Biography of Rock Star Chuck Berry Part 2

About the famous rock n' roll star Chuck Berry, history and biography of the musician.



Take together, Berry's hits are now considered to be the pinnacle of early rock. As both lead guitarist and songwriter, Berry is acknowledged as the major influence on the most important rock groups of the 1960s, including the Beach Boys, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. It is painfully ironic that in 1962--while the Beach Boys were introducing "new rock" in the form of "Surfin' USA" (closely patterned after "Sweet Little Sixteen")--Chuck Berry was serving time in prison.

This unfortunate episode in Berry's life began in 1959, when he allegedly transported a young woman from New Mexico to St. Louis for "immoral purposes." After a trial which dragged on for two years, Berry was sentenced to two years in federal prison. By the time he was released in 1964, he had lost his rock 'n' roll public to the stars whose music he had influenced.

Berry managed a minor comeback with "Nadine," but by and large he retired to his new amusement park project in Wentzville, Mo. It wasn't until March, 1972, when he returned to major live shows in Las Vegas, that he regained a share of the popularity he had enjoyed during the 1950s. Soon his career was again on the upswing, and young teens--not yet born when "Maybelline" was released--began to appreciate the power and emotion of Berry's music. Duck-walking across the stage, bending double-note guitar runs from between his legs or behind his head, he draws the same response now that he did in the late 1950s. As one of the first men to blend jazz, country, and rhythm-and-blues into the music known as rock, Berry has returned to his rightful place in the musical world.

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