5 Irresistible Performances in Honor of Chuck Berry—Happy Birthday to the ‘Father of Rock and Roll’

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

An American treasure, Chuck Berry was a pioneering artist. He redefined rhythm and blues to create his distinctive rock and roll sound that, to this day, inspires so much music. He has been cited as a major influence on some of the most influential acts of all time, including Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and so many more.

His music has been covered time and time again, but there is no one on earth who could outperform the late, great Chuck Berry. Join us as we celebrate his birthday with 5 irresistible performances from the Father of Rock and Roll.

1. “You Can’t Catch Me” in Rock, Rock, Rock!, 1956

Berry performed in and contributed to the soundtrack of the 1956 jukebox musical Rock, Rock, Rock! Showcasing his signature “You Can’t Catch Me,” his moves match his plucky playing as he delivers an unforgettable performance.

2. “Roll Over Beethoven” – Live 1965

A song with one the most iconic opening riffs, everyone from Jerry Lee Lewis and The Beatles to Electric Light Orchestra has tried to emulate Berry’s classic, “Roll Over Beethoven.” Shoulders hunched, straight-faced, the artist makes the below performance look effortless but never boring.

3. “My Ding-a-Ling” – Live in London, 1972

The artist is the ultimate entertainer as he introduces “My Ding-a-Ling” as the Berry alma mater in the video below. It’s impossible not to grin when you hear the tongue-in-cheek tune, but when you watch it performed live, you just have to laugh.

4. “Nadine”—Live with Keith Richards, 1987

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards honored his hero during a celebration of Berry’s 60th birthday. Captured in the 1987 documentary film, Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll, Berry shines in this performance. Even if it weren’t in honor of his birthday, he would still shine.

5. “Johnny B. Goode”—Live with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, 1995

During a concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Berry dominates while sharing the stage with a mega ensemble like Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. Berry ignites his rock standard “Johnny B. Goode,” delivering a historic performance next to “The Boss.”

Upon the news of Berry’s passing in 2017 at the age of 90, Springsteen took to social media to honor his contributions to music, calling him “rock’s greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock ‘n’ roll writer who ever lived.”

Chuck Berry (Photo: Michael Ochs)

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