Friday 28 July 2017

Chuck Berry fans say farewell to rock 'n' roll pioneer

Chuck Berry died on March 18 at the age of 90 (AP)
Chuck Berry died on March 18 at the age of 90 (AP)

Chuck Berry fans will pay their respects to the US rock 'n' roll star three weeks after he died aged 90 near his home town of St Louis.

Fans of the singer behind classics such as Johnny B. Goode, Sweet Little Sixteen and Roll Over Beethoven will file past his coffin at The Pageant, a St Louis club where he frequently performed.

The public viewing will be followed by a private service for family and friends, including those in the music industry.

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, who died on March 18, was the first artist in the inaugural 1986 class to go into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and he closed out its concert in 1995 to celebrate the Cleveland building's opening.

The Rolling Stones's Keith Richards said at Berry's induction ceremony that Berry was the one who started it all.

Berry, whose core repertoire included about three dozen songs, had a profound influence on rock 'n' roll, from garage bands all the way up to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Well before the rise of Bob Dylan, Berry wedded social commentary to the beat and rush of popular music.

"He was singing good lyrics, and intelligent lyrics, in the '50s when people were singing, 'Oh, baby, I love you so,'" John Lennon once observed.

"Everything I wrote about wasn't about me, but about the people listening," Berry once said.

AP

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