Legends Salute 'Rock's Greatest Practitioner'

'He lit up our teenage years,' says Mick Jagger on death of Chuck Berry
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2017 10:20 AM CDT
Legends Salute 'Rock's Greatest Practitioner'
In this 2007 file photo, legendary musician Chuck Berry performs in Basel, Switzerland. Berry, rock 'n' roll's founding guitar hero and storyteller who defined the music's joy and rebellion in such classics as "Johnny B. Goode," ''Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Roll Over Beethoven," died Saturday, March...   (Peter Klaunzer/Keystone via AP, File)

Chuck Berry's death is being met with salutes from former presidents and legends of the rock and roll genre he so defined, reports the AP. "He lit up our teenage years, and blew life into our dreams of being musicians and performers," tweeted Mick Jagger, while Bruce Springsteen called Berry "rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock 'n' roll writer who ever lived." "Hillary and I loved Chuck Berry for as long as we can remember," former President Bill Clinton said. "The man was inseparable from his music—both were utterly original and distinctly American. He made our feet move and our hearts more joyful." A look around at other coverage of the rock icon's death:

  • Noting that John Lennon once said, "If you tried to give rock ’n’ roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry,'" the New York Times runs through what it considers Berry's 15 most essential songs. "Johnny B Goode" only makes No. 8. Read it here.
  • Rolling Stone can't make up its mind and offers Berry's top 20 songs. It agrees with the Times on the No. 1 song. Read it here.
  • The AP runs down a list of key dates in Berry's life, including ups and downs with the inspiration for "Johnny B Goode," lawsuits, and a stint in prison. Read it here.
  • The Los Angeles Times digs through its archives and notes that Berry was inducted in the first class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Berry announced last year, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, that he was giving fans a present: An album set for now-posthumous release. ABC News notes that he dedicated the album to his wife, saying, "My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!"
Berry was once called a top-notch short story writer for the lyrics to "Memphis, Tennessee." (More Chuck Berry stories.)

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