A long, long time ago 1960s pop singer Don McLean mourned the untimely death of early rock 'n' roll great Buddy Holly in "The Day The Music Died."

Another American music icon has passed -- Chuck Berry -- one of the greatest blues and rock legends of all time, at age 90.

The St. Louis native was more than a fireball stage performer. He was the inventor of the famous "duck hop," who took the blues by the guitar neck, refined it, energized it, and popularized it in the new era of television.

Rock 'n' roll was still in its infancy then, but through Berry's powerful influence and stage presence 1950s rock found its characteristic voice as it launched the careers of artists from both sides of the Atlantic. Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and guitarists Keith Richards and Eric Clapton -- they all drew rhythm and blues inspiration from the "father of rock 'n' roll."

A larger than life guitarist and singer, the charismatic Berry appealed to both black and white audiences with chart-topping musical scores like "Maybellene" (1955), "Roll Over Beethoven" (1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957), "Sweet Little Sixteen" (1957), and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958). His cross-over performances were like musical balm for the young masses during a time of increasing racial strife across America.

To the crowds of Baby Boomers who packed his concerts, only the music mattered.

Berry, however, was no saint. He served time in jail and got caught for tax evasion, although, true to his art, he continued performing well into his later years.

Looking back on Berry's long and successful career one is struck by the apparent innocence of the pop culture era that he helped create. Who could foresee back in those days the coming violent musical transformation and divergence one finds inherent in modern-day Rap?

This is not what the father of rock 'n' roll envisioned or would have wanted.

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Source: Daily Wire

 
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