Photo by Jim Marshall.
The importance of Chuck Berry’s music can not be overstated, with his blend of swing, gospel, country and blues he almost single-handedly invented rock n’ roll and his signature guitar style would go on to be the template for generations of countless rock guitarist. Berry was idolized by The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and John Lennon once said “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.'”
In addition to his groundbreaking guitar work Berry’s lyrics of an idealized American dream featuring “Coolerators” filled with TV Dinners and Ginger Ale and “Coffee Colored Cadillacs” would define rock n’ roll subject matter for decades to come.
It’s safe to say iconic songs like Johnny B. Goode, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen, No Particular Place To Go and Maybellene became standards of the genre and the gateway for countless garage bands
According to the Facebook page of the St. Charles County Police, Berry’s body was discovered unresponsive at a residence outside of St Louis at about 1:40p.m. ET and was pronounced dead at 2:26p.m. ET.
In October of 2016 Berry announced that he would be releasing his first album in 38 years in 2017, dedicating it to his wife of 68 years Themetta Berry.
R.I.P. Chuck Berry