Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry (18 October 1926 – 18 March 2017) was an American guitarist, singer , Poet and songwriter, and a pioneer of rock and roll music.
- I wanted to write about school because most of my audience at the particular time was of a school element.
- Introducing "School Days" on The History of Rock and Roll, (1978), Hour 1: "The Birth of Rock & Roll"
- 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".
- 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
- "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956) · Live performance
- 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!
- "Too Much Monkey Business" (1956)
- 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
- "You Can't Catch Me" (1956)
- Hail, hail rock and roll; deliver me from the days of old.
Long live rock and roll; the beat of the drums, loud and bold.
Rock, rock, rock and roll; the feelin' is there, body and soul.
- 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.
- "Rock and Roll Music" (1957)
- 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
- "Around and Around" (1957)
- Milo Venus was a beautiful lass,
She had the world in the palm of her hand.
But she lost both her arms in a wrestling match,
To get a brown eyed handsome man.
- 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.
- "Sweet Little Sixteen" (1958)
- 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, Johnny go...
- "Johnny B. Goode" (1958) · Live performance (1958)
- 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
- "Carol" (1958)
- 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
- "Memphis, Tennessee" (1959)( aka "Memphis")
- 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
- "Almost Grown" (1959)
- 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.
- "Back in the U.S.A." (1959)
- 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
- "Let It Rock" (1960)
- 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
- "I'm Talking About You" (1961)
- 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
- "Come On" (1961)
- 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!
- "No Particular Place to Go" (1964)
- 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
- "You Never Can Tell" (1964)
- 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
- "Promised Land" (1964)
- 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 BerryEdit
- Sorted alphabetically by author or source
- I learned more from Chuck Berry about America than I could have from the U.S. Information Service in London.
- Chuck Berry is the greatest of the rock and rollers. Elvis competes with Frank Sinatra, Little Richard camps his way to self-negation, Fats Domino looks old, and Jerry Lee Lewis looks down his noble honker at all those who refuse to understand that Jerry Lee has chosen to become a great country singer.
- Robert Christgau, in "Chuck Berry" in The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll (1976) edited by Jim Miller
- If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.
- John Lennon, on The Mike Douglas Show in 1972; also quoted in John Lennon: In His Own Words (2005) by Ken Lawrence, p. 107
- Send more Chuck Berry.
- Steve Martin's character, a psychic named Cocuwa, predicting that the cover of Time for the upcoming week will show these four words, which supposedly had been sent to Earth the week before from extraterrestrials, after they had listened to a Voyager Golden Record, in a Saturday Night Live segment ("Next Week in Review") in episode 64, during the show's third season.
- 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.
- "Today in Rock: Chuck Berry is Born (October 18)" at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, RockHall.com
- 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.”
- Brad Tolinski and Alan Di Perna, in Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound & Revolution of the Electric Guitar (2016); also excerpted in "How Chuck Berry Wrote “Johnny B. Goode” and Created the First Rock and Roll Guitar Hero" in Guitar World (18 March 2017)