The Death of a Legend

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

More stories from Austin Jones

The Return of a King
March 17, 2017
Back to Article
Back to Article

The Death of a Legend

Chuck Berry, one of America’s Legends, who died at age 90 on March 18th, 2017, is rightly named as the godfather of rock n’ roll. He was the St. Louis amateur that had a big part in shaping that distinct American art form that significantly impacted culture and music across the globe.

As some may think, he was not the actual father of rock. With hits like “Maybellene” and “Johnny B. Goode” Berry was a massive builder when it came to the legacy that he would leave on this Genre. “Maybellene” was let loose into the world in 1955. There were already major artists like Bo Diddley, and Bill Haley & the Comets who had already come out with iconic hit singles on the Billboard charts. Elvis Presley had already rocked up the world with the famous blues song “That’s All Right” in 1954, and Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88” (a recording in which some historians hail as the first true rock and roll release) came out in 1951 years before the rock revolution started in earnest.

So why, if rock was already making an impact across the world, is Chuck Berry most commonly referred to as the single-most important figure in rock music’s history? Simply put, unlike Haley or Presley, Berry helped solidify what rock music would become. He was credited with fusing country western and the blues music style to form an uncommon type of rock which was set to inspire the next generations of rock bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  He also brought a new type of swagger to his music that he would perform in almost every song he played known as the duck walk. There is no doubt that “the eternal teenager’s” legacy will live on for a very long time, even after his death.

Sources consulted;

Brachelli, Faith. “Remembering Chuck Berry, the Musician Who Started It All.” Bucks County Courier Times. 21st Century Cyber Charter School, 20 Mar. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Seymour, Gene. “Opinion: Chuck Berry Obliterated Barriers.” CNN. Cable News Network, Mar.-Apr. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Lynch, Joe. “Chuck Berry Didn’t Invent Rock N’ Roll, But He Turned It Into an Attitude That Changed the World.” Billboard., Mar.-Apr. 2017. Web. 22 Mar. 2017