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Chuck BERRY (BERRY Chuck)

( Guitarist)

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Biography Chuck BERRY (BERRY Chuck)
His guitar rang like a bell. Chuck Berry - author of "Johnny B. Goode "and the inventor of sound rock 'n' Roll Guitar.

If rock 'n' roll has a name, that name - Chuck Berry. Played them it was a signal running coins that guitarists around the world still generously handed out to the public. The simple beauty of his music and poetry inspired by many groups, ranging from the Rolling Stones and more. However, due to the crowds of imitators, Berry nearly turned into a painted on the idol, which everyone knows but few who can appreciate a truly. Chuck Berry - is much more than a "duck walk" and "Johnny B. Goode. "


Like the characters in his songs, Charles Edward Anderson Berry has a very ordinary background. He was born in 1926. in St. Louis, Missouri, in a religious family with strict rules, played in the yard with peers and sang gospel in a Baptist church. At age 15 he first picked up chetyrehstrunnuyu tenor guitar and quickly learned to play "trehakkordny" blues. Soon, with the help of tutorial and random lessons from local guitarists Berry learned enough chords to pick up most of the songs heard by them on the radio.

"Better" life Berry ended abruptly in 1944 when he participated in a series of armed robberies in the company of peers, was sentenced to three years. Coming to freedom, Berry married, settled down to work on the assembly line - in a word, returned to normal life. During this period, began to form his musical ambitions. He again took up the guitar and in 1951. changed his chetyrehstrunny tool to a full six-string electric guitar. In addition to tutorials and lessons, Berry also attended, listening to the recording of "serious" guitarists, such as jazzman Charlie Christian, the star of the blues T-Bone Walker and guitarist jump-blues band, Louis Jordon Karl Hogan

. In 1952, . already in the mature age of 26, . Berry finally first appeared on the public as a singer and guitarist of the three participants, . fulfilled the very different repertoire, . from simple Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, . idol Chuck, . to the "club-blues, west coast of America, . Netom performed the "King" Cole, . and Caribbean motifs Harry Belafonte,
. A born shoumen, Berry could surprise dark-skinned audience, sometimes including the repertoire, in addition to blues, country style things, hilbilli, as well as ballads. However, he consciously tried to adapt the way of singing and diction for a specific style and audience of any color. Soon, he headed the popular instrumental band pianist Johnny Johnson, which gave a sold-out concert in the elite club of "Cosmopolitan". This new trio also served extremely strange things, while Berry entertained the audience, writing on the go funny poems. By 1955, Mr.. Berry was one of the best on the club scene in St. Louis, along with experienced Ike Turner and Albert King to young talent. Despite some success in music, Berry continued to work full-time to ensure his wife and children.

Berry realized that if he wants to earn a living solely music, he must produce discs. In St. Louis It was not possible, and in May 1955. Berry went to Chicago for the weekend, which came to the intervention of Muddy Waters in one of the clubs. During the break, Chuck went to the Muddy and asked how he could make a record at the studio. Waters sent him to Leonard Chess, one of the owners of "Chess Records", a leading blues label in Chicago. Business approach Berry impressed Chessie, who agreed to listen to his demo tape in a week. Chuck did not say anything about that, there is no demo tape - Berry, who later would be called "poet of rock 'n' roll, never before writing his own songs. Returning home, . Chuck quickly put together a few texts and arrangements, . recorded all this with his trio at semidesyatidevyatidollarovy tape, . and, . when a week later he again came to Chess in Chicago, . his bosom he already had four songs - slow blues "Wee Wee Hours" and the three little things with a trace of country music - "You Can't Catch Me, . "" Thirty Days "and" Ida Red ",
. Chess liked the last one, which was later renamed "Maybellene."

After making entry, Berry returned home to her normal life. While the contract with the "Chess" was promising, at first he did not bring. In St. Louis, Berry continued to work as a carpenter, played in clubs, and also studied at the hairdresser. However, in July, his life changed forever when "Maybellene" (with "Wee Wee Hours" on the second side) became a national hit, taking fifth place in the pop charts. This success directly contributed to the influential disc jockey Alan Freed - man, who credited with inventing the words "rock 'n' Roll". On the part of Frida that was not altruism - "Chess", without consulting with Berry, co-author did Frida songs, with the right of the corresponding jackpot royalties. Berry learned show business at its same experience, but at the same time, sprinkled with the invitation and the royalties allowed him to leave rates Hairdressers.

Within a few years after the success of "Maybellene" by Chuck recorded songs about life and love teenagers almost always present in the hot hundred charts. One after the other hits followed by "Roll Over Beethoven," "School Days," "Rock and Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Johnny B. Goode "," Carol "," Back in the USA "and other songs.

Becoming widely in demand as a touring artist, Berry sacked the manager and himself engaged in organizing the affairs. He also got rid of his accompanying band, . starting to work solo - nagryanuv in another city with a concert, . He hired a random group (arguing, . that such groups are not worse than his own), . and after the speech departed from the city with all the fee in your pocket,

Berry has appeared on screen in several teen films such as "Rock, Rock, Rock" and "Go, Johnny, Go" and participated in a tour with the young stars Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis. In his native St. Louis, he began buying real estate, opened a night club and built the Berry-Park for family recreation. By the late 50's it fared excellently.

The commercial success of Berry, as well as the success of Presley, because they were able to transcend the seemingly insurmountable barrier between the musical culture of blacks and whites took from each of the most attractive. But not everyone saw it as a positive result. For some people, especially in the southern states, a black singer, singing about teenage love to the rhythm of country music and hilbilli, was a symbol of immorality. Although rock 'n' roll and mixed race in a single musical entity, discrimination is still a stark reality, and Chuck was a victim of its popularity. In 1961. after the trial, thoroughly imbued with the spirit of racism, Berry was again sentenced to prison for having "moved the state of minors abroad for immoral purposes".

With freedom Berry lost opportunity to speak and write, but do not compose songs. During the next year and four months, he came up with "No Particular Place to Go", "Nadine", "Promised Land" and other things. Having the will in 1963, he had no great loss resumed his career. In 1966, Mr.. Berry signed a contract with "Mercury Records", thus putting an end to the "golden decade" from "Chess", but at least now he had received larger fees, all this was largely due to his old hits. At the time of reunification with the "Chess" magic completely dissipated. The only significant result of re-union was a new hit in 1972 "My Ding-a-Ling", the only entry Berry, N1 reached the charts, but which had a brief success. In the late 70's Berry was back in prison, this time for nonpayment of taxes.

Despite interruptions in recordings and tours, the influence of Chuck Berry for the next generation of rock musicians from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Bruce Springsteen was so great that his personality has stood the test of time. In 1986 his name was made simultaneously in the Hall of Fame Rock and Roll and the poet-composers, and record "Johnny B. Goode "was sent beyond the solar system on a spaceship" Voyager "as an example of creation of the human spirit. In 1987. Berry released his autobiography, and a constellation of musicians took part in the movie "Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll" as a tribute to his music. The last decade has been relatively calm for Berry, but his music still speaks loudly and clearly for him.

STYLE AND tricks

Chuck Berry did not invent rock 'n' roll, but it certainly contributed to its development. Like Elvis, he mixed blues with country, creating a new musical style, which was not white or black, but simply an American.

An excellent example of this confusion is "Maybellene". Berry plays a country-rhythm, and Willie Dixon "slaps" on the strings of a contrabass. Roughly the same can be heard on early recordings Presley. The fact that things Chuck Berry's hit the charts in the nomination "rhythm and blues," and things Elvis - in the section "country", more relevant to the color of the perpetrators than to the music.

In several entries, including "Johnny B. Goode ", rock-n-roll, full of drive Berry plays guitar solo or rhythm straight eighths, while the rhythm section performs dotted swinging rhythm that creates an incredible effect. It should be noted that most artists do cover versions of the songs Berry, neglected such a combination, and in their interpretations of the rhythm section plays in sync with the guitar. In addition to the rock 'n' Roll items, . Berry, who is famous in the first place, . He also recorded songs with Latin rhythms ( "Havana Moon", . "Brown Eyed Handsome Man") and ballads ( "Wee Wee Hours", . "Deep Feeling"), . in the song "Memphis" picked up the rhythm like the future of reggae,
. Like Bo Diddley, also recorded on "Chess", Berry had to overcome secured him a stylistic stereotypes that he was doing, perceiving and creatively assimilating the ideas of other artists.

One characteristic of many of Chuck Berry's solo is the use of double-stops (intervals of two notes). She inherited from his slide guitarists such as Muddy Waters, already referred to, and Elmore James, as well as simulating the party of his keyboardist John Johnson, who played chords in uppercase letters, to cut off the rhythm section. Another influence in this regard was the namesake of Johnson, Lonnie Johnson, whose complex guitar parts on the record 20-ies contain the phrase double-stops, very similar to those that subsequently played Berry. All these musicians used primarily tertsovye double-stops.

Notes on the first string form a melodic line, and notes on the second string is added to her harmony. All the double-stops are the sounds of the chords on which they play. The whole phrase turns tremolo - rapid repetitive blows mediator up-down. The most famous words of Chuck Berry is his introduction to "Johnny B. Goode ", which he used in many other songs. Called his name, this passage was not entirely his own invention of Chuck. Almost exactly the same phrase played Carl Hogan of Louis Jordan song "Ain't That Just Like a Woman." But Berry, as a true connoisseur of styles borrowed the idea and developed it. EXAMPLE 3 is a typical variant of this phrase, performed in the first six bars of "Johnny B. Goode ", yes, and almost any other thing in the tone of Chuck's B-flat, built on the blues box.

By the way, Berry is rarely played in the "guitar" tonalities like or mi-la majeure. The use of piano and sax on recordings, plus his own vocal range have a natural application of flat keys, such as C-and E-flat major.
. Almost as any contemporary guitarist, Berry picked up a lot of T-Bone Walker, especially in his manner of pulling the strings
. Here Berry in his own way interprets this idea, emphasizing its rhythmic aspect, which also has features of its style.


Since the beginning of work on the professional stage Chuck Berry all other guitars preferred "Gibson". One of his earliest tools was the Les Paul Custom with two sensors P-90. At the same time Berry played for the Super 400, having a hollow body and the aforementioned sensors, as well as the ES-150T, a guitar with a thin hollow body and a pair of humbucker pickups. Later he switched to the ES-355 semi-acoustic guitar and with two humbucking pickups. As far as amplifiers, throughout most of his career, Berry has used what came to hand when he was going somewhere to play, which is consistent with its original and meaningful to so many rock 'n' roll personality.

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Chuck BERRY (BERRY Chuck)

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