Chuck Berry, the singer, songwriter and extraordinary guitar player, the man who practically defined rock music with his perfectly twangy hits "Maybellene," "Move Over Beethoven," "Memphis," "My Ding-a-Ling" and "Sweet Little Sixteen," dies. He was 90.
The artist/musician, whose exemplary "Johnny B. Goode" was picked by Carl Sagan to be incorporated on the brilliant record of Earth Sounds and Music propelled with Voyager in 1977, died Saturday evening, St. Charles County Police Department affirmed. The reason for death was not uncovered.
Amid his 60 or more years in the entertainment biz, Berry in 1986 got to be distinctly one of the principal inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He entered The Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame in '85 and that year likewise got a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
He performed in 1979 for President Jimmy Carter at the White House, arrived at No. 6 on Rolling Stone's rundown of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and trademarked his stage ability to entertain with his acclaimed "duck walk."
John Lennon once said, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’ ” He paved the way for such music legends as the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Band, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, AC/DC, Sex Pistols and Jerry Lee Lewis, among many others.
Muddy Waters, Berry's venerated image and musical impact, gave him some useful backstage exhortation: contact Leonard Chess. Chicago-based Chess Records, essentially a blues name keep running by Polish siblings Leonard and Phil Chess, had a progression of transplanted blues specialists on its list, including Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker.
He was one of the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in 1986, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked Berry 6th on its list of greatest guitarists.
Chuck Berry was 90.