CHUCK BERRY AND HIS ST LOUIS BAND 2009 UK TOUR    The legendary Chuck Berry returns to the UK  for a full nationwide tour  with special guests at every show    Chuck Berry's music has transcended generations. He earns respect to   this day because he is truly an entertainer. Berry, also known as   "The Father of Rock & Roll", gained success by watching the   audience's reaction and playing accordingly, putting his listeners'   amusement above all else. For this reason, tunes like "Johnny B.   Goode," "Maybellene" and "Memphis" have become anthems to an   integrated American youth and popular culture. Berry is a musical   icon who established rock and roll as a musical form and brought the   worlds of black and white together in song.    Born in St. Louis on October 18, 1926 Berry had many influences on   his life that shaped his musical style. He emulated the smooth vocal   clarity of his idol, Nat King Cole, while playing blues songs from   bands like Muddy Waters. For his first stage performance, Berry chose   to sing a Jay McShann song called "Confessin' the Blues." It was at   his high school's student musical performance, when the blues was   well-liked but not considered appropriate for such an event. He got a   thunderous applause for his daring choice, and from then on, Berry   had to be onstage.    GUITAR LESSONS    Berry took up the guitar after that, inspired by his partner in the   school production. He found that if he learned rhythm changes and   blues chords, he could play most of the popular songs on the radio at   the time. His friend, Ira Harris, showed him techniques on the guitar   that would become the foundation of Berry's original sound. Then in   1952, he began playing guitar and singing in a club band whose song   list ranged from blues to ballads to calypso to country. Berry was   becoming an accomplished showman, incorporating gestures and facial   expressions to go with the lyrics.    It was in 1953 that Chuck Berry joined the Sir John's Trio   (eventually renamed the Chuck Berry Combo), which played the popular   Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis. Country-western music was big at the   time, so Berry decided to use some of the riffs and create his own   unique hillbilly sound. The black audience thought he was crazy at   first, but couldn't resist trying to dance along with it. Since   country was popular with white people, they began to come to the   shows, and the audience was at some points almost 40 percent white.   Berry's stage show antics were getting attention, but the other band   members did their parts as well. In his own words: "I would slur my   strings to make a passage that Johnnie (Johnson) could not produce   with piano keys but the answer would be so close that he would get a   tremendous ovation. His answer would sound similar to some that Jerry   Lee Lewis's fingers later began to flay."    SOME GOOD ADVICE    Later in 1955, Berry went on a road trip to Chicago, where he chanced   upon a club where his idol, Muddy Waters, was performing. He arrived   late and only heard the last song, but when it was over he got the   attention of Waters and asked him who to see about making a record.   Waters replied, "Yeah, Leonard Chess. Yeah, Chess Records over on   Forty-seventh and Cottage." Berry went there on Monday and discovered   it was a blues label where greats like Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley   recorded. He didn't have any tapes to show, but Chess was willing to   listen if he brought some back from St. Louis. So Berry went home and   recorded some originals, including the would-be "Maybellene," then   called "Ida May," and drove back to Chicago later that week to   audition. Much to Berry's surprise, it was that hillbilly number that   caught Chess' attention. Berry was signed to Chess Records and in the   summer of 1955, "Maybellene" reached #5 on the Pop Charts and #1 on   the R&B Charts. Through Chuck Berry, Chess Records moved from the R&B   genre into the mainstream and Berry himself was on his way to stardom.    THE REST IS HISTORY    Berry continued his success with such hits as "Brown-Eyed Man," "Too   Much Monkey Business," "Memphis," "Roll Over, Beethoven!" and "Johnny   B. Goode." "Johnny B. Goode" is Berry's masterpiece, as it brought   together all the elements of Berry's unique musical sound. It   cemented his place in rock history and led to fame in the 1950s. His   popularity garnered him television and movie appearances and he   toured frequently.    Berry's incredible success is due to his ability to articulate the   concerns and attitudes of his audience in his music. At the height of   his success, Berry was a 30-year-old black man singing to a mostly   white, teenage audience. Dubbed the "Eternal Teenager," Chuck Berry's   knowledge of the pop market made it possible for him to break color   barriers and play to an integrated audience.    In the 1960s and 1970s, Berry's music was the inspiration for such   groups as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Berry had a number of   comeback recordings and in 1972 had the first and only #1 Pop Chart   hit of his career with "My Ding-A-Ling. 1986 fittingly saw him   inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the very first   inductee in history. As a tribute to his pervasiveness in the realm   of rock, a clip of "Johnny B. Goode" was chosen to be played in the   Voyager I spacecraft, proving Chuck Berry and his rock legacy are   truly out of this world.    19.11.09 - Sheffield - Octagon   20.11.09 - Manchester - Palace Theatre   21.11.09 - Liverpool - Olympia Theatre   22.11.09 - Newcastle - Journal Tyne Theatre   23.11.09 - Glasgow - O2 Academy   24.11.09 – Leeds - Town Hall   25.11.09 - Birmingham - Alexandra Theatre   26.11.09 – Oxford - New Theatre   27.11.09 - London - Hammersmith Town Hall   28.11.09 - London - Troxy Limehouse   29.11.09 - Southend - Cliffs Pavilion   30.11.09 - Bournemouth - Pavilion Theatre   01.12.09 - Newport - Newport Centre   02.12.09 - Swansea - Brangwyn Hall    Tickets from    Competitions can be arranged for tickets.  
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