On This Day

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

Why Famous: 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
  • 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
  • 1972-10-17 Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-ling," is #1
  • 1979-06-07 Rock 'n' roll musician 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 sentenced to 4 months for $200,000 in tax evasion
  • 1979-11-19 Chuck Berry released from prison on income tax evasion
  • 1988-06-14 Woman sues Chuck Berry for $5,000,000, alleges he hit her
  • 1988-11-25 Chuck Berry 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