3 things you should know about Chuck Berry’s first album in 38 years



Chuck Berry with his sister Lucy Ann in 1965.

Chuck Berry with his sister Lucy Ann in 1965.

1) One last hurrah. “This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said referring to his wife Themetta. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!” They’ve only been married for 68 years. Somehow, I don’t see Berry hanging up his shoes until he’s too weak to lift a guitar.

2) All in the family. Two of Berry’s children back him on the album: Charles Berry, Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica. The rest of the band’s comprised of his backers at the Blueberry Hill club where he played for more than two decades: Jimmy Marsala on bass, Robert Lohr on piano, and Keith Robinson on drums.

3) An unexpected Easter Egg. Berry’s announcement came as a big surprise, even though he’d been telling reporters he was working on new music for years. He was also telling them he was about worn out. “Give you a song?” he’d say. “I can’t do that. My singing days have passed. My voice is gone, my throat is worn, and my lungs are going fast.” Somehow, he found a little bit more gas in the tank, and it’s time for one last ride.

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Check out Berry shredding a Johnny B. Good Solo in 1972. The 3-minute solo/cardio workout starts at 4:00:

Photo credit: Nationaal Archief.

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2 comments on “3 things you should know about Chuck Berry’s first album in 38 years
  1. Pingback: Chuck Berry And Phil Chess: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll | Rocknuts

  2. True or False? His cousin Marvin Berry gave him the idea for “Johnny B. Goode” after hearing it at the “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance in Hill Valley, CA?

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