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Legendary Rock 'N' Roll Innovator Chuck Berry Dies At 90
An artist who was revered for his ability to encourage unity in an age that was rife with racism and countless other prejudices, Berry released a number of critically acclaimed hits that were praised for their fresh and exciting new sound. The most popular of these included Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, and Johnny B Goode. Blending a mixture of styles together including Jazz R&B, Country and Blues, Chuck served as a catalyst for artists across the world, inspiring generation after generation of musicians up until the current day.
By the 1950's Berry had begun to play with local bands in the clubs that were either in or around St Louis. After skipping around these various groups, Berry finally secured himself a place with the Johnnie Johnson Trio who held residency at the Cosmopolitan Club at the time. It was here that Berry first began to develop a curiosity and a desire to test the limits of music's boundaries, often playing country music to black audiences who wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to it.
"Curiosity provoked me to lay a lot of country stuff on our black audience. After they laughed at me a few times. They began requesting the hillbilly stuff and enjoyed dancing to it"
After gauging that the reception he was receiving was generally positive, Berry was inspired to make a genre of music that was currently non-existent, one that was an entirely new sound, one that blended country and blues music into one exciting and innovative style.
Turning the concept of the guitar completely on its head, Berry envisaged a more up tempo and melodic styling where the six stringer would be placed at the forefront of the action. Through his use of melodic phrasing and the implementation of lead solo lines, Berry helped to secure the guitar's status as the new star of the 20th century.
Another dynamic that Berry is closely associated with was his extensive emphasis upon showmanship and performance. Perhaps one of his most notorious staples was the 'duck walk', a move that expressed the enigmatic and off the wall characterization of rock 'n' roll in one glorious movement.
Setting the blueprint for modern day music, Berry has served as one of the most influential musical figures within the last century. From his playing style to his charismatic performances Berry still remains as relevant and exciting today as he did all those years ago.
By Josh Hummerston
Posted on 20 Mar 2017 11:31 to category : Band / Celebrity News
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