Chuck Berry - Black Musicians, Life Achievements and Personal Life

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Chuck Berry's Personal Details

Chuck Berry was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist

InformationDetail
BirthdayOctober 18, 1926
Died onMarch 18, 2017
NationalityAmerican
FamousAfrican American Singers, Black Musicians, Black Singers, Musicians, Guitarists
HobbiesCroquet, Chess
City/StateMissouri
SpousesThemetta
SiblingsHenry W. Berry, Lucy Williams, Paul L. Berry, Thelma Smith
Known asCharles Edward Anderson Berry
Childrens Aloha Berry, Ingrid Berry
Universities
  • Sumner High School
Birth PlaceSt. Louis, Missouri, United States
Height187cm
GenderMale
FatherHenry Berry
MotherMartha Berry
Sun SignLibra
Born inSt. Louis, Missouri, United States
Famous asGuitarist
Died at Age90

// Famous Musicians

Chuck Berry's photo

Who is Chuck Berry?

Chuck Berry or Charles Edward Anderson Berry was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is known as the 'Father of Rock-n-Roll' and is regarded as one of the most popular and influential performers in the 'rhythm-and-blues' and 'rock-and-roll' music in the era of 1950s, '60s and '70s. His distinctive sounds from the guitar, vivid descriptions of teenage life, and the melodic virtuosities of the piano player (Johnnie Johnson) have served as a source of inspiration for every rock-and-roll band for more than half a century. He helped create rock and roll from rhythm and blues by combining clever lyrics, precise diction, characteristic country-western music devices, electronic effects and magnificent stage shows. Growing up with a family proud of its African-American and Native-American ancestry and singing in the choir of the Antioch Baptist Church could very well have been his inspiration. He says he borrowed his technique and guitar riffs from 'T-Bone Walker'. Legendary bands like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys have covered numerous songs by Berry. Later on, he stopped recording albums, but played regularly on tours and on 'one-man' shows accompanied by independent musicians and bands

// Famous African American Singers

Childhood & Early Life

Chuck Berry was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the fourth child born to Henry, a contractor and deacon of a Baptist church, and Martha, a certified public school principal.

He went to Summer High School for education. In 1944, he was arrested and convicted of armed robbery and stealing a car at gun point in Kansas City. He was sent to the 'Intermediate Reformatory for Young Men' in Algoa for 3 years.

In 1947, he supported his family with multiple jobs. He trained as a beautician at the Poro College of Cosmetology and played at several night clubs.

Career

In 1952, Barry joined pianist Johnnie Johnson and drummer Ebby Harding. Soon, their band became the best in St. Louis.

In 1955, he met Muddy Waters—a popular American blues musician —in Chicago, who advised him to contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records. Berry was signed by the Chess Label. The first recording “Maybellene” sold a million copies and reached number one on the 'Billboard's Rhythm and Blues' chart.

His 1956 song “Roll Over Beethoven” reached #29 on the Billboard Top 100 chart.

From 1957 to 1959, he gave several US hits including “School Days”, ‘Rock and Roll Music”, “Sweet Little Sixteen” and ‘Johnny B. Goode”.

In 1964, he released eight singles. Three out of these went to the top20 of the Billboard 100. Between 1966 and 1969, he released five albums on the 'Mercury' label.

He came back to working with Chess in 1970. They released the live recording of “My Ding-a-Ling”, which went onto become his only #1 single.

In 1975, came out his album 'Chuck Berry' and in 1979, he came out with his last album 'Rock It'.

During the 1970s he performed extensively on the road with his Gibson guitar. But his performances became out-of-tune, erratic, un-rehearsed and un-coordinated in respect with those of his supporting musicians.

Chuck Berry performed at the White House on June 1, 1979 at the request of the then U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

On his 60th birthday, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Robert Cray and Linda Ronstadt organized a celebration concert for him. Taylor Hackford made a documentary on it called 'Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll'.

Major Works

His song “Maybellene” is considered one of the pioneering rock and roll singles. The song was a major hit and sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues chart.

Awards & Achievements

Chuck Berry received a 'Grammy Lifetime Achievement' Award in 1984 and he was inducted in the 'Rock Hall of Fame' in 1986.

He has been included in several Rolling Stone 'Greatest of All Time' Lists. The magazine listed him at #6 in the '100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time' list, in September 2003. His album 'The Great Twenty-Eight' was ranked #21 on the Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' list.

In March 2004, he was ranked #5 on the 'The Immortals - The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time' list and six of his songs were included in the 'Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time' list.

He ranked #7 on the 'Time' magazine's 2009 list of the '10 Best Electric Guitar Players of All Time'.

Personal Life & Legacy

Chuck Berry married Themetta 'Toddy' Suggs on October 28, 1948. They had a daughter named Darlin Ingrid Berry, on October 3, 1950.

In December 1959, Barry was arrested under the 'Mann Act'. Allegations were that he transported Janice Escalante, an Apache waitress, over state lines to work as a hat check girl and had sexual intercourse with the 14 year old. He was sentenced to one- and-a-half year imprisonment.

In 1979, Internal Revenue Service accused him of being an income tax evader. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment and 1,000 hours of community service.

In 1990, several women claimed that he had a video camera in the ladies' bathroom. Berry cited safety reasons as the necessity. A police raid at his house found the videotapes and 62 grams of marijuana. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence, two years' of unsupervised probation and ordered to donate $5,000 to a local hospital.

Chuck Berry died of heart attack on March 18, 2017, at his home in Wentzville, Missouri, U.S.

Net Worth

Chuck Berry had an estimated net worth of $145 million.

// Famous Black Singers

Chuck Berry awards

YearNameAward

Other

Polar Music Prize - 2014
Kennedy Center Honors - 2000
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award - 1984
Grammy Hall of Fame Award - 1999; 1990; 1989

Chuck Berry biography timelines

  • // 18th Oct 1926
    Chuck Berry was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the fourth child born to Henry, a contractor and deacon of a Baptist church, and Martha, a certified public school principal.
  • // 1944
    He went to Summer High School for education. In 1944, he was arrested and convicted of armed robbery and stealing a car at gun point in Kansas City. He was sent to the 'Intermediate Reformatory for Young Men' in Algoa for 3 years.
  • // 1947
    In 1947, he supported his family with multiple jobs. He trained as a beautician at the Poro College of Cosmetology and played at several night clubs.
  • // 28th Oct 1948 To 3rd Oct 1950
    Chuck Berry married Themetta 'Toddy' Suggs on October 28, 1948. They had a daughter named Darlin Ingrid Berry, on October 3, 1950.
  • // 1952
    In 1952, Barry joined pianist Johnnie Johnson and drummer Ebby Harding. Soon, their band became the best in St. Louis.
  • // 1955
    In 1955, he met Muddy Waters—a popular American blues musician —in Chicago, who advised him to contact Leonard Chess of Chess Records. Berry was signed by the Chess Label. The first recording “Maybellene” sold a million copies and reached number one on the 'Billboard's Rhythm and Blues' chart.
  • // 1956
    His 1956 song “Roll Over Beethoven” reached #29 on the Billboard Top 100 chart.
  • // 1957 To 1959
    From 1957 to 1959, he gave several US hits including “School Days”, ‘Rock and Roll Music”, “Sweet Little Sixteen” and ‘Johnny B. Goode”.
  • // Dec 1959
    In December 1959, Barry was arrested under the 'Mann Act'. Allegations were that he transported Janice Escalante, an Apache waitress, over state lines to work as a hat check girl and had sexual intercourse with the 14 year old. He was sentenced to one- and-a-half year imprisonment.
  • // 1964 To 1969
    In 1964, he released eight singles. Three out of these went to the top20 of the Billboard 100. Between 1966 and 1969, he released five albums on the 'Mercury' label.
  • // 1970
    He came back to working with Chess in 1970. They released the live recording of “My Ding-a-Ling”, which went onto become his only #1 single.
  • // 1975 To 1979
    In 1975, came out his album 'Chuck Berry' and in 1979, he came out with his last album 'Rock It'.
  • // 1979
    In 1979, Internal Revenue Service accused him of being an income tax evader. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment and 1,000 hours of community service.
  • // 1st Jun 1979
    Chuck Berry performed at the White House on June 1, 1979 at the request of the then U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
  • // 1984 To 1986
    Chuck Berry received a 'Grammy Lifetime Achievement' Award in 1984 and he was inducted in the 'Rock Hall of Fame' in 1986.
  • // 1990
    In 1990, several women claimed that he had a video camera in the ladies' bathroom. Berry cited safety reasons as the necessity. A police raid at his house found the videotapes and 62 grams of marijuana. He was given a six-month suspended jail sentence, two years' of unsupervised probation and ordered to donate $5,000 to a local hospital.
  • // Sep 2003
    He has been included in several Rolling Stone 'Greatest of All Time' Lists. The magazine listed him at #6 in the '100 Greatest Guitarist of All Time' list, in September 2003. His album 'The Great Twenty-Eight' was ranked #21 on the Rolling Stone's '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' list.
  • // Mar 2004
    In March 2004, he was ranked #5 on the 'The Immortals - The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time' list and six of his songs were included in the 'Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time' list.
  • // 2009
    He ranked #7 on the 'Time' magazine's 2009 list of the '10 Best Electric Guitar Players of All Time'.

// Famous Black Musicians

Chuck Berry's FAQ

  • What is Chuck Berry birthday?

    Chuck Berry was born at 1926-10-18

  • When was Chuck Berry died?

    Chuck Berry was died at 2017-03-18

  • Where was Chuck Berry died?

    Chuck Berry was died in Wentzville, Missouri

  • Which age was Chuck Berry died?

    Chuck Berry was died at age 90

  • Where is Chuck Berry's birth place?

    Chuck Berry was born in St. Louis, Missouri, United States

  • What is Chuck Berry nationalities?

    Chuck Berry's nationalities is American

  • What is Chuck Berry hobbies?

    Chuck Berry's hobbies is Croquet,Chess

  • Who is Chuck Berry spouses?

    Chuck Berry's spouses is Themetta

  • Who is Chuck Berry siblings?

    Chuck Berry's siblings is Henry W. Berry, Lucy Williams, Paul L. Berry, Thelma Smith

  • Who is Chuck Berry childrens?

    Chuck Berry's childrens is Aloha Berry, Ingrid Berry

  • What was Chuck Berry universities?

    Chuck Berry studied at Sumner High School

  • How tall is Chuck Berry?

    Chuck Berry's height is 187

  • Who is Chuck Berry's father?

    Chuck Berry's father is Henry Berry

  • Who is Chuck Berry's mother?

    Chuck Berry's mother is Martha Berry

  • What is Chuck Berry's sun sign?

    Chuck Berry is Libra

  • How famous is Chuck Berry?

    Chuck Berry is famouse as Guitarist