20 March 2017 Music News
The legendary guitarist Chuck Berry, who merged blues and swing into the phenomenon of early rock’n’roll and in the process influenced generations of musicians, died on Saturday aged 90.
Musicians of all genres and ages paid tribute to Berry. “Chuck Berry was rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock’n’roll writer who ever lived,” said Bruce Springsteen, who played with one of Berry’s pick-up bands before achieving his own fame. “His lyrics shone above others & threw a strange light on the American dream,” said Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger. “Chuck you were amazing [and] your music is engraved inside us forever.”
Berry’s music was a hugely influential figure for generations of rock musicians who followed him, many of whom recognized him during their lifetimes. “If you had to give rock’n’roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry,” John Lennon famously said.
In 2016, he announced his first studio album since 1979, to be titled Chuck and featuring his children on guitar and harmonica.
“My darlin’ I’m growing old,” Berry said in a press release for the record, speaking to Toddy Berry, his wife of 68 years. “I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”