ROCK ’N’ ROLL LEGEND CHUCK BERRY, 90, DIES

ROCK ’N’ ROLL LEGEND CHUCK BERRY, 90, DIES

March 18, 2017

NEW YORK — Chuck Berry, rock ’n’ roll’s founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music’s joy and rebellion in such c lassics as “Johnny B. Goode,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” died Saturday at his home in an unincorpo rated area west of St. Louis. He was 90.

Emergency re sponders summoned to Berry’s residence by his caretaker about 12:40 p.m. found him unresponsive, police in Missouri’s St. Charles County said i n a statement. Attempts to revive Berry failed, and he was pronounced dead shortly before 1:30 p.m., police said.

Police spoke swoman Val Joyner told The Associated Press she had no additional details about Berry’s death.

Berry’s core repertoire was some three dozen songs, his influence incalculable, from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to v irtually any group from garage band t o arena act that called itself rock ’n’ roll. While Elvis Presley gave rock its libidinous, hip-shaking image, Berry was the auteur, setting the template for a new sound and way of life. Well before the rise of Bob Dylan, Berry wedded social commentary to the beat and rush of popular music.

“He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the ’50s when people were singing, ‘Oh, baby, I love you so,’” John Lennon once observed.

Berry, in his late 20s before his first major hit, crafted lyrics that spoke to the teenagers of the day and remained fresh decades later. “Sweet Little Sixteen” captured rock ’n’ roll fandom, an early and innocent ode to the young girls later known as “groupies.” “School Day” told of the sing-song trials of the classroom and the liberation of rock ’n’ roll once the day’s final bell rang.

“Roll Over Beethoven” was an anthem to rock’s history-making power, while “Rock and Roll Music” was a guidebook for all bands that followed. “Back in the U.S.A.” was a black man’s straight-faced tribute to his country at a time there was no guarantee Berry would be served at the drive-ins and corner cafes he was celebrating.

“Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me, but about the people listening,” he once said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source:  http://epaper.timesfreepress.com/Olive/ODN/TimesFreePress/shared/ShowArticle.aspx?doc=ChatTFPress%2F2017%2F03%2F19&entity=Ar00200&sk=156AE119

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