Bob Dylan once called Chuck Berry the “Shakespeare of rock and roll.” John Lennon said Berry’s name was synonymous with rock and roll itself.
In honor of what would have been Berry’s 95th birthday on Oct. 18, Dualtone Records is releasing Live From Blueberry Hill, a collection of songs pulled from his 17-year run of hometown performances at the famed St. Louis restaurant, Dec. 17.
Encompassing the rock n’ roll legend’s shows at Blueberry Hill, the performances were recorded between July 2005 and January 2006 and features Berry in the later years of his life, playing through classics like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “Sweet Little Sixteen” as well as “Bio” off of his 1973 album of the same name, “Mean Old World,” originally released in 1972 as part of The London Chuck Berry Sessions, and “Nadine (Is It You?),” released in 1964.
The performances came together in 1996 when Berry said to Joe Edwards, owner of Blueberry Hill, which opened in 1972, “You know, Joe, I’d like to play a place the size of the ones I played when I first started out.”
After deciding that Blueberry Hill was the place for these shows, Edwards built The Duck Room, a new stage named after Berry’s signature stage move. Throughout the next 17 years, Berry would perform 209 shows with his “Blueberry Hill Band,” the longest-running band in his 60-year career, consisting of longtime Berry collaborators and family members, including daughter Ingrid Berry on harmonica and son Charles Berry, Jr. on guitar, along with bassist and bandleader Jimmy Marsala, pianist Robert Lohr, and drummer Keith Robinson.
Throughout the years, artists like Lorde, Motorhead’s Lemmy, Robbie Robertson of The Band, fellow St. Louis native Nelly, and more made the pilgrimage to St. Louis to see Berry perform. He would play his final show at The Duck Room on Oct. 15, 2014, nearly three years before his death in 2017.
The first member inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Berry is also a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Kennedy Center Honor.
In celebration of his 95th birthday, Gibson is also releasing a limited-edition Chuck Berry 1970s ES-355 in Wine Red, a re-creation of a 1978 Gibson ES-355, his favorite go-to guitar.
Live From Blueberry Hill Track List
Roll Over Beethoven
Rock And Roll Music
Let It Rock
Carol / Little Queenie
Sweet Little Sixteen
Around And Around
Mean Old World
Johnny B. Goode