The Film Doctor team send our love to the family, friends and spirit of Chuck Berry, the rock ‘n’ roll legend who created countless hits and had his music used in a number of internationally renowned motion pictures including iconic Pulp Fiction and Back to the Future scenes.
He was found dead aged 90 at his St. Louis, US, home.
Chuck was born Charles Edward Anderson Berry Sr. in St. Louis, Missouri on October 18 1926. He performed music from a young age but nearly had a very different life when he was arrested for armed robbery at the age of 18 and sent to prison.
He was released on his 21st birthday in 1947 and quickly married Themetta “Toddy” Suggs before taking up jobs in factories and as a beautician to support her and newborn daughter Darlin.
After working with local St. Louis bands, Berry signed to Chess Records in 1955 who he released ‘Maybellene’ and ‘Roll Over Beethoven’ with.
Within four years Chuck racked up a string of top 10 hits including ‘School Days’, ‘Rock n Roll Music’ and ‘Johnny B. Goode’. He also appeared in two rock movies Rock, Rock, Rock (1956) and Go, Johnny, Go! (1959).
Berry went on to influence a whole host of rock bands including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner was even asked to play at the White House by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
John Lennon once said of the musical star: “If you had to give Rock ‘n’ Roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”
Over the last two decades, Chuck was known to regularly play at St. Louis local restaurant and bar Blueberry Hill.
Just last year Chuck announced he would be releasing a new album – his first in 38 years – entitled ‘Chuck’.
In the below videos, you can see ‘Johnny B. Goode’ played in classic 1985 sci-fi movie Back to the Future by Michael J. Fox and ‘You Never Can Tell’ feature in Pulp Fiction’s iconic dance scene acted out by John Travolta and Uma Thurman.
You can also see Chuck’s live versions.
RIP Chuck. We’re talking about you.