Chuck Berry

American musician (1926–2017)

Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (18 October 192618 March 2017) was an American guitarist, singer , Poet and songwriter, and a pioneer of rock and roll music.

Hail, hail rock and roll; deliver me from the days of old.


You know, my temperature's risin'
and the jukebox blows a fuse
My heart's beatin' rhythm
and my soul keeps on singin' the blues
Roll Over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news
We was reelin' and a rockin'
Rollin' till the break of dawn
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying "Johnny B. Goode tonight."
Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
Later in the evening when the sun is sinking low
All day I been waiting for the whistle to blow
No particular place to go,
So we parked way out on the Kokomo
Chuck Berry is the greatest of the rock and rollers. ~ Robert Christgau
If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry. ~ John Lennon
  • I wanted to write about school because most of my audience at the particular time was of a school element.

Song lyrics

  • Baby I'm gonna see that you be back home in thirty days
    Gonna put a false charge again ya
    That'll be the very thing that'll send ya
    I'm gonna see that you be back home in thirty=-= days
    • "Thirty Days" (1955)
  • As I was motivatin' over the hill
    I saw Maybellene in a Coup de Ville
    A Cadillac arollin' on the open road
    Nothin' will outrun my V8 Ford
    The Cadillac doin' about ninety-five
    She's bumper to bumper, rollin' side by side
    • "Maybellene" (1955); this song was also credited by the record company to other "co-composers", in what has been generally accepted as a form of "payola".
  • Workin' in the fillin' station - too many tasks.
    Wipe the windows - check the tires - check the oil - dollar gas!
    Too much monkey business. Too much monkey business.
    Don't want your botheration, get away, leave me!
    Too much monkey business for me!
  • I bought a brand-new air-mobile
    It custom-made, 'twas a Flight De Ville
    With a pow'ful motor and some hideaway wings
    Push in on the button and you can hear her sing
    Now you can't catch me, baby you can't catch me
    'Cause if you get too close, you know I'm gone like a cool breeze
  • Me still alone, me sip on the rum
    Me wonder when the boat she come
    To bring me love, oh sweet little thing
    She rock 'n' roll, she dance and sing
    She hold me tight, she touch me lips
    Me eyes they close, me heart she flip
    Havana moon, Havana moon
    • "Havana Moon" (1957)
  • Baby doll!
    When bells ring out the summer free
    Oh baby doll!
    Will it end for you and me?
    We'll sing our old Alma Mater
    And think of things that used to be
    • "Oh Baby Doll" (1957)
  • Way down South they gave a jubilee
    Them Georgia folks they had a jamboree
    They’re drinking home brew from a wooden cup
    The folks dancing there got all shook up.
  • Hey, the band was rockin'
    Goin' around and around
    Well, reelin' and a rockin'
    What a crazy sound
    Well, they never stopped rockin'
    Till the moon went down
  • Well I looked at my watch, it was 9:54
    I said, "Dance ballerina girl, go go go!"
    And we rolled, reelin' and a rockin'
    We was reelin' and a rockin'
    Rollin' till the break of dawn
    • "Reelin' and Rockin"' (1958)
  • She’s got the grownup blues
    Tight dresses and lipstick
    She’s sportin’ high-heeled shoes
    Oh but tomorrow morning
    She’ll have to change her trend
    And be sweet sixteen
    And back in class again.
  • Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans
    Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
    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 the guitar just like a ringing a bell.

    Go, go,
    Go, Johnny go...

  • His mother told him, "Someday you will be a man,
    And you will be the leader of a big old band.
    Many people coming from miles around
    To hear you play your music when the sun go down.
    Maybe someday your name will be in lights
    Saying 'Johnny B. Goode tonight'."
    • "Johnny B. Goode" (1958)
  • Oh Carol, don't let him steal your heart away
    I'm gonna learn to dance if it takes me all night and day
  • Just like a bolt of thunder and a streak of heat
    Leo covered Jo Jo with all four feet
    Jo Jo was screamin' with tears in his eyes
    Said," Please Mr. Leo, I apologize"
    • "Joe Joe Gun" (1958)( aka "Jo Jo Gunne") *traditional, new lyrics by Chuck Berry
  • Beautiful Delilah, dressed in the latest style
    Swingin' like a pendulum, walkin' down the aisle
    Deep romantic eyes, speak so low in miles
    Maybe she will settle down and marry after a while
    • "Beautiful Delilah" (1958)
  • Sweet little rock and roller, sweet little rock and roller
    Her daddy don’t have to scold her, her mother can’t hardly hold her
    She never gets any older, sweet little rock and roller
    • "Sweet Little Rock and Roller" (1958)
  • Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee
    Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me
    She could not leave her number, but I know who placed the call
    'Cause my uncle took the message and he wrote it on the wall
  • Tell me who's the queen standin' over by the record machine
    Lookin' like a model on the cover of the magazine
    She's too cute to be a minute over seventeen
    Mean while I was still thinkin'

    If it's a slow song we'll omit it
    If it's a rocker, that we'll get it
    And if it's good, she'll admit it
    C'mon Queenie, let's get with it

    • "Little Queenie" (1959)
  • Yeah 'n' I'm doin' all right in school.
    They ain't said I broke no rule.
    I ain't never been in Dutch.
    I don't browse around too much

    Don't bother me leave me alone
    Anyway I'm almost grown

  • Did I miss the skyscrapers, did I miss the long freeway?
    From the coast of California to the shores of The Delaware Bay
    You can bet your life I did, till I got back in the U.S.A.
  • Later in the evening when the sun is sinking low
    All day I been waiting for the whistle to blow
    Sitting in a teepee built right on the tracks
    Rolling them bones until the foreman comes back
    Pick up you belongings boys and scatter about
    We've got an off-schedule train comin' two miles out
  • She remembered taking money out from gathering crop
    And buying Johnnys guitar at the broker shop
    As long as he would play it by the railroad side
    And wouldn't get in trouble, he was satisfied
    But never thought that there would come a day like this
    When she would have to give her son a goodbye kiss

    Going bye, bye, bye, bye
    Bye, bye, bye, bye
    Bye, bye Johnny
    Bye, bye Johnny B. Goode

    • "Bye Bye Johnny" (1960)
  • Thunderbird saw the Jaguar gainin' speed
    And waved "Goodbye, Jaguar" and pulled in the lead

    Jaguar said, "You ain't won the race yet"
    And pulled back around the Bird like a sabre jet
    Sheriff's front bumper was a yard behind
    When the T-Bird, Jaguar crossed the line

    • "Jaguar and Thunderbird" (1960)
  • Let me tell you 'bout a girl I know
    I met her walkin' down a uptown street
    She's so fine you know I wished she was mine
    I get shook up every time we meet
  • So come on, I wanna see you baby, come on
    I don't mean maybe, come on
    I'm tryin' to make you see
    That I belong to you and you belong to me
  • Nadine, honey is that you?
    Oh, Nadine, honey is that you?
    Seems like every time I see you
    Darling, you got something else to do
    • "Nadine (Is It You?)" (1964)
  • The little girl's creative, a repertoire that rings,
    And Hollywood is waiting, to see the way she swings.
    She'll be graduating, goin' on to higher things,
    The little girl from Central is gonna take on wings.
    • "Little Girl from Central" (1964)
  • No particular place to go,
    So we parked way out on the Kokomo
    The night was young and the moon was bold
    So we both decided to take a stroll
    Can you imagine the way I felt?
    I couldn't unfasten her safety belt!
  • They had a hi-fi phono, boy, did they let it blast
    Seven hundred little records,
    all rock, rhythm and jazz
    But when the sun went down,
    the rapid tempo of the music fell

    "C'est la vie", say the old folks,
    it goes to show you never can tell

  • Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
    Tidewater four ten o nine
    Tell the folks back home this is the promised land callin'
    And the poor boy's on the line
  • Well Dad, send the money,
    See what I can see,
    Try to find a Cadillac,
    A Sixty-two or three.
    Just something that won't worry us
    To keep it on the road.
    Sincerely, your beloved son,
    Henry Junior Ford
    • "Dear Dad" (1965)
  • So let me be your driver, let me be your driver
    I would love to ride you, I would love to ride you downtown
    Drive you so slow and easy you won't wanna put me down
    • "I Want to Be Your Driver" (1965)
  • Tulane and Johnny opened a novelty shop
    Back under the counter was the cream of the crop
    Everything was clickin’ and the business was good
    Till one day, lo and behold, an officer stood
    Johnny jumped the counter but he stumbled and fell
    But Tulane made it over Johnny just as he yelled

    Go head on, Tulane, he can’t catch up with you
    Go Tulane, he ain’t man enough for you
    Go Tulane, use all the speed you got
    Go Tulane, you know you need a lot
    Go Tulane, he’s laggin’ behind
    Go head on, Tulane

    • "Tulane" (1970)
  • Ow! Have mercy on my little Tulane
    She's too alive to try to live alone
    And I know her needs
    And although she loves me
    She's gonna try to make it
    While the poor boy's gone

    Somebody should tell her to live
    And I'll understand it
    And even love her more
    When I come back home

    • "Have Mercy Judge" (1970)
  • Can’t help it, but I love it
    Stand here, sing to you
    Brings back so many memories
    Many things we used to do
    ‘Till I see you here again
    Take care, good luck to you
    • "Bio" (1973)
  • California, California
    Soon I'll be with you watching your sunset in the evening
    Movies and show plays, beaches and free ways
    California, from my home I'll be leaving
    • "California" (1979)
  • I was looking for joy
    Yes, yes, yes, yes
    When I was little bitty boy

    If I would have known what makes a world go 'round
    I would have known what goes up must come down
    If you love me like I love you
    Mademoiselle, je vous aime, voulez-vous?

    • "Big Boys" (2017)
  • I feel good, like it's party time, don't you know
    And it blew my mind when she smiled and said hello
    But it broke my heart when she told me it's time to go
    • "Wonderful Woman" (2017)
  • She followed him around where he played his guitar
    Till he got so popular they made him a star
    Then she could only see him on a TV screen
    And hoped someday that he'd come back to New Orleans
    Everybody liked her and was knocking on wood
    But soon there came a baby for Lady B. Goode
    • "Lady B. Goode" (2017)

Quotes about Chuck Berry

Sorted alphabetically by author or source
  • If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.
  • In his 1958 masterpiece “Johnny B. Goode,” Berry created the ultimate rock-and-roll folk hero in just a few snappy verses. As we all know, Goode wasn’t pounding a piano, singing into a microphone, or blowing a sax. In his choice of the electric guitar, something sleek and of the moment, the fictional character of Goode would forge an image of the archetypal rocker, doing as much to shape the history of the instrument as any real-life figure ever has. The song’s opening riff is a clarion call — perhaps the greatest intro in rock-and-roll history. It was played by Berry on an electric Gibson ES-350T, and it indeed sounded “just like a-ringin’ a bell.”
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