That Time Chuck Berry Punched Keith Richards in the Face

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Steve Truesdell
You don't mess around with another man's guitar.
Legendary Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards made an appearance on The Tonight Show this week to promote his new children's book, Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar. During the course of the interview, host Jimmy Fallon saw fit to ask Richards about his idol and early influence, Chuck Berry.

"I also heard this story -- and I don't know if this is true or not," Fallon says. "Did he punch you in the face once?"

See also: Chuck Berry Will Be Awarded Prestigious Polar Music Prize This Summer

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Chuck Berry's St. Louis Homes and Properties Before He Was Rich and Famous [Photos]

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Chris Naffziger
This house, at 4420 Cottage Avenue, is indicative of the dwellings Chuck Berry called home before he hit it big. Berry lived here while in second and third grades.
In the late 1950s Chuck Berry purchased a 35-acre plot in rural St. Charles County where he dreamed of creating a lavish property to rival those of the segregated country clubs he'd seen growing up in St. Louis. The result was "Berry Park," a sprawling compound complete with guest cottages, a nightclub and guitar-shaped swimming pool. Today the 17,000-square-foot mansion he built at Berry Park remains the rock & roll legend's primary residence. He also keeps a second home in the affluent suburb of Ladue.

It wasn't always this way.

See also: Chuck Berry Reviews Classic Punk Records In Unearthed Jet Lag Zine From 1980

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Chuck Berry Holding a Chuck Berry Bobblehead at Cardinals' Chuck Berry Night

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Chuck Berry
Steve Truesdell

Players and fans alike were humming "Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll" during Wednesday's Cardinals game, as the team honored music legend and St. Louis native Chuck Berry with his own bobblehead. The 87-year-old Polar Music Prize recipient accepted his plastic likeness in person and also threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cards conquered the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 in extra innings.

See also:
- Chuck Berry Will Be Awarded Prestigious Polar Music Prize This Summer
- The Best Moments of Chuck Berry's 200 Shows at Blueberry Hill, as Told By His Bandmates

Fans and media outlets with no particular place to go flocked to Twitter to talk about the convergence of their two favorite things: the father of rock & roll and baseball. Take a peek:

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Chuck Berry Given Lifetime Achievement Award: "It's Beyond My Dreams to be Here this Long, Really."

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Photo by Theo R. Welling. See our full slideshow here.
UPDATE: The Arts Council just uploaded the video that was played last night in Chuck Berry's honor. See it on the second page of this post.

Last night the Arts and Education Council kicked off its 50th anniversary year with a ceremony to honor various contributors to arts and culture in St. Louis. The event was held in the beautiful Chase Park Plaza ballroom with a whole big ceiling full of modern sputnik chandeliers. The floor was filled with tables set for dinner and there were large screens flanking the stage with clear graphics and a high-quality feed of what was happening on the stage.

It was clearly a rich people event (with tons of gorgeous quilted Chanel purses in attendance), but it wasn't stuffy. These are rich people who are supporters of the arts, after all. The hosts of the evening manged to be warm and light-hearted while still stressing the importance of arts and art education. They presented a brief history of St. Louis and the arts, commemorating the opening of the Fox and the Black Rep, the founding of COCA and the recent renovation of the public library downtown, among others.

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Happy 86th Birthday, Chuck Berry!

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Erin Kinsella
A one Chuck Berry was born on this day in 1926. Last night he played a show at the Duck Room, wearing an ensemble remarkably similar to the one he's got on in that photo above, taken at Keiner Plaza a few years back. And somewhere in the middle, between 1926 and 2012, the man invented rock & roll. If we encounter anyone named Maybellene today, we will call her Ida May in his honor.

See also:
-Why you should go see Chuck Berry at the Duck Room as soon as humanely possible.
-Here is the painting Sinead O'Connor gave to the Prophet Chuck Berry on Monday
-Our extensive Chuck Berry archives


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Chuck Berry Unleashed First LP - After School Session - 55 Years Ago

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After School Session was Chuck Berry's first LP.
Chuck Berry entered the music scene at a time when singles were the predominant manner of disseminating music. That's probably why the St. Louis native is known more for individual songs than, say, a seminal album.

But while songs such "Maybellene" and "Johnny B. Goode" get the lion's share of attention from music aficionados, it should be noted in the sacred scrolls of rock and roll history that Berry has released over twenty studio albums. In fact, Berry's first album that only featured his music - After School Session - was released on this day in 1957.

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Happy Birthday Leonard Chess of Chess Records, Home of Chuck Berry and Ike Turner

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Leonard Chess
Musicians such as Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters are once-in-a-lifetime talents. And it's a safe bet that if Chess Records hadn't have made those artists' music accessible to the masses, another company would have pulled the trigger.

But fortunately for Leonard Chess, the label he ran with his brother Phillip gets a great deal of credit for bringing music legends into the forefront of popular culture. It's a seemingly improbable story. But in his relatively short lifetime, Chess - who was born on this day in 1917 - made a transition from an immigrant from Europe to purveyor of groundbreaking music.

Born Lejzor Czyz in Motal, Poland, Chess and his family settled down in Chicago in the 1920s. In the 1940s, Leonard and Phillip Chess were involved in the nightclub business in the Windy City. Along the way, the two purchased a record company called Aristocrat Records.

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Chuck Berry's Only Number One Hit - "My Ding-a-Ling" - Was Recorded 40 Years Ago Today

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RFT file photo.
Chuck Berry's only number one hit -- the novelty track "My Ding-a-Ling" -- was recorded 40 years ago today in Coventry, England.
What can be said about Chuck Berry's "My Ding-a-Ling" that hasn't already been said? It's a naughty crowd-pleaser that contains more double entendres than there are silver bells on a Christmas tree.

But the song holds some intriguing designations, besides that fact that it was utilized brilliantly during an episode of The Simpsons. The tune is a staple in Berry's live performances. Audiences adore singing the chorus. And to wit: "My Ding-a-Ling" happens to be Berry's only song to go to number one on the Billboard charts.

You read that right. Even though Berry created music so universally known that it was blasted into space as an example of human culture, "My Ding-a-Ling" was Berry's only number one hit on Billboard's Hot 100 charts.

The version of "My Ding-a-Ling" that actually went to number one happened to be recorded in Coventry, England, on this day in 1972. Berry was headlining the Lanchester Arts Festival, a performance that later was released as The London Chuck Berry Sessions.

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Why You Should Go See Chuck Berry As Soon As Humanly Possible

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Dennis Simmons
One year ago this week Chuck Berry collapsed on stage in Chicago. It was a call to action for many people who had been slacking on seeing his live show at Blueberry Hill.

As residents of this city, it's hard to get perspective on just how amazing it is that Chuck Berry, the dude who probably invented rock and roll, plays here monthly. And that tickets-- while they need to be bought in advance-- are mega cheap, relatively.

We don't want you to miss out on this opportunity so let's go over some of the reasons that you, St. Louisan, shouldn't wait any longer to go see the legend in action.


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Esquire's Luke Dittrich on How He Got the Chuck Berry Feature, in the January Issue

Categories: Chuck Berry

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Pages 100-101 of the January 2012 issue of Esquire
Just last week, Esquire published this thorough and fascinating Chuck Berry article. Berry is notoriously wary of the media, so author Luke Dittrich couldn't take a direct route to his subject. We spoke with Dittrich, a contributing editor at the magazine, last weekend about his super savvy journalistic methods and his thoughts on our hometown hero.

Jaime Lees: I was wondering if you'd ever lived here because there's your Chuck Berry article, and I also read your Joplin article and it was amazing. So I was wondering if you were from here or if you had family here.

Luke Dittrich: Well, thank you very much. Yeah, the reason I have those two Missouri stories is because I went down to St. Louis to profile Chuck Berry and I arrived the day after Joplin was hit by the tornado. So I spent about a week reporting on Chuck Berry and I had planned to stay working longer on the Chuck story but then eventually just decided that I was going to sort-of put Chuck on hold and go to Joplin. It compelled me to go there.

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