BHM: Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry is one of the most influential figures and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s website, “While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together.” Cub Koda wrote, “Of all the early breakthrough rock & roll artists, none is more important to the development of the music than Chuck Berry. He is its greatest songwriter, the main shaper of its instrumental voice, one of its greatest guitarists, and one of its greatest performers.” John Lennon was more succinct: “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.”
Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 2000 in a “class” with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Angela Lansbury, and Clint Eastwood. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Chuck Berry #5 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. He was also ranked 6th on Rolling Stone’s Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists of All Time.The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included three of Chuck Berry’s songs (“Johnny B. Goode”, “Maybellene”, “Rock and Roll Music”), of the 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll.