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Key Dates In The Life Of Rock ‘N’ Roll Visionary Chuck Berry

06:01 AM Monday 3/20/17 | |

Some key dates in the life of Chuck Berry:

  • Chuck Berry

    B.B. King Club, New York City
    September 12, 2009

    (AP Photo)

    | 

Oct. 18, 1926: Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in St. Louis.

Oct. 28, 1948: Marries Themetta Suggs with whom he has four children.

Dec. 31, 1952: Needing a replacement for an ailing musician for a New Year’s Eve show, pianist/bandleader Johnnie Johnson calls acquaintance Berry.

May 1, 1955: Berry signs with Chess Records.

May 21, 1955: Berry records “Maybellene,” his version of “Ida Red.”

Aug. 1, 1955: “Maybellene” reaches No. 5 on Billboard’s Best Sellers chart, goes on to top R&B chart.

June 30, 1956: Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven” hits No. 2 on the R&B chart, No. 29 on pop chart.

May 1957: Berry’s first album, After School Session, released; single “School Day” reaches No. 3 on pop chart.

Feb. 24, 1958: Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen” released. Weeks later, reaches No. 2 on Billboard’s pop chart and tops the R&B chart.

June 14, 1958: “Johnny B. Goode,” his tribute to Johnson, makes the Top Ten.

1962: Convicted of transporting a minor girl across state lines.

June 1, 1966: Berry leaves Chess for Mercury Records. Re-signs with Chess in 1970.

May 1, 1972: The London Chuck Berry Sessions released, including novelty song “My Ding-a-Ling.” Album becomes Berry’s best seller, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard chart.

  • Chuck Berry

    Performing during a concert celebration for his 60th birthday at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Mo.
    October 17, 1986

    (James A. Finley/AP, file)

    | 

1973: Johnson leaves Berry’s band.

June 1, 1979: Berry performs at White House at President Carter’s request, months before serving several months in prison on tax evasion.

Feb. 26, 1985: Berry given Lifetime Achievement Award at annual Grammy Awards.

Jan. 23, 1986: Berry inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

1987: Release of “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll,” the documentary of the Fox Theatre concert in St. Louis to celebrate Berry’s 60th birthday.

1988, 1989: Berry sued for allegedly punching a woman in New York and later for allegedly videotaping women secretly while they were using the restroom at his St. Louis-area restaurant.

1996: Berry begins performing monthly at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room in St. Louis.

November 2000: Berry sued by Johnnie Johnson, who seeks share of royalties on songs he co-wrote with Berry but were credited to Berry alone.

April 13, 2005: Johnnie Johnson dies following dismissal of lawsuit, resumption of his and Berry’s friendship, and a few more concerts together at Blueberry Hill.

Oct. 18. 2016: Berry announces on his 90th birthday that he plans to release his first album since 1979, called Chuck, sometime in 2017. A specific release date isn’t set.

March 18, 2017: Berry dies at his home in suburban St. Louis.


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