But Saturday’s death of Chuck Berry at 90 is far different.
From Mick Jagger to Carole King, Slash, Keith Urban, Lenny Kravitz and Bruno Mars, the greats of many generations and genres of music have paid tribute.
“He does what I call talk-sing, ” said Haggard, who died on his 79 birthday in 2016. I can’t do that.
“I’m so glad I’m livin’ in the US”, he sang, speaking of a land “where hamburgers sizzle on an open grill night and day”. Huey Lewis said Berry was “maybe the most important figure in all of rock and roll”. The song was a hit with the students-and an annoyance to the faculty-igniting Berry’s fledgling desire for performance. He released five albums on the label and toured on the success of his earlier hits.
In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 probe, which carried a gold-plated copper disc engraved with sounds and music from around the world, including a two-minute, 38-second recording of Berry performing Johnny B Goode.
The album, entitled Chuck, was recorded in St Louis, Missouri.
Fans mourning Chuck Berry’s death can look forward to an album of mostly new material expected this year. He dedicated it to his wife of 68 years, Themetta “Toddy”.
“But”, he interjected with a twinkle in those 75-year-old eyes, “you can’t compare that, because he’s gone, and I’m not!”
Sadly, I was so new at playing a drum kit that I didn’t know that you needed a rug or to keep the bass drum from moving every time you stomped on the kick drum pedal. “Now I can hang up my shoes!” he said. John Lennon even once said, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name you might call it Chuck Berry”.
In a cruel irony, Berry was in prison just as white rockers led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones took over the United States with the British invasion.
“His music and influence will last forever”, he added. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Hip Hop legendary group Run-DMC described Berry as “the first rapper’s rapper” due to the smooth flow of his voice. The effort was tailored toward a youthful market featuring comedic cut-up lyrics, rhythmically intricate guitar parts and stand-alone solos in effortless anthems like “School Days”, “Too Much Monkey Business”, “Wee Wee Hours”, “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Thirty Days”.
Berry listed T-Bone Walker, Carl Hogan of Louis Jordan’s band and Charlie Christian from Benny Goodman’s band among his guitar influences, but his lyrical style was all his own. In his 1978 autobiography, he said he does not deserve all the credits.
Tributes are pouring in for the musical icon after he passed away at his home today.
The song has come to be one of the defining songs of Rock N Roll – and was used in Back To The Future to mark the moment Marty introduced 50s kids to a new era of music.