2021 Song Draft- Round 3 Pick 10- Hanspostcard selects- ‘Johnny B. Goode’- Chuck Berry.
In Chuck Klosterman’s book from a five years or so ago- the thought provoking ‘But What If We’re Wrong’ he devotes a chapter to the question- in 50 to 100 years- rock music will be remembered through one lone figure. Klosterman discusses the possible candidates- and in the end narrows it down to one- Chuck Berry. I don’t know if he will be right or wrong on this- and I won’t be around to find out in 100 years but Chuck Berry is a good a candidate as any. John Lennon once said that if they were to give Rock N Roll another name they could call it Chuck Berry Music.
One of the most recognizable songs from the 20th century is Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’- a #2 hit from 1958. If I were to pick the greatest song in rock and roll history- it would be on the short list for sure. In 1977 two phonograph records were included in both Voyager spacecraft that were launched. The sounds on the record were intended to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth for any extraterrestrial form of life which may find them. It is a time capsule in space. “Johnny B. Goode’ was one of the sounds included. In a 1978 Saturday Night Live sketch Steve Martin’s character a psychic named Cocuwa said that the extraterrestrials has sent back a response- of four words ‘Send More Chuck Berry.’
The root of rock and roll…great storytelling and great guitar…you need nothing else. Great pick Hans…I knew Chuck had to get in somewhere.
I had three songs in mind- and thought I’d better go with this- the other two will still be there later.
I always thought rock and roll came from this song…the rock and roll that we know. It’s probably the most important one.
The granddaddy of Rock and Roll! He had so many good ones to choose from. He influenced everyone!
As I remember, he wasn’t too keen on changing the lyrics from “colored boy” to “country boy,” but by doing so, he certainly got loads of airplay and a legendary song.
One of his biggest hits- #2 a shame it didn’t get to the top….and to think one of his worst songs was his only #1. Life isn’t fair sometimes.
Oh yes, My Ding-a-Ling. I agree, what a shame that was his only #1. No Particular Place to Go, Reelin’ and Rockin’, Rock and Roll Music, School Day …. so many that were better than that one!!!
Definitely need this in the draft. I watched another documentary on him last week; this one from PBS. He’s totally unique and an absolute trailblazer.
I DVR’d it- haven’t watched it yet. I take it it is worth watching ?
I say it is. Imo, it’s Chuck that makes them all good, so it could be a marginal production and I’d still want to watch. But yes, I think this one is worth watching.
Definitely one of the songs that shaped the next thirty or so years of rock in a very big way.
You did it to me again Hans. Another that I had in my bag. You play this to explain rock n roll to folks. no talk just spin this.
When you took Buddy Holly- my first thought was Johnny B. Goode…
I had Chuck right there. Coin toss.
Good choice, Hans. I’m with CB on this. Johnny B Goode is the definition of Rock & Roll to me.
I wonder how many times its been covered over the years? That had to have been a staple of many a starting up rock band in the 1960’s…
All right… uh… all right, this is, uh, this is an oldie, but, uh… well, it’s… it’s an oldie where I come from.
[turning to the backing band]
Marty McFly : All right, guys, listen. This is a blues riff in B. Watch me for the changes, and try and keep up, okay?
There’s a funny story that Springsteen tells about how he and E St. band backed up Chuck Berry in the 70s before Springsteen was famous. I guess Barry was famous for just showing up in cities to play and using whatever backing band was available. Springsteen said that it was a very challenging experience because Berry wouldn’t tell them what song was next or what to do he would just start playing and the band would have to quickly figure it out. This led to some rather uneven performances. This was one of the reasons that Keith Richards put together that movie (blanking on name) because he wanted just once for Berry to have a proper backing band.
I remember him telling this story…they would ask him…what songs are we playing? The answer…. “We are playing some Chuck Berry songs” lol.
Hail Hail Rock and Roll
Right I forgot that part!
At least it was Berry doing that. Imagine someone with complex chords (like Joni Mitchell or Brian Wilson) doing that.
I can’t add anything more over what others have already stated. Great pick Hans.
Thanks. Had to have some Chuck Berry!
It wouldn’t be a proper song draft without Johnny B Goode. – essential pick!
Just curious – what kept it out of the #1 spot in 58?
In double checking it was ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ that peaked at #2- ‘Johnny B. Goode’ peaked at #8.
But…of course. Chuck Berry. Johnny B. Goode. The granddaddy, pre-dating the Everlys! Another artist that my dad loved.