Air Week: July 5-11, 2021
Chuck Berry, Pt. 1 – 1955-56
Chuck Berry has been called the “Father of Rock n’ Roll” and with good reason. He took the blues of T-Bone Walker and B.B. King, the guitar riffs of Carl Hogan and mixed it with the fiddle and Western Swing music of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys. Then he rolled it all into one big sonic blast. Rhythm & Blues become Rock n’ Roll when Chuck Berry began writing songs aimed at teenagers, finally granting them their own music. The “Juke In The Back” presents part 1 of a 3 part feature on Chuck Berry’s early career. This week, Matt The Cat explores Chuck Berry’s first full year of recording for the legendary Chess Records in Chicago. We’ll look at his recordings from his first session, held in May, 1955 to his fourth session from April, 1956 and everything in-between. Some of the titles you’ll know by heart, like “Maybellene,” “You Can’t Catch Me” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” but others might be new to your ears, like the eerie “Down Bound Train” and the very bluesy “Wee Wee Hours.” Chuck Berry defined Rock n’ Roll guitar and his influence is felt every time some one picks up a guitar with the intention of tearing the house down. Next week, we’ll finish up 1956 and begin 1957.