Friday, February 22, 2013

Chuck Berry "Back in the USA" 1965 and 1986 with Linda Ronstadt and Keith Richards

"Back in the USA" This is a great song from a bygone time in America, one part homesick love call to the center of world consumerism and another part shout-out to the cultural vibrancy of those times, times not without controversy and social distress.  But  also times with a measure of optimism that good changes for many were not too far off.

. It was composed and performed first in 1959 by Chuck Berry, the major artist who arguably first put Country-Western and Blues together into the alchemy of Rock and Roll. The song made it to Number 16 on the Billboard Charts. He grew up in St. Louis, where at one time he worked on a auto assembly line to support his family and also studied to be a cosmologist. He decided to carry out his musical dreams instead and create, along with help from Bo Diddley and Little Richard and a few others, Rock and Roll. As John Lennon said "Another name for rock and roll is Chuck Berry." In his eighties and still performing--he's in Moscow this week--here he is in two clips: the first from an episode of "Shindig" in 1965 and from a 1986 documentary with Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.   For more on Mr. Berry yesterday, today, and tomorrow,  here's his official site:

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