Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri, where as a student in high school he was already performing with his guitar and as a young man established himself professionally as a member of a trio of musicians that played at popular clubs in the St. Louis area. He is recognized as one of the pioneers of rock and roll music.
His career would skyrocket to the top upon being signed to a recording contract by Chicago’s Chess Records in 1955. Within weeks, Chuck Berry had a top five gold record debut on the nation’s Hit Parade with “Maybellene”. In 1956 his “Roll Over Beethoven” charted and in 1957 two additional million sellers, “School Days” and “Rock n’ Roll Music” had introduced Chuck as a pioneer in rock music as in the fall of that year he toured with other stars of the new rock music that was sweeping the nation. The following year in 1958 “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode” continued his ride to the top of the Hit Parade. In 1964 “You Never can Tell” first caught the attention of fans but it was thirty years later in the 1994 motion picture “Pulp Fiction” that the song really exploded in popularity.
Among his hits were “Carol,” “Almost Grown,” “Nadine,” “Back in the U.S.A.” and another top ten smash in the summer of 1964, “No Particular Place to Go.” Again, in the summer of 1972 Chuck Berry topped the charts with “My Ding-A-Ling” followed by “Reelin’ & Rockin’.” Appearing in three motion pictures of the early rock era, “Rock, Rock, Rock”, “You Can’t Catch Me” and in the 1959 film “Go Johnny, Go”. Chuck Berry’s one-legged hop routine and his trademark “duck walk” became his signature on stage.
Chuck Berry received numerous awards and is among the first to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, is also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000. He was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2008.
Visit the official website of Chuck Berry here