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Posts Tagged ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’

At number 7 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs is “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry. This song was recorded in January 1958 and released at the end of March that year. It opens with one of the most recognisable opening guitar riffs in music, made even more famous to the post-1950s generation by the scene in the movie “Back to the Future” where Michael J. Fox’s character plays it at a school concert. The song got to number 8 in the US singles chart, and was one of the fist rock ‘n’ roll songs by a black artist to be listened to by white audiences.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 7 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Johnny B Goode” by Chuck Berry.



The song is autobiographical, about a poor boy done good. Although Berry embellished some of the ideas. He was not from New Orleans Louisiana, but rather from St Louis, and he could read and write. The next biggest star to Elvis in the 1950s; unlike Presley; Berry wrote his own songs. He had a string of big hits in the late 1950s. His career took a bit of an enforced hiatus in 1962 when he was imprisoned for transporting a fourteen-year-old girl across state lines. When he was released in 1963 he had a few more hits; and I remember his “My Ding-a-Ling song in the later 1970s.

Berry wrote “Johnny B Goode” whilst on tour, he said the riff had been inspired by a 1946 song “Ain’t That Just Like a Woman” by Louis Jordan. He created the driving rhythm in the song by speeding up a standard twelve-bar blues tune and playing just on the bottom three strings.


Deep down Louisiana close to New Orleans,
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood,
Where lived a country boy named of Johnny B. Goode
Who never ever learned to read or write so well,
But he could play the guitar like ringing a bell.

[Chorus:]
Go Go
Go Johnny Go
Go Go
Johnny B. Goode

He use to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Or sit beneath the trees by the railroad track.
Oh, the engineers used to see him sitting in the shade,
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made.
The People passing by, they would stop and say
Oh my that little country boy could play

[Chorus]

His mother told him someday you will be a man,
And you would be the leader of a big old band.
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying Johnny B. Goode tonight.


Here is a video of this wonderful song. Enjoy!





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At number 18 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Maybelline by Chuck Berry. This song was recorded in May 1955 and released in the July of that year, and is one of the oldest songs on this list, illustrating Chuck Berry’s position as one of the pioneers of rock ‘n’ roll. It was his first release, and its place in being one of the founding songs of rock ‘n’ roll is secure. It was written by Chuck Berry and recorded at the legendary Chess Records in Chicago, who were one of the most important Chicago Blues music labels.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 18 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Maybellene” by Chuck Berry.



Maybellene, why can’t you be true
Oh Maybellene , why can’t you be true
You’ve started back doin’ the things you used to do

As I was motivatin’ over the hill
I saw Mabellene in a Coup de Ville
A Cadillac arollin’ on the open road
Nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford
The Cadillac doin’ about ninety-five
She’s bumper to bumper, rollin’ side by side
Maybellene

The Cadillac pulled up ahead of the Ford
The Ford got hot and wouldn’t do no more
It then got cloudy and started to rain
I tooted my horn for a passin’ lane
The rainwater blowin’ all under my hood
I know that I was doin’ my motor good
Maybellene

[Solo guitar]

Maybellene

The motor cooled down the heat went down
And that’s when I heard that highway sound
The Cadillac asittin’ like a ton of lead
A hundred and ten half a mile aheadv The Cadillac lookin’ like it’s sittin’ still
And I caught Mabellene at the top of the hill
Maybellene

[Solo guitar]

Maybellene

Maybellene, why can’t you be true
Oh Mabellene, why can’t you be true
You’ve started back doin’ the things you used to do

As I was motivatin’ over the hill
I saw Mabellene in a Coup de Ville
A Cadillac arollin’ on the open road
Nothin’ will outrun my V8 Ford
The Cadillac doin’ about ninety-five
She’s bumper to bumper, rollin’ side by side
Maybellene

The Cadillac pulled up ahead of the Ford
The Ford got hot and wouldn’t do no more
It then got cloudy and started to rain
I tooted my horn for a passin’ lane
The rainwater blowin’ all under my hood
I know that I was doin’ my motor good
Maybellene

[Solo guitar]

Maybellene

The motor cooled down the heat went down
And that’s when I heard that highway sound
The Cadillac asittin’ like a ton of lead
A hundred and ten half a mile ahead
The Cadillac lookin’ like it’s sittin’ still
And I caught Maybellene at the top of the hill
Maybellene

[Solo guitar]

Maybellene

Here is a video of this great song. Enjoy!






Wich is your favourite Chuck Berry song?

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At number 19 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time is “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley. This song was released in 1956 and is cited by some as being the beginning of the rock ‘n’ roll revolution. The song was written by prolific songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and first recorded by Mae “Big Mama” Thornton in 1953. However, the Elvis Presley version is quite different, not only musically but even the lyrics are altered.



At number 30 in Rolling Stone Magazine's '500 Greatest Songs of all Time' is "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash.

At number 19 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of all Time’ is “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley.



Lyrically the song is extremely simple, but with its driving rhythm and singing style, it was very different from most of the pop songs recorded up until that time. It was the song which brought rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues to a white audience, forever changing the course of popular music.


You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
You ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog
cryin’ all the time.
Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.

When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
You ain’t never caught a rabbit
and you ain’t no friend of mine.


Here is a video of this groundbreaking song. Enjoy!




Which is your favourite Elvis song?

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