Tag Archives: Chuck Berry

Jan 29: The Legendary Willie Dixon died in 1992

willie Dixon2

The Blues are the true facts of life expressed in words and song, inspiration, feeling, and understanding.
~Willie Dixon

“The blues will always be because the blues are the roots of all American music.”
~Willie Dixon

I Am The Blues (Full documentary)
This documentary captures the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame member in the twilight of his career, during a 1984 concert with the Chicago Blues All-Stars in support. Among the highlights of the gig are a spunky rendition of “Built For Comfort” and the stirring, little-known composition “Peace”; its simplistic lyrics and heartfelt sentiments make it a bluesy first cousin to John Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance. Interspersed with the great music are warm recollections from Dixon as he covers topics ranging from composing to his mid 1960s re-emergence in England via cover versions of his best material courtesy of The Rolling Stones and Cream (which featured long time admirer Eric Clapton):

Jan 29: The Legendary Willie Dixon died in 1992

Continue reading Jan 29: The Legendary Willie Dixon died in 1992

Jan 06: Chuck Berry recorded “Johnny B. Goode” in 1958

chuck berry johnny b goode

 

Chuck Berry recorded “Johnny B. Goode” in 1958

DeepdowninLouisiana’crossfromNewOrleans,
waybackupinthewoodsamongtheevergreens.
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode,
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play a guitar just like a ringin’ a bell.

You can’t copyright guitar licks and maybe that’s good, because if you could, Chuck might have hoarded them as he does his Cadillacs. Without The Chuck Berry Riff, we’d lose not just the Beach Boys, but essential elements of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, and Bruce Springsteen — to mention only the most obvious examples. In a way, what was at the center of the first wave of the British Invasion could be described as a Chuck Berry revival.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock and Soul)

Live 1958:

Continue reading Jan 06: Chuck Berry recorded “Johnny B. Goode” in 1958

May 21 in music history

Today: Marvin Gaye released What’s Going On (album) in 1971 (read more)

“What’s Going On is not only Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece, it’s the most important and passionate record to come out of soul music, delivered by one of its finest voices, a man finally free to speak his mind and so move from R&B sex symbol to true recording artist.”
~John Bush (allmusic.com)

Marvin Gaye - whatsgoing
 Bob Dylan recorded “Mississippi” @ Sony Studios, NYC, May 21, 2001 – 4 takes.. take 4 selected for “Love & Theft“. (date according to C. Heylin – Still On The Road: The Songs of Bob Dylan: Vol. 2)Bob Dylan (Guitar, piano & vocal), Charlie Sexton (guitar), Larry Campbell (guitar, mandolin, violin & banjo), Augie Meyers (keyboards & accordion), Tony Garnier (bass), David Kemper (drums & percussion).  bob dylan love & theft
 Maybellene” (May 21, 1955 at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago,Illinois) is a song recorded by Chuck Berry, adapted from the traditional fiddle tune “Ida Red” that tells the story of a hot rod race and a broken romance. It was released in July 1955 as a single on Chess Records of Chicago, Illinois. It was Berry’s first single release and his first hit. “Maybellene” is considered one of the pioneering rock and roll singles: Rolling Stone magazine wrote, “Rock & roll guitar starts here.” The record is an early instance of the complete rock and roll package: youthful subject matter, small guitar-driven combo, clear diction, and an atmosphere of unrelenting excitement.  chuck berry - Maybelline
 Albert Bernard Grossman (May 21, 1926 – January 25, 1986) was an American entrepreneur and manager in the American folk music scene and rock and roll. He was most famous as the manager of Bob Dylan between 1962 and 1970.  Bob Dylan-Albert Grossman

Spotify Playlist – May 21

Today: Happy Birthday Chuck Berry

chuck berry

 “Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news.”

Keith Richards Inducts Chuck Berry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986):

“Chuck was my man. He was the one who made me say ‘I want to play guitar, Jesus Christ!’…Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do.”
~Keith Richards (1992)

“..if you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’.”
~John Lennon

“Well, now, Chuck Berry was a rock & roll songwriter. So I never tried to write rock &
roll songs, ‘cause I figured he had just done it.”
~Bob Dylan (to Kurt Loder October 1987)


Rock and Roll Music – Toronto, Canada – 1969 (full concert):

chuck berry toronto 1969

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Charles Edward Anderson Berry
Born October 18, 1926 (age 87)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Genres Rock and roll, blues,rhythm and blues
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1955–present
Labels Chess, Mercury, Atco
Website www.chuckberry.com

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry (born October 18, 1926) is an American guitarist, singer and songwriter, and one of the pioneers of rock and roll music. With songs such as “Maybellene” (1955), “Roll Over Beethoven” (1956), “Rock and Roll Music” (1957) and “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), Chuck Berry refined and developed rhythm and blues into the major elements that made rock and roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be a major influence on subsequent rock music.

 

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. Quite simply, without him there would be no Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, nor a myriad others. There would be no standard “Chuck Berry guitar intro,” the instrument’s clarion call to get the joint rockin’ in any setting. The clippety-clop rhythms of rockabilly would not have been mainstreamed into the now standard 4/4 rock & roll beat. There would be no obsessive wordplay by modern-day tunesmiths; in fact, the whole history (and artistic level) of rock & roll songwriting would have been much poorer without him.

  “he wrote all of the great songs and came up with all the rock & roll beats.”
~Brian Wilson

Those who do not claim him as a seminal influence or profess a liking for his music and showmanship show their ignorance of rock’s development as well as his place as the music’s first great creator. Elvis may have fueled rock & roll’s imagery, but Chuck Berry was its heartbeat and original mindset.
~Cub Koda (allmusic.com)


Johnny B Goode:

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. It was his particular genius to graft country & western guitar licks onto a rhythm & blues chassis in his very first single, “Maybellene.”
-Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

 

Legacy:

  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984
  • Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986, with the comment that he “laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.”
  • The Kennedy Center Honors in 2000
  • being named seventh on Time magazine’s 2009 list of the 10 best electric guitar players of all-time
  • On May 14, 2002, Chuck Berry was honored as one of the first BMI Icons at the 50th annual BMI Pop Awards. He was presented the award along with BMI affiliates Bo Diddley and Little Richard.
  • Berry is included in several Rolling Stone “Greatest of All Time” lists. In September 2003, the magazine named him number 6 in their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.
  • This was followed in November of the same year by his compilation album The Great Twenty-Eight being ranked 21st in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
  • The following year, in March 2004, Berry was ranked fifth out of “The Immortals – The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
  • In December 2004, six of his songs were included in the “Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, namely “Johnny B. Goode” (#7), “Maybellene” (#18), “Roll Over Beethoven” (#97), “Rock and Roll Music” (#128), “Sweet Little Sixteen” (#272) and “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” (#374).
  • In June 2008, his song “Johnny B. Goode” ranked first place in the “100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time”.
  • Berry’s recording of “Johnny B. Goode” was included on the Voyager Golden Record, attached to the Voyager spacecraft as representing rock and roll, one of four American songs included among many cultural achievements of humanity.
  • Berry was honored alongside Leonard Cohen as the recipients of the first annual Pen Awards for songwriting excellence at the JFK Presidential Library, Boston, Mass. on February 26, 2012
  • Today, at the age of 86, Berry continues to play live.

ultimate chuck berry

Album of the day – The Ultimate Chuck Berry (2007)

 

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Today: Horace Silver is 85

Horace_Silver

Jazz is not background music. You must concentrate upon it in order to get the most of it. You must absorb most of it. The harmonies within the music can relax, soothe, relax, and uplift the mind when you concentrate upon and absorb it. Jazz music stimulates the minds and uplifts the souls of those who play it was well as of those who listen to immerse themselves in it. As the mind is stimulated and the soul uplifted, this is eventually reflected in the body.
~Horace Silver

“We all have to open our minds, stretch forth, take chances and venture out musically to try and arrive at something new and different.”
~Horace Silver

Song For My Father – Live – Denmark TV 1968:

From Wikipedia:

Birth name Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva
Born September 2, 1928 (age 85)
Origin Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
Genres Post bop
Modal jazz
Mainstream jazz
Soul jazz
Jazz fusion
Hard bop
Occupations Pianist
Composer
Bandleader
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Horace Silver Quintet
Horace Silver Trio
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Horace Silver (born September 2, 1928), born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva in Norwalk, Connecticut, is an American jazz pianist and composer.

Silver is known for his distinctive humorous and funky playing style and for his pioneering compositional contributions to hard bop. He was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre.

From allmusic (Chris Kelsey):

From the perspective of the early 2000s, it is clear that few jazz musicians have had a greater impact on the contemporary mainstream than Horace Silver. The hard bop style that Silver pioneered in the ’50s is now dominant, played not only by holdovers from an earlier generation, but also by fuzzy-cheeked musicians who had yet to be born when the music fell out of critical favor in the ’60s and ’70s. … read more -> allmusic.com

From allaboutjazz.com:

When Horace Silver once wrote out his rules for musical composition (in the liner notes to the 1968 record, Serenade to a Soul Sister), he expounded on the importance of “meaningful simplicity.” The pianist could have just as easily been describing his own life. For more than fifty years, Silver has simply written some of the most enduring tunes in jazz while performing them in a distinctively personal style. It’s all been straight forward enough, while decades of incredible experiences have provided the meaning. .. read more -> allaboutjazz.com

Legacy:

Silver’s music has been a major force in modern jazz. He was one of the first pioneers of the style known as hard bop, influencing such pianists as Bobby Timmons, Les McCann, and Ramsey Lewis. Second, the instrumentation of his quintet (trumpet, tenor sax, piano, double bass, and drums) served as a model for small jazz groups from the mid-1950s until the late 1960s. Further, Silver’s ensembles provided an important training ground for young players, many of whom (such as Donald Byrd, Art Farmer, Blue Mitchell,Woody Shaw, Junior Cook, and Joe Henderson) later led similar groups of their own.

Silver’s talent did not go unnoticed among rock musicians who bore jazz influences, either; Steely Dan sent Silver into the Top 40 in the early 1970s when they crafted their biggest hit single, “Rikki, Don’t Lose That Number,” off the bass riff that opens “Song for My Father.”

As social and cultural upheavals shook the nation during the late 1960s and early 1970s, Silver responded to these changes through music. He commented directly on the new scene through a trio of records called United States of Mind (1970–1972) that featured the spirited vocals of Andy Bey. The composer got deeper into cosmic philosophy as his group, Silver ‘N Strings, recorded Silver ‘N Strings Play The Music of the Spheres (1979).

Señor Blues (Horace Silver, Blue Mitchell & Junior Cook):

Album of the day

Song For My Father (1964):

Read review @ allaboutjazz.com

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