April 22, 2024

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Radio and TV news

Song of the day for March 18, 2024

2 min read

Maybellene by Chuck Berry is today’s featured song.

On this day in 2017, rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry died at the age of 90. Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in St. Louis, MO, Berry forged a distinctive style that married rhythm and blues with country music. Between 1955 and 1964, he racked up 22 hits on the US R&B chart including the No.1s “Maybellene,” “School Day,” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.” Berry’s best-selling single was 1972’s “My Ding-A-Ling,” which topped both the Hot 100 and the UK singles chart.

By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star, with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Club Bandstand. He was sentenced to three years in prison in January 1962 for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines for the purpose of having sexual intercourse. After his release in 1963, Berry had several more successful songs, including “No Particular Place to Go”, “You Never Can Tell”, and “Nadine”. However, these did not achieve the same success or lasting impact of his 1950s songs, and by the 1970s he was more in demand as a nostalgia performer, playing his past material with local backup bands of variable quality. In 1972, he reached a new level of achievement when a rendition of “My Ding-a-Ling” became his only record to top the charts. His insistence on being paid in cash led in 1979 to a four-month jail sentence and community service, for tax evasion.

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