portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Sunday, April 01, 2018

No not that old!  . . . . just because it's a classic . . . . . so ubiquitous it seems like it is in the public domain but it ain't . . . . . . . written by the master, Mr Chuck Berry! 'He could play that guitar just like ringing a bell . . . . '

On this day in music history: March 31, 1958 - “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry is released. Written by Chuck Berry, it is the eleventh single release from the rock & roll icon from St. Louis, MO. Penned by Berry in 1955, the semi autobiographical song is partially inspired by his long time piano player Johnnie Johnson, though pianist Lafayette Leake plays on the single and not Johnson. “Goode’s” opening riff is lifted from R&B pioneer Louis Jordan’s 1946 hit “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman”. The track is recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago on January 6, 1958, and features Berry backed by musicians Willie Dixon (bass), Lafayette Leake (piano), and Fred Below (drums). Chuck Berry’s version peaks at #2 on the Billboard R&B Best Sellers chart and #8 on the Pop Best Sellers chart in June of 1958. Regarded as one of the quintessential rock & roll songs, it is covered numerous times over the years by dozens of artists. Berry’s original version is included on the Voyager Golden Record (a gold plated titanium disc with messages and music recorded on it) attached to the Voyager spacecraft in 1977 representing rock & roll music. “Johnny B. Goode is also featured in the film "Back To The Future” in 1985, where in a humorous plot twist, Berry’s fictional cousin Marvin Berry overhears the song being performed by actor Michael J. Fox (actually sung by Mark Campbell of Jack Mack & The Heart Attack), then calling his “cousin” to tell him he’s just heard the “new sound” he’s been looking for. The original single of “Johnny B. Goode” is backed with the Berry penned “Around And Around”, which also becomes a rock & roll standard that is also widely covered, most notably by The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, The Animals, and David Bowie. Chuck Berry’s original recording of “Johnny B. Goode” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves 

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