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Archive for March 19th, 2017

Bye Bye Johnny

For this Sunday morning music, it’s got to be Chuck.

The great Chuck Berry died yesterday at the age of 90. In the Pantheon of the gods of rock and roll, Chuck is without a doubt the true father of the genre, the wellspring that fed all others. His music is practically written in our DNA and permeates our culture. It is part and parcel of who we are.

You might think you can’t name a Chuck Berry song but I will bet that you know at least a dozen. In fact, one of his greatest hit albums is called The Great Twenty-Eight and almost every song on it is a rock and roll classic. When that sound comes out of the speaker it is instantly familiar and distinct. You may not have heard the song for forty years but you know the words and melody instinctively.

Oh, you know it.

Like many people, I have probably taken Chuck Berry for granted for many years now. But now that he’s gone I feel a definite sense of loss.  Maybe it’s that we are in a period of time where we are struggling for a definition of who we really are as a people, where we seem poised at a juncture that will take us in two very different directions. He was that part of America that drew people here with his Everyman point of view and a sound that was forever young and vigorous.

So, like I said, this morning it’s got to be Chuck. I’ve been listening for about an hour and a half to Chuck and can’t even come close to choosing. I listen to one and go, “Oh, Yeah!” then I hear the next song and do it again. So I’m playing two that just feel good to me. One is Back in the USA and the second is Havana Moon, a quieter, moody song from Chuck that just clicks for me.

Have a good day and if the spirit hits you, as Chuck might say, let it rock.

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