Chuck Berry, The Father of Rock and Roll, Dead at 90

I begin this Post with the comment that I was writing as Terry McKenna was apparently closing the comments on his post on the same topic:

@TM;

Your "argument or "case" is a bit like "birtherism".

Do you wish to somehow cast the shadow of doubt about the origins or lineage of Rock and Roll or, are you attempting to somehow diminish, devalue, or discredit Chuck Berry's monumental and momentous virtually single handed contribution to American culture and consciousness?

You seem to be saying that no one black man could, or should, be credited with that magnitude of impact and effect.

NBC, NPR, USA Today,  National Review, among others, have declared Chuck Berry to be the father of Rock and Roll.

Hall of fame President and CEO Greg Harris said in a statement Saturday that Berry "created the rock sound..."

Harris said that "Chuck Berry is rock and roll...The undisputed original poet laureate, he influenced every rock and roll artist after him and every guitarist that ever plugged in."

These sources carry much greater weight and credibility in this matter than you can ever hope to have on the subject.

Their assessment is in direct opposition to your premise and assertion. I'm in total agreement with them as a life long muscian, fan, and student of the genres that comprise American music which is rooted in African-American culture, history, and experience.

Chuck Berry is the Father of Rock and Roll whether you accept that assertion or not is your prerogative. Just as it is the prerogative of any and all here to determine that you lack sufficient credentials and credibility to speak authoritatively on the matter.

Your post, while interesting, is wrong and somewhat wrong headed.
-------------------

Trixie Smith's 1922 blues ballad, “My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)” may be the first use of the phrase in song. Alan Freed, a disc jockey in Cleveland, Ohio used the phrase, “The Rock and Roll Session” to describe the amalgamation of rhythm and blues and country music he played during his show.

Berry reshaped the 1950s with a unique sound that appealed to both sides of a racially divided country.

He explained his appeal to adolescents across different cultural backgrounds: “Everything I wrote about wasn’t about me but [was about] the people listening.” He had a way of identifying what people wanted to express, but weren’t able to, during this segregated time.

“Maybellene” blended hillbilly licks and high-spirited blues riffs, ultimately creating the signature sound that pioneered the rock revolution. The lyrics for the song had narrative swagger, reflecting the spirit of teenage angst depicting fast cars, drag races and the story of an unfaithful girl as its main themes:

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said in a statement Saturday that Berry "created the rock sound."

"Chuck Berry is rock and roll. The undisputed original poet laureate, he influenced every rock and roll artist after him and every guitarist that ever plugged in," hall of fame President and CEO Greg Harris said in a statement.

"Today, we celebrate his poetry, his artistry and his massive contributions to 20th century culture," Harris said. It's fitting that he was the first person inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Rock and roll as we know it would not exist without him. Hail Hail, Rock and Roll. Hail Hail, Chuck Berry."

Chuck Berry, 1926-2017

The Father of Rock and Roll

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Comments are closed for this blog post

Comment by Ron Powell on March 19, 2017 at 8:15pm

@Amy; Absolutely! As stated Chuck Berry combined several strains of music and created the hybrid we call Rock and Roll.

In the piece you post in your comment,  after the guitar does the stellar intro,  later reproduced by Berry, it falls back into the rhythm section and isn't heard again as the lead or primary instrument even during the instrumental 'break' in the song.

Koshersalaami s point is that the Chuck Berry guitar carries the load equal to his vocalizations throughout his compositions....

Comment by nanatehay on March 19, 2017 at 8:33pm

@tr ig - I thought John did time with Chuck Berry in a holding tank in St. Louis? Admittedly, I was doing quite a bit of coke and heroin when he told me that, but I'm pretty sure it was St. Louis. 

Comment by Token on March 19, 2017 at 8:58pm

it all started with Marty McFly at the Enchanment Under the Sea dance

Comment by Ron Powell on March 19, 2017 at 9:22pm

@Token; IIf taken literally, the Marty McFly performance is the seminal moment where in which Chuck Berry "hears" his future sound being performed by the time travelling Mary McFly in "Back to the Future II".

A bit of wishful thinking on the part of the producers and screen writers...

But it's  a clear statement re the weight of Rock and Roll in American culture and consciousness..If it were do "meaningless",  why , even playfully, depict a white boy as the progenitor of the genre?

Comment by Token on March 19, 2017 at 9:46pm

The point was that it was a white boy who IDOLIZED Chuck Berry, the Black man who started Rock and Roll ..... more of a pair of docs than a point.

Comment by Ron Powell on March 19, 2017 at 10:17pm

@Token;Yes I can see how they showed Marty's idolization of the 'father of Rock and Roll ' by an insulting portrayal of where Chuck Berry got his 'Chuck Berry ' sound which, as I recall ended up sounding like a lame attempt to imitate the "Jimi Hendrix Experience",.. 

Thanks for the read and the contribution. 

Comment by Ron Powell on March 20, 2017 at 3:01am

@JW; Being first is meaningless when you're not....

I didn't know that setting the record straight was a childish game of oneupsmanship....

The subliminal, subconscious, unintended racism is more dangerous than the roof top racism that you seem to be limited to acknowledging and addressing.

You can't see, hear , or feel what I can see,  hear, and feel because you're not me andI'm not you.

In the (paraphrased) words of Justice Sotomayor,  you don't know because you don't live it. 

Read the title of McKenna's post.

If you're OK with that assertion , that's OK by me. That's your prerogative. That also makes you wrong as well.

However,  you have absolutely no right whatsoever to chide , chastise, judge, or evaluate me or my motives re reacting and responding to the matter as I see necessary and fit.

Just exactly who the hell do you think you are?

If I were you I'd be trying to get Isreal straightened out re the overtly apartheid system of governance they're practicing so the UN wouldn't have to pass resolutions about it , or hide or censor reports on it  as is currently the case...

And while you're at it,  explain to me how the Israeli form of  racism is one up on American racism since you deign to be an expert in that area.

Where I come from oneupsmanship is called "playing he dozens"... Look that up and get back to me with another one of these condescending cheap shots so I can, as they say in the vernacular, "wax that  (pompous) ass.

Comment by Ron Powell on March 20, 2017 at 7:52am

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