Posted by Charna Manson on April 19, 2017
This week I’ve chosen not to write about stinger suits but rather to acknowledge the March passing of Chuck Berry, an absolute Rock ‘n’ Roll legend.
According to Wikipedia he “redefined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made Rock ‘n’ Roll distinctive.” By doing so, he has been regarded as a true pioneer of the music genre. Helping to define Rock ‘n’ Roll’s potential and attitude, his songs resonated with the youth of the day, for they were about teen life and consumerism which, for its day, was seen as being a bit out there but then that’s Rock ‘n’ Roll for you baby!
Very early on Berry developed his own hybrid musical style which included popping guitar solos and a showmanship, the likes of which hadn’t been seen before. It was this unique combination that drew both white and black listeners to his concerts and I feel, in some ways, helped change the prevailing attitude towards racial segregation in the USA, at least within the younger set.
In an ironic twist, Berry’s 60th birthday concert in 1986 was filmed in the very same theater that, for racist reasons in his childhood, turned him and his father away when they went there to see a movie.
‘Maybellene’, the partly autobiographical ‘Johnny B. Goode’,’ Roll over Beethoven’ and ‘Rock and Roll Music’ are some of his earliest, and well known hits and are still being covered by today’s artists.
Famous for his ‘duck walk’ while playing the guitar, his signature body movements apparently began in 1956 when he was simply trying to hide the wrinkles in a rayon suit by ‘shaking them out’! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqS76TFCCYs
Considered by some as Rock ‘n’ Roll’s founding guitar hero, he learned a technique of bending 2 strings at one time which became known as “the Chuck Berry Lick”.
In 1986, when the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame was opened, Berry was one of the first musicians inducted. He was cited for having “laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound, but a rock and roll stance”.
Although he will undoubtedly be missed, his legacy will live on!
Go go go Johnny go …Go … Johnny B Goode!!
And a quick reminder our Easter stingersuit sale is still on!