Chuck Berry

Induction Year: 1982

Birth Name: Charles Edward Anderson Berry

Birth Date: 10-18-1926

Place of Birth: St. Louis, Missouri

A founding father of rock & roll, Chuck Berry has also been described sometimes as a "hillbilly" or "rockabilly" songwriter. And indeed, his songs have become major country hits for such country music stars as Buck Owens, Marty Robbins, George Jones, Johnny Paycheck, Waylon Jennings, Freddy Weller, Ernest Tubb and Emmylou Harris. In 1965, Grand Ole Opry bluegrass artists Jim & Jesse devoted an entire LP, Berry Pickin' in the Country, to the songs of Chuck Berry.

As a young man, Chuck Berry was sent to a reformatory, worked on a General Motors assembly line and attended cosmetology school. In the early 1950s, he rose to become the most prominent artist on the St. Louis R&B nightclub circuit. During his sets, he alternated blues, swing and country tunes.

He traveled to Chicago to audition for Chess Records and was signed to the label in 1955. His career took off with his self-penned "Maybellene" that year, and during the next five years he was a leader of the rock & roll revolution. Along the way, he popularized a supercharged blues style of lead guitar playing that influenced countless rock and country guitar players, including the Beatles and British Invasion bands that followed him up the charts a decade after his debut. As a songwriter, he proved adept at writing three-minute musical vignettes full of carefully chosen details that made his songs unforgettable. His biggest songs are foundation blocks of American music in the twentieth century: "Roll Over Beethoven," "Rock and Roll Music," "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man," "Johnny B. Goode," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Memphis," and "Around & Around."

Berry appeared in the early rock films Rock! Rock! Rock!, Go, Johnny Go! and Mr. Rock 'n' Roll. Following a prison stint on a trumped-up morals charge in 1962-1963, he staged a comeback in the 1970s with "My Ding-a-Ling" and "Reelin' and Rockin,'" both recorded live in England.

He also appeared in such movie features as The T.A.M.I. Show (1964) and American Hot Wax (1978). Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987) was a filmed all-star concert celebrating his 60th birthday.

He won the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, and he wrote his life story in Chuck Berry: The Autobiography, published in 1987.

Chuck Berry was among the inaugural inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
 

"Almost Grown"

Chuck Berry1959 #3 R&B
 

"Anthony Boy"

Chuck Berry1959 #32 pop
 

"Back in the U.S.A."

Chuck Berry1959 #16 R&B,#37 pop
Carmol Taylor1975 #48 country
Linda Ronstadt1978 #16 pop,#30 adult contemporary,#41 country
Bruce Springsteen2007 
 

"Brown Eyed Handsome Man"

Chuck Berry1956 #5 R&B
Buddy Holly1963 
Waylon Jennings1970 #3 country
Johnny Cash2003 
Lyle Lovett2012 
 

"Carol"

Chuck Berry1958 #9 R&B, #18 pop
The Rolling Stones1964 
Tommy Roe1964 #61 pop
 

"Come On"

Chuck Berry1961 
Wynn Stewart1958 
The Rolling Stones1963 
Tommy Roe1964 #36 pop
Mos Def2008 

"Johnny B. Goode"

Chuck Berry1958 #2 R&B,#8 pop
Dion1964 #71 pop
Buck Owens1969 #1 country
Johnny Winter1970 #92 pop
Elvis Presley1970 
Jimi Hendrix1972 
Peter Tosh1983 #84 pop
Marty McFly1985 Soundtrack Back to the Future
Judas Priest1988 
Ronnie Milsap1995 
Roy Clark1995 
 

"Let It Rock"

Chuck Berry1960 #64 pop
 

"Little Queenie"

Chuck Berry1959 #80 pop
The Bill Black Combo1964 #73 pop

"Maybellene"

Chuck Berry1955 #1 R&B,#5 pop
Elvis Presley1955 
Marty Robbins1955 #9 country
Johnny Rivers1964 #12 pop
Conway Twitty1978 
George Jones & Johnny Paycheck1979 #7 country
Mos Def2008 

"Memphis"

Chuck Berry1955 #1 R&B, #5 pop
Elvis Presley1955 
Marty Robbins1955 #9 country
Johnny Rivers1964 #12 pop
Conway Twitty1978 
George Jones & Johnny Paycheck1979 #7 country
Mos Def2008 
 

"My Ding-A-Ling"

Chuck Berry (live)1972 #42 R&B, #1 pop
 

"Nadine (Is That You?)"

Chuck Berry1964 #23 R&B,#23 pop
Freddy Weller1979 #40 country
Mos Def2008 
 

"No Money Down"

Chuck Berry1955 #8 R&B
 

"No Particular Place to Go"

Chuck Berry1964 #10 R&B, #10 pop
Mos Def2008 
 

"Oh Baby Doll"

Chuck Berry1957 #12 R&B,#57 pop
 

"Promised Land"

Chuck Berry1965 #41 pop, #41 R&B
Freddy Weller1971 #3 country
Jerry Reed 1973 
James Taylor1974 
Elvis Presley1974 #9 country, #14 pop
 

"Reelin' & Rockin'"

The Dave Clark Five1965 #23 pop
Chuck Berry (live)1973 #27 pop

"Rock and Roll Music"

Chuck Berry1958 #6 R&B, #8 pop
The Beatles1965 
The Beach Boys1976 #5 pop

"Roll Over Beethoven"

Chuck Berry1956 #2 R&B,#29 pop
The Velaires1961 #51 pop
The Beatles1964 #68 pop
Electric Light Orchestra1973 #42 pop
 

"Run Rudolph Run"

Chuck Berry1958 #69 pop
Southern Pacific1988 
 

"School Day"

Chuck Berry1957 #1 R&B,#3 pop
 

"Sweet Little Rock and Roller"

Chuck Berry1958 #13 R&B, #47 pop
 

"Sweet Little Sixteen"

Chuck Berry1958 #1 R&B, #2 pop
Jerry Lee Lewis1962 #95 pop
Jim & Jesse1965 
 

"Thirty Days"

Chuck Berry1955 #2 R&B
Ernest Tubb1956 #7 country
Ronnie Hawkins1959 #45 pop
 

"Too Much Monkey Business"

Chuck Berry1956 #4 R&B
Elvis Presley1969 
Freddy Weller1973 #8 country
 

"Too Pooped to Pop"

Chuck Berry1960 #18 R&B,#42 pop
 

"Wee Wee Hours"

Chuck Berry1955 #10 R&B
Eric Clapton1987 
 

"You Never Can Tell (C'est La Vie)"

Chuck Berry1964 #14 R&B, #14 pop
Emmylou Harris1977 #6 country

Chuck Berry

Induction Year: 1982