Chuck Berry

Rock Guitarist and Singer-Songwriter Chuck Berry

Full Name: Charles Edward Anderson Berry
Profession: Rock Guitarist and Singer-Songwriter

United States of America

Biography: Known by many as the "Father of Rock and Roll," Berry was an early pioneer and major influence on the genre—develop and refining many of the genre's most characteristic elements.

His lyrics revolved around life as a teenager in America, and particularly the culture of consumerism; meanwhile his musical style was showy, with an emphasis on guitar solos.

Berry's big break came with an adaptation of a country song, 'Ida Red'—released as 'Maybellene,' this record sold over a million copies and quickly hit number one on the Billboard R&B charts.

From there, his career continued to rise and he was quickly an established presence in the American music scene.

Born: October 18, 1926
Birthplace: St Louis, Missouri, USA

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Libra

Died: March 18, 2017 (aged 90)
Cause of Death: Cardiac arrest

Historical Events

  • 1961-05-31 Chuck Berry's amusement park, Berryland in St Louis, Missouri opens
  • 1964-10-25 The Rolling Stones make their 1st appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show"; they perform a cover of Chuck Berry's “Around & Around,” and their own hit "Time Is On My Side"
  • 1968-12-28 100,000 attend Miami Pop Festival; performers included: The Jimi Hendrix Experience; The Mothers of Invention; Chuck Berry; John Lee Hooker; The Crazy World of Arthur Brown; and Blues Image,
  • 1969-07-04 140,000 attend 2-day Atlanta Pop Festival in Byron, Georgia; performers include: Janis Joplin; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Chicago; Led Zeppelin; Delaney and Bonnie; Creedence Clearwater Revival, Canned Heat; Joe Cocker; Chuck Berry; Spirit; and Johnny Winter
  • 1969-07-25 70,000 attend Seattle Pop Festival (across 3 days); performers included: Bo Diddley, Flying Burrito Brothers, Ten Years After, Guess Who, Santana, Tim Buckley, Byrds, Ike & Tina Turner Revue, Chicago Transit Authority, Chuck Berry, Led Zeppelin, and The Doors
  • 1971-06-21 50,000 attend Celebration of Life, rock concert in McCrea, Louisiana; performers included Chuck Berry; Stephen Stills; WAR; John Sebastian; and Delaney and Bonnie
  • 1972-02-16 American guitar legend Chuck Berry and former Beatle John Lennon perform together, with Yoko Ono, on 'The Mike Douglas Show' TV program
  • 1972-10-17 Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Lng," is #1
  • 1979-06-07 Rock 'n' Roll singer-songwriter and guitar legend Chuck Berry is charged with tax evasion
  • 1979-06-11 Chuck Berry pleads guilty to income tax evasion, sentenced to 4 months
  • 1979-07-10 Chuck Berry begins 4 months term in prison for $200,000 in tax evasion
  • 1979-11-19 Chuck Berry released from prison for income tax evasion conviction
  • 1986-01-23 Inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees: Chuck Berry; James Brown; Ray Charles; Sam Cooke; Fats Domino; The Everly Brothers; Buddy Holly; Jerry Lee Lewis; Elvis Presley; Little Richard; Robert Johnson; Jimmie Rodgers; Jimmy Yancey; Alan Freed; John Hammond; and Sam Phillips
  • 1986-10-16 Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards organizes concert celebrating rock and roll legend Chuck Berry's 60th birthday at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri; performers include: Richards, Berry, Johnnie Johnson, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, Robert Cray, and Julian Lennon among others
  • 1987-10-09 "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll" documentary film directed by Taylor Hackford of 1986 concerts celebrating rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry is released
  • 1988-06-14 Woman sues Chuck Berry for $5,000,000, alleges he hit her
  • 1988-11-25 Rock guitar legend Chuck Berry (62) pays $250 fine to resolve NYC assault charges
  • 1990-06-23 Police find marijuana at Chuck Berry's home
  • 2019-06-11 "The New York Times" reveals an estimated 500,000 song titles, including masters of Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald, lost in 2008 warehouse fire on Universal backlot in Los Angeles

Biographies and Sources