Guitarist Chuck Berry, a pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll, died today at age 90. The St. Louis Fox affiliate reports police were called to a residence in St. Charles, Missouri where they found an unresponsive man inside. The St. Charles Police identified the man as Chuck Berry and pronounced him dead after attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born in St. Louis on October 18, 1926. Berry was among the first inductees into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1986, an honor indicative of the many musicians he influenced over his lengthy career with such hits as “Maybelline,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Rock & Roll Music,” “Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode.” Other honors awarded to Berry included a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 and scoring the No. 6 slot on Rolling Stone’s 2003 list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All-Time. John Lennon famously said of Berry, “if you tried to give rock ‘n’ roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.'”
The guitarist was known for his wild stage presence which often included a signature one-legged hop referred to as the “duck walk.” He helped define the genre of rock by combining elements of R&B, soul and country with a heaping helping of the blues. Chuck’s songs were staples of British invasion bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the early and mid-1960s and they still continued to be covered by a slew of musical acts decades after they were originally released.
Berry’s first new album since 1979, Chuck, is expected to be released later this year. Our thoughts are with Chuck Berry’s friends and family.