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Blueberry Hill Remembers Chuck Berry

By Clip Syndicate
ST. LOUIS -- Rock music legend Chuck Berry is being remembered in his hometown of St. Louis as the star who never forgot his roots. Berry died Saturday afternoon. He was 90 years old.

http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/view/12235/6836159 Video: Blueberry Hill Remembers Chuck Berry
ST. LOUIS -- Rock music legend Chuck Berry is being remembered in his hometown of St. Louis as the star who never forgot his roots. Berry died Saturday afternoon. He was 90 years old.
http://chic.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/12235/6836159?cpt=8&wpid=2637 Mon, 20 Mar 2017 09:52:00 +0000 Blueberry Hill Remembers Chuck Berry ST. LOUIS -- Rock music legend Chuck Berry is being remembered in his hometown of St. Louis as the star who never forgot his roots. Berry died Saturday afternoon. He was 90 years old. http://chic.clipsyndicate.com/video/playlist/12235/6836159?cpt=8&wpid=2637 KOLR ST. LOUIS -- Rock music legend Chuck Berry is being remembered in his hometown of St. Louis as the star who never forgot his roots. Berry died Saturday afternoon. He was 90 years old. Officials responded to a medical emergency at a home on Buckner Road in St. Charles County Saturday afternoon. Inside the home, first responders found Berry unresponsive and immediately administered lifesaving techniques but Berry could not be revived and was pronounced dead at the scene. Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born in St. Louis on Oct. 18, 1926. As a child he practiced a bent-leg stride that enabled him to slip under tables, a prelude to the duck walk of his adult years. His mother, like Johnny B. Goode's, told him he would make it, and make it big. A fan of blues, swing and boogie woogie, Berry studied the very mechanics of music and how it was transmitted. As a teenager, he loved to take radios apart and put them back together. Using a Nick Manoloff guitar chord book, he learned how to play the hits of the time. He was fascinated by chord progressions and rhythms, discovering that many songs borrowed heavily from the Gershwins' "I Got Rhythm." He began his musical career at age 15 when he went on stage at a high school review to do his own version of Jay McShann's "Confessin' the Blues." Berry would never forget the ovation he received. "Long did the encouragement of that performance assist me in programming my songs and even their delivery while performing," he wrote in his autobiography. "I added and deleted according to the audiences' response to different gestures, and chose songs to build an act that would constantly stimulate my audience." Meanwhile, his troubles with the law began, in 1944, when a joy riding trip to Kansas City turned into a crime spree involving armed robberies and car theft. Berry served three years of a 10-year sentence at a reformatory. A year after his October 1947 release, Berry met and married Themetta Suggs, who stayed by his side despite some of his well-publicized indiscretions. Berry then started sitting in with local bands. By 1950, he had graduated to a six-string electric guitar and was making his own crude recordings on a reel to reel machine. On New Year's Eve 1952 at The Cosmopolitan club in East St. Louis, Illinois, Johnson called Berry to fill in for an ailing saxophonist in his Sir John Trio. "He gave me a break" and his first commercial gig, for $4, Berry later recalled. "I was excited. My best turned into a mess. I stole the group from Johnnie." Influenced by bandleader Louis Jourdan, blues guitarist T-Bone Walker and jazz man Charlie Christian, but also hip to country music, novelty songs and the emerging teen audiences of the post-World War II era, Berry signed with Chicago's Chess Records in 1955. "Maybellene" reworked the country song "Ida Red" and rose into the top 10 of the national pop charts, a rare achievement for a black artist at that time. According to Berry, label owner Leonard Chess was taken by the novelty of a "hillbilly song sung by a black man," an inversion of Presley's covers of blues songs. Several hits followed, including "Roll Over Beethoven," ''School Day" and "Sweet Little Sixteen." Among his other songs: "Too Much Monkey Business," ''Nadine," ''No Particular Place To Go," ''Almost Grown" and the racy novelty number "My Ding-A-Ling," which topped the charts in 1972. Berry also appeared in a dozen movies, doing his distinctive bent-legged "duck-walk" in several teen exploitation flicks of the '50s. Richards organized the well-received 1987 documentary "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll," a concert at St. Louis' Fox Theatre to celebrate Berry's 60th birthday. It featured Eric Clapton, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis, who recalled being told by his own mother that Berry, not he, was the true king of rock 'n' roll.





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