he traveled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records.

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3.

Chuck Berry had established his own St Louis nightclub, Berry's Club Bandstand.

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4.

Chuck Berry grew up in the north St Louis neighborhood known as the Ville, an area where many middle-class people lived.

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5.

Chuck Berry's father, Henry William Berry was a contractor and deacon of a nearby Baptist church; his mother, Martha Bell was a certified public school principal.

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6.

Chuck Berry's upbringing allowed him to pursue his interest in music from an early age.

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7.

Chuck Berry gave his first public performance in 1941 while still a student at Sumner High School; he was still a student there in 1944, when he was arrested for armed robbery after robbing three shops in Kansas City, Missouri, and then stealing a car at gunpoint with some friends.

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8.

Chuck Berry was convicted and sent to the Intermediate Reformatory for Young Men at Algoa, near Jefferson City, Missouri, where he formed a singing quartet and did some boxing.

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9.

Chuck Berry was released from the reformatory on his 21st birthday in 1947.

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10.

Chuck Berry supported his family by taking various jobs in St Louis, working briefly as a factory worker at two automobile assembly plants and as a janitor in the apartment building where he and his wife lived.

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11.

Chuck Berry was doing well enough by 1950 to buy a "small three room brick cottage with a bath" on Whittier Street, which is listed as the Chuck Berry House on the National Register of Historic Places.

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12.

Chuck Berry had been playing blues since his teens, and he borrowed both guitar riffs and showmanship techniques from the blues musician T-Bone Walker.

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13.

Chuck Berry took guitar lessons from his friend Ira Harris, which laid the foundation for his guitar style.

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14.

In May 1955, Chuck Berry traveled to Chicago, where he met Muddy Waters who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records.

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15.

Chuck Berry thought his blues music would interest Chess, but Chess was a larger fan of Chuck Berry's take on "Ida Red".

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16.

Chuck Berry was a guest on ABC's Guy Mitchell Show, singing his hit song "Rock 'n' Roll Music".

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17.

Chuck Berry acknowledged the debt to Jordan and several sources have indicated that his work was influenced by Jordan in general.

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18.

Chuck Berry had opened a racially integrated St Louis nightclub, Berry's Club Bandstand, and invested in real estate.

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19.

Chuck Berry appealed the decision, arguing that the judge's comments and attitude were racist and prejudiced the jury against him.

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20.

Chuck Berry had continued recording and performing during the trials, but his output had slowed as his popularity declined; his final single released before he was imprisoned was "Come On".

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21.

When Berry was released from prison in 1963, his return to recording and performing was made easier because British invasion bands—notably the Beatles and the Rolling Stones—had sustained interest in his music by releasing cover versions of his songs, and other bands had reworked some of them, such as the Beach Boys' 1963 hit "Surfin' U S A ", which used the melody of Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen".

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22.

Between 1966 and 1969 Chuck Berry released five albums for Mercury Records, including his second live album, Live at Fillmore Auditorium; for the live album he was backed by the Steve Miller Band.

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23.

Chuck Berry played at large events in North America, such as the Schaefer Music Festival, in New York City's Central Park in July 1969, and the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival festival in October.

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24.

Chuck Berry was on the road for many years, carrying only his Gibson guitar, confident that he could hire a band that already knew his music no matter where he went.

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25.

Chuck Berry's touring style, traveling the "oldies" circuit in the 1970s, added ammunition to the Internal Revenue Service's accusations that Chuck Berry had evaded paying income taxes.

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26.

Chuck Berry continued to play 70 to 100 one-nighters per year in the 1980s, still traveling solo and requiring a local band to back him at each stop.

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27.

In 2008, Chuck Berry toured Europe, with stops in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, Poland, and Spain.

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28.

Chuck Berry lived in Ladue, Missouri, approximately 10 miles west of St Louis.

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29.

Chuck Berry had a home at "Berry Park", near Wentzville, Missouri where he lived part-time since the 1950s and was the home in which he died.

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30.

Chuck Berry regularly performed one Wednesday each month at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant and bar located in the Delmar Loop neighborhood of St Louis, from 1996 to 2014.

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31.

In 1987, Chuck Berry was charged with assaulting a woman at New York's Gramercy Park Hotel.

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32.

Chuck Berry claimed that he had had the camera installed to catch a worker who was suspected of stealing from the restaurant.

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33.

Chuck Berry's lawyers said he had been the victim of a conspiracy to profit from his wealth.

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34.

The child abuse charges were eventually dropped, and Chuck Berry agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

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35.

Later, videos Chuck Berry recorded of himself urinating on a woman and another of her defecating on him would surface.

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36.

Chuck Berry was remembered with a public viewing by family, friends, and fans in The Pageant, a music club where he often performed.

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37.

Chuck Berry was viewed with his cherry-red Gibson ES-335 guitar bolted to the inside lid of the coffin and with flower arrangements that included one sent by the Rolling Stones in the shape of a guitar.

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38.

One of Chuck Berry's attorneys estimated that his estate was worth $50 million, including $17 million in music rights.

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39.

Chuck Berry's music publishing accounted for $13 million of the estate's value.

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40.

The Chuck Berry estate owned roughly half of his songwriting credits, while BMG Rights Management controlled the other half; most of Chuck Berry's recordings are currently owned by Universal Music Group.

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41.

Chuck Berry is interred in a mausoleum in Bellerive Gardens Cemetery in St Louis.

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42.

Pioneer of rock and roll, Chuck Berry was a significant influence on the development of both the music and the attitude associated with the rock music lifestyle.

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43.

Chuck Berry's records are a rich storehouse of the essential lyrical, showmanship and musical components of rock and roll.

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44.

Chuck Berry has been cited as a major reference to a variety of some of the most influential acts of all time:.

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45.

Chuck Berry was ranked seventh on Time magazine's 2009 list of the 10 best electric guitar players of all time.

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46.

Chuck Berry was presented the award along with BMI affiliates Bo Diddley and Little Richard.

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47.

Chuck Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine's "Greatest of All Time" lists.

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48.

Journalist Chuck Klosterman has argued that in 300 years Berry will still be remembered as the rock musician who most closely captured the essence of rock and roll.

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