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Inspiration from the Life of Chuck Berry


Chuck Berry lived from 18 October 1926 to 18 March 2017. He was one of the best guitar players of his time. He was also a songwriter and a singer. Many people recognize him as a pioneer of rock & roll music. His most famous songs include Maybellene (1955), Rock & Roll Music (1957), and Johnny B. Goode (1958). In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him as the fifth greatest musician of all time. Unfortunately, many people do not know much about this amazing guitar player apart from his songs. Here are a few facts about Chuck Berry.


Chuck Berry Went To Prison Several Times

Chuck’s upbringing was better than what most black children faced at that time, but he still got into trouble. More specifically, the police arrested him for robbing three stores in Kansas City, Missouri in addition to carjacking. This arrest took place in 1944. Upon conviction, Chuck served his time at the Intermediate Reformatory in Algoa, Missouri. In 1947, he celebrated his release from this reform institution.

However, Chuck returned to the prison system in 1962. This time, the court found him guilty of transporting a fourteen-year-old girl across state lines for immoral purposes. For example, there were allegations of sexual intimacy between him and this minor. His appeals against this verdict failed and as such, Chuck went to jail for one and a half years. Then, in 1979, Chuck served a four-month jail sentence for tax evasion.


Music Was Chuck Berry’s Escape

Chuck had many character flaws, which led to numerous problems, but music helped him through these challenges. For example, he turned to singing as a way of coping with his imprisonment at the Intermediate Reformatory. In fact, Chuck formed a quartet that would sing within the prison walls and outside these walls.

You should note that Chuck married Themetta in 1948. The couple had their first child in 1950. During this time, Chuck worked as a factory worker, janitor, and a beautician as he tried to provide for his family. Then he started working with the local bands in St. Louis. Doing so helped him earn some extra income for his family. Eventually, music would be the answer to all his financial concerns i.e. his great escape from financial woes.


Inspiration from the Life of Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry’s life is an inspiration to many musical students because it shows them that change is possible. For example, music can be your great escape from personal flaws just as it was for Chuck Berry. Moreover, nurturing your talent and exploring it can be your gateway to a luxurious life. Remember, Chuck tried several career paths in the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Eventually, music became his most viable path to a higher standard of living than he was experiencing at that time.


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