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Subject: Re: Lest you think that Jerry Lee Lewis is infallible...

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Date Posted: Tue October 18, 2016 11:44:14
In reply to: Phil T. 's message, "Re: Lest you think that Jerry Lee Lewis is infallible..." on Thu October 13, 2016 23:58:40

Happy birthday to Chuck Berry, who turned 90 today.

He has announced a new album, his first in 38 years.

I saw this article today by Jeff Slate:

"there's no denying Berry's contribution to popular music. His signature guitar work laid the foundation that practically every band that came after him followed as a blueprint. And his lyrics, far more than any of his contemporaries, even perhaps the best songwriter of the era Buddy Holly, were the stuff that inspired Lennon and Dylan and everyone who followed their lead to push the boundaries of the pop music format to its breaking point almost a decade later.

The examples of Berry's poetry and wordplay are endless, but it was his song "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" that captured my ears as a young kid in the 1970s, and it's as good an example as any: "Flying across the desert in a TWA / I saw a woman walking across the sand / She been a-walkin' thirty miles en route to Bombay / To get a brown eyed handsome man."

For 1956 that was remarkable stuff. As was his superb, proto-rap "Too Much Monkey Business," from 1957: "Blonde haired good looks, tryin' to get me hooked / Want me to marry, get a home, settle down, write a book! / Too much monkey business, too much monkey business / Too much monkey business for me to be involved in!"

These were social commentary when even artists of the era like Johnny Cash had little to say beyond what was expected and what had come before. And, of course, Berry was writing all his own material when that was unheard of. No, Chuck Berry broke the mold, and showed the way forward to the next generation of musicians and, especially, songwriters.

Berry's new album comes as a bit of surprise to fans, considering the long hiatus between new material. But it's his string of remarkable, groundbreaking work from the late 1950s, the songs that almost single-handedly invented rock and roll music as we know it today, that we should celebrate today, on his 90th birthday, while he's still here, and while we can tell him how much he means to all of us, and how much we owe him for all he's given us."

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Re: Lest you think that Jerry Lee Lewis is infallible...M. BLoomSun March 12, 2017 21:34:35

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