Chuck Berry’s death at 90 is being mourned across the world. His fans are not limited to the US alone. From Canada to UK, Australia, and pretty much everywhere in the world he has a large number of fan following.
The rock n roll legend, who many call the father of the genre, cannot be separated from music. For the last 65 years at least, he has been a major force in the music world and no one could ignore his contribution.
Born on 18 October 1926 in St. Louis, Berry rose to fame from a very unlikely background. A janitor in his early working years, the way Berry made his way to the stardom is itself a story that will continue to be recounted for many more decades to come.
A Bloomberg report said the legend had often heard that blacks “are born with rhythm. Maybe it’s true, but I came to find out, so were white boys.”
Chuck Berry who, unlike any rock n roll artist of his time neither single nor without a family. He had a wife and five children. He set himself apart by writing his own words and music. Before he came along, “a singer sung songs and a songwriter wrote them, and the twain never did meet,” Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards said in the 1987 film about Berry, “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll.” “He did the same thing with the guitar that he did with his voice and with his writing,” the late singer Roy Orbison said in the same film. Orbison referred to “the way the lyrics rolled off the tongue, the way they stabbed, the way they cut, and the way they sort of seemed to lay there with the drums.”
His son Charles Berry Jr who was part of his band for sometimes has clear recollection for a very long time. While talking to the Rolling Stones he said, “My only perspective is Chuck Berry being my father. I have no other frame of reference. My other friends have had doctors, lawyers, judges. When I was growing up as a kid, we lived on a street, Windermere Place, here in St. Louis”.
He goes on to add, “He was an 80-year-old man, although my dad acted more like a 50-year-old. The one that I always go back to as the most grueling was January 2007. We did 17 shows in, like, 18 days. We started in Moscow, Russia. Getting to the show in Moscow, we were four hours late and the crowd was still there. We’re pulling up and I’m not kidding, there were 3,000 people outside”. It was only in the year 2015 that he hung his boot and stopped performing.