Chuck Berry – The Black Man Who Started Rock and Roll Music

by Ramona Samuels

Charles Edward Anderson Berry is the name of the man who started the rock craze in the 1950s. He is popularly known as Chuck Berry, and yes, he was a black man!

Chuck Berry died in March 2017, but not before leaving a legacy forever etched in Rock and Roll history.

Not surprisingly, when some people think of rock music, they think of the white man, but as history reveals, it was indeed the talented black musicians who made Rock N’ Roll the popular genre that it is, spearheaded by Chuck Berry, also known as the ‘Father of Rock and Roll.

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Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having "laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.

In 2004 and 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine named him in the top five of the 100 greatest artists of all time. His early attraction to country music and R&B, helped him put together a sound so impressive that it attracted the ears and pockets of white teenagers in that era, subsequently causing a slew of imitators who further popularised the genre, also known as Rock.

Some of his major hits include, Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, Rock and Roll Music, Johnny Be Goode, No Particular Place to Go, You Can Never Tell, and Nadine.

The St. Louis rock star was also plagued with the habitual tendency to sexually assault women and underage girls. He was then accused of installing a video camera in the ladies’ toilet of his Missouri restaurant in 1989. After tapes from this camera were found in Berry’s home, he was given a suspended sentence and settled a class action with 59 women.