Chuck Berry's death at 90, with a new album looming, closes a chapter on not only the early days of rock and roll but on a master performer, guitarist and composer whose legacy will stand alongside every other major figure in American pop music. A fountainhead of rock, Berry was both original and synthesizer, who like Duke Ellington, Bob Wills, Bill Monroe and others who assimilated ideas from others, added their own ideas to create a distinctive and influential musical identity. In Berry's case, it left an impact whose repercussions have spanned generations and will not end anytime soon.  He was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and in 2000 was part of the Kennedy Center Honors alongside Clint Eastwood and Placido Domingo.

I've discussed Berry on this blog before and I may have a bit more to say. This entry from last October examined at the music sources that influenced him.

Tomorrow: Country Music Loves Berry.


Published in Get Rhythm


Lonnie Mack's death last Thursday, thankfully, didn't get totally obscured in the outpouring of grief of Prince's death. Mack was a different type of icon, but one who lasted a long time and his legacy as a guitar hero, and a fine blues and country vocalist has held up especially among players who revere his style and He was also known for his trademark instrument: the Gibson "Flying V" guitar (named for the body shape) the company introduced in 1958, with a unique upside-down V-shape.

Published in Get Rhythm