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Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (1926-) is a famous Rock and Roll singer and guitarist best known for his string of pioneering hit singles during The Fifties. Indisputably one of the most important and influential performers of all time, his best known songs include "Johnny B. Goode", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Maybellene" and many more.
Although his output slowed after a run-in with the law which saw him convicted for some time (in circumstances similar to those that wrecked the career of Jerry Lee Lewis) and his hit-making period was over by the 1960s (with the exception of his only number-one hit, 1972's "My Ding-A-Ling"), Berry's influence on subsequent performers was significant. He was widely covered and cited as a favourite by many British Invasion groups, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, the Pretty Things, Manfred Mann and The Kinks.
- Audience Participation Song: One of most proliferated recordings of "My Ding-a-Ling" involves him getting the audience to sing the chorus back to him.
- But Not Too Black: The record company originally tried to hide the fact that he wasn't white. Of course, the advent of television made that pretty hard. They did make him change Johnny B Goode to a "country boy" rather than a "colored boy", though.
- Cool Old Guy: Born in 1926 and still doing gigs.
- Call-and-Response Song: "School Day" features a contrapuntal pattern between Berry's vocal and his guitar.
- Cover Version: One of the most popular sources for covers, especially by the artists of the British Invasion during the sixties.
- Epic Rocking: "Concerto In B. Goode".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: "No Particular Place To Go" has the teenaged characters go to Make-Out Point to... "take a stroll." Uh-huh. Of course, nothing happens.
Can you imagine the way I felt?
I couldn't unfasten her safety belt!
- Heavy Meta: "Rock and Roll Music", "School Day", "Roll Over Beethoven". It was really what most of his lyrics were about.
- Rockstar Song: "Johnny B. Goode" and others.
- The Scrooge: He would rather go to jail (for the second time, even!) than paying a fine when he was sentenced for tax fraud in the seventies. When he goes on tour, he demands that the local organizers provide him with a backing band, because he doesn't want to pay travelling expenses for his own band.
- Trope Maker: Along with Elvis Presley sideman Scotty Moore, Berry is the trope maker for guitar-based rock and roll.
- Wham! Line: "Marie is only six years old, information please/Try to put me through to her in Memphis, Tennessee"