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Monday, February 22, 2010

100 Records That Shook The World, #83

Johnny B. Goode

Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry's hit of 1958 is partly autobiographical, a rags to riches story of a "country boy" who can play guitar "just like ringing a bell". The original lyric was "colored boy" but Chuck changed it to make sure it would get radio play. Chuck himself was born in a house on Goode Street in St. Louis. The song was originally written in 1955, and Chuck had several hits under his belt when it was finally recorded and released. It peaked at #8 on the Billboard chart. 

In 1986 Chuck was one of the first artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, who stated that" he laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance". He took basic rhythm and blues and sculpted it into something different, with lyrics about teen life, cars, girls, music. He added a new element to the mix with his showmanship, such as his classic 'duck walk', seen here, and the 'one-legged hop'. Hundreds of artists claim him as an influence, such as Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Robert Cray, who all appeared with him in the film Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll, which documented his sixtieth birthday concert. Here's the man himself.

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