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Chuck Berry standing on the shoulders of

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Chuck Berry standing on the shoulders of

Postby alexis » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:22 am

With the passing of one my heros I've spent an hour or so diving back into the musical primordial soup that evolved into Rock and Roll (or was it intelligent design? :D ). Chuck Berry was always ready to say his style didn't spring anew from his fingers fully formed and ready to rock, which was one of the things I always did like about him. Digging around a bit I thought it was fascinating to see how some of his predecessors were putting together his sounds, up to 10 years earlier - just one year after the war ended, to put it in a different perspective (!).

Here are a couple that really stood out to me, but of course one could spend a lifetime going back a few more years to see who these other folks' influences were, and theirs, and theirs ...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3FNLnFg6Ck - Goree Carter, Rock a While 1949!
: Guitar riffs at time = 0:00, 0:35, 0:57 (!!), and mini solo at 1:30.
: And heck, piano throughout sounds just like a young Jerry Lee Lewis might have, esp. at 2:02 (but it wasn't him!).


And "here's the riff upon which Chuck Berry based his career*"! Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five, "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" - 1946!! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEqiWTb-UWA
: First notes of the song, and the solo at 2:25
* David Tomar http://www.thebestschools.org/magazine/ ... -and-roll/ - amazing link, a labor of love!

I got to see him live once at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, I actually don't remember much about the show beyond thinking for it's entirety, "I can't believe I'm standing here watching Chuck Berry".

Thank you for everything, Chuck Berry.

(And thank you youtube!).
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Re: Chuck Berry standing on the shoulders of

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:53 am

Nice post.

It's easy to see the links when you consider the context of the time.

When I first came across Louis Jordan as a reluctant guitarist in a Jazz band which, ironically, was the only paying gig available to me at the time, the first connection I made was with CB and his witty and somewhat racy lyrics. Not unlike a lot of folky standards.

As far as I can follow CB made no claim to originality, rather saw his product as driven by what would earn. He wasn't driven by a desire for self-expression which was probably a good thing considering the broad scope of his interests.

Cheers for that.
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Re: Chuck Berry standing on the shoulders of

Postby Darren Lynch » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:39 pm

shufflebeat wrote:He wasn't driven by a desire for self-expression which was probably a good thing considering the broad scope of his interests.

How very diplomatic of you :angel: ...have we all heard the anecdote that concludes with CB asking "Man, can I at least finish my sandwich?"
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Re: Chuck Berry standing on the shoulders of

Postby rz » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:34 pm

The band I was in (Red Cloud) backed Chuck Berry on two Australian tours in the mid 1970s - a weird but interesting experience. Chuck's opening 12 bars for 'Johnny B Goode' is required learning if you want to understand the evolution of rock guitar. He was original in the way he put a lot of other people's stuff together in one musical package.

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Re: Chuck Berry standing on the shoulders of

Postby NorthStar » Sat Mar 25, 2017 6:45 pm

alexis wrote:With the passing of one my heros I've spent an hour or so diving back into the musical primordial soup that evolved into Rock and Roll (or was it intelligent design? :D ). Chuck Berry was always ready to say his style didn't spring anew from his fingers fully formed and ready to rock, which was one of the things I always did like about him. Digging around a bit I thought it was fascinating to see how some of his predecessors were putting together his sounds, up to 10 years earlier - just one year after the war ended, to put it in a different perspective (!).

Here are a couple that really stood out to me, but of course one could spend a lifetime going back a few more years to see who these other folks' influences were, and theirs, and theirs ...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3FNLnFg6Ck - Goree Carter, Rock a While 1949!
: Guitar riffs at time = 0:00, 0:35, 0:57 (!!), and mini solo at 1:30.
: And heck, piano throughout sounds just like a young Jerry Lee Lewis might have, esp. at 2:02 (but it wasn't him!).


And "here's the riff upon which Chuck Berry based his career*"! Louis Jordan and his Tympani Five, "Ain't That Just Like a Woman" - 1946!! : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEqiWTb-UWA
: First notes of the song, and the solo at 2:25
* David Tomar http://www.thebestschools.org/magazine/ ... -and-roll/ - amazing link, a labor of love!

I got to see him live once at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, I actually don't remember much about the show beyond thinking for it's entirety, "I can't believe I'm standing here watching Chuck Berry".

Thank you for everything, Chuck Berry.

(And thank you youtube!).

I owe you one. These links got me out of my chair dancing.
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