Rare & Scratchy Rock ‘N Roll

This episode salutes one of rock and roll’s legendary pioneers. Although he was rightfully renowned as an innovator, he achieved some of that acclaim by being an imitator. And he in turn was imitated, and allegedly plagiarized by other performers on their hit platters.

Controversy followed him throughout his career. He was a three-time felon, and he sued or was sued many times in civil cases. His innocent lyrics were instrumental in bridging America’s racial divide, yet his only #1 single on the rock charts was filled with not-so-innocent innuendo.

 We’ll cover his connections with the Beach Boys, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen, and many other artists, as well as how one of his records inspired another singer to compose one of the most famous songs in rock and roll history.

He was Chuck Berry, and you’ll hear all of his charted singles along with hit versions by other artists.


See Chuck Berry's complete hit singles discography on the "Musicology" page.