Chuck Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Chuck Berry

Charles Berry, Jr. stands behind a podium with a giant image of Chuck Berry behind.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For more than 40 years, bassist Jim Marsala toured with Chuck Berry. They played together in the Kremlin in Moscow, on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, and at Berry’s regular Duck Room show at Blueberry Hill in the Loop.

In the early 2000s, Berry’s son Charles Berry Jr. joined the band. Berry then began music, writing piano lines, lyrics and guitar parts for what would be his final work — tapping Marsala and his son on guitar.

Those recordings will be released today in the rock icon’s final album, “CHUCK.” The younger Berry says it’s a classic, and shows that late in life his father remained a gifted songwriter with a knack for making people dance.

A guest takes photos of the start of the funeral procession for rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry. (April 9, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Nearly two months after guitarist Chuck Berry died, St. Louis is seeking proposals to develop a museum and cultural district in Berry’s former neighborhood.

 

The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority announced Monday it wants private developers to rebuild Berry’s home in the The Greater Ville neighborhood in north St. Louis. 

Pallbearers guide the casket of Chuck Berry out of The Pageant following a viewing and celebration of life event for the rock 'n' roll legend and St. Louis native. (April 9, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A line of fans formed around the block outside the Pageant Theater in the Delmar Loop Sunday to say goodbye to rock 'n'roll legend and St. Louis native Chuck Berry.

They joined a capacity crowd of dignitaries, family and friends inside for a funeral that broke the mold — much like the legendary entertainer himself.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

Upated March 29 — The funeral  for Chuck Berry will take place on April 9. A visitation open to the public will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at The Pageant Concert Club, 6161. Delmar Blvd., St. Louis.

It will be followed by a closed funeral service for family and close friends.

Berry, the legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist who duck-walked his way into rock and roll history, died March 18. He was 90.

Less than a week after Chuck Berry's death at the age of 90, his family announced details Wednesday about the rock and roll pioneer's first album in 38 years — and gave us a taste of what it will sound like.

Joe Edwards at Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill.
Courtesy Blueberry Hill

Legendary musician Chuck Berry, the “poet laureate” of rock 'n roll, died Saturday, at his home in St. Charles. He left behind him a changed world of music, culture, friendship and a dedication to the St. Louis region that continued until the very end.

Related: Obituary: Chuck Berry dies. He was the ‘poet laureate’ of rock ‘n’ roll

Dan Duncan, Steve Scorfina and Mike Mesey.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” several local musicians joined host Don Marsh to discuss a new recording of the famed Chuck Berry tune “Johnny B. Goode.” The recording will raise money to fund the completion of KSDK anchor Art Holliday’s documentary about Berry’s long-time pianist Johnnie Johnson, who many say the song is named in tribute of. The piano on the track was actually recorded by Johnson himself, before his death in 2005.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

This month marks one year since Chuck Berry wrapped up his iconic run at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop. The musician’s performing status is up in the air, according to Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards.

“The fact he’s almost 89 years old, who knows? He has the interest in doing it but he’s also working on some songs,” said Edwards. 

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

After creating a list of 100 essential songs about St. Louis, Riverfront Times senior music writers Christian Schaeffer and Roy Kasten are working their way through the top 12 holiday songs by St. Louisians.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: There was a time, more than two centuries ago, when the term “British invasion” would have instilled fear or outrage rather than hope. You know the story.

Fifty years ago, however, that term was more welcoming to American ears -- younger ears, anyway. It signaled the coming of a fresh song, its lyrics upbeat and memorable, by a rock group called the Beatles. They would set a new solid-gold standard for popular music, beginning with the release of their first studio album, "Please Please Me” in 1963.

Our friends at WCPN in Cleveland, Ohio devote their "Around Noon" show today to a week-long celebration of St. Louis icon Chuck Berry happening in their city. Check out their show via the link.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Unofficial recount results confirms Koenen victory

A recount has confirmed that Glenn Koenen won a Democratic primary for a suburban St. Louis congressional seat and will face Republican Ann Wagner in the November election.

Unofficial results of the recount released Thursday by the secretary of state's office show Koenen's margin of victory declined by two votes compared to the original count from the August 7th primary. But he still finished 46 votes ahead of Harold Whitfield in a four-person primary that drew a total of nearly 28,000 votes.

When rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry navigated his music career, he didn't rely on agents or record labels; he drove himself to his own business meetings and concerts in his fleet of Cadillacs.

Now Berry has donated one of those cars, a candy-apple red 1973 Eldorado, to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open its doors in 2015. NPR's Rachel Martin went with curator Kevin Strait to watch Smithsonian fleet manager Bill Griffiths restore the car in Suitland, Md.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

You can see more photos of the dedication in the gallery below

A nearly two-year effort to raise money for a statue of St. Louis native Chuck Berry in the city came officially to a close today Friday as dignitaries gathered with the man they call the father of rock 'n' roll to dedicate the sculpture.

Workers set the statue in place near Chuck Berry's star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame and near Blueberry Hill, where he played regular concerts in later years.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

Despite criticism, a statue of rock legend Chuck Berry was installed in University City, Mo. Friday in the Delmar Loop.

The statue was crafted by local artist Harry Weber and a formal dedication is planned for July 29.

Previously, critics voiced concerns that the statue was to be installed on city-owned land and that Berry spent time in jail.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The rock legend known for such hits as "Johnny B. Goode" will be getting a statue in suburban St. Louis, but not everyone thinks that's so great.

University City's City Council on Monday night refused to block installation of an 8-foot bronze sculpture by artist Harry Weber honoring 84-year-old Chuck Berry.

Late last week, Joe Edwards announced that he’s stepping down as the Chairman of the Loop Special Business District after 30 years leading the board.  He stopped by St. Louis on the Air today to chat about his decision and what’s next for the six-block district along Delmar that’s been designated “One of the 10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

  • A funeral is scheduled for Thursday for a soldier from Ste. Genevieve who died in Afghanistan. 25 year-old Sgt. Michael J. Beckerman was assigned to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The army says he died Dec. 31 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wound suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvsed explosive device. Beckerman arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2010. He joined the Army in September 2004.