Chuck Berry Gets Statue In St. Louis

chuck Chuck Berry Gets Statue In St. Louis

The last time we saw [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Chuck Berry[/lastfm] in the news was over this past New Year’s weekend when we were worried for his well being.  The news today is way better.

This past New Year’s Day Chuck Berry looked faint and had to leave the stage during a performance at the Congress Theater. When an ambulance was spotted outside the venue it was easy to imagine bad news. It turns out the 85 year old Rock and Roll inventor was simply overworked and exhausted. He returned to his lifetime hometown of St. Louis and was fine during his next performance.
This week in St. Louis Chuck was honored with a statue. A plaza in the Delmar Loop entertainment district of St. Louis features illuminated walls with laser-engraved musical notes of “Johnny B. Goode”. Concrete strips in the sidewalk are etched with the lyrics of Berry songs, and now an eight foot tall statue in his honor. Chuck still performs monthly across the street from the statue at Blueberry Hill. His next show there will be on August 17. At the unveiling this week Chuck said, “I won’t keep you long, I don’t know how to speak, I just sing a little bit. I’m going to say thank you again, and I love you all.” Chuck then joined his wife, children, grandchildren and fans in singing one of his biggest hits, “Johnny B. Goode.”

  • Katie A. Jones

    Awesome news, both about Chuck’s well-being and the long overdue statue tribute to the RnR pioneer. I long lived in St. Louis & St. Charles County, MO (where Chuck’s “Berry Park” home is located), and got to know in depth some of the characters, stories and places behind his songs. We acknowledge the confluence of Blues and Country in his music, but don’t often think of Chuck’s blustery Rock & Roll as Folk music, but it’s a natural extension of the storyteller tradition…all connected. Chuck’s many too-crazy-to-be-true stories are, indeed, TRUE! (A good biography is well worth the time.) “Johnny B. Goode” = Johnnie Johnson, ace piano player in his band. “Carol” = well-known St. Louis streetwalker whose assets would regularly stop traffic around the clubs he’d play. (A friend of mine knew Carol and witnessed Chuck write that song at a club date, story verified.) Some of the tales I don’t dare relay here!! Chuck was not and is not a hero, but a rather rascally flesh-and-blood man who has sampled a lot of life along the way. Suffice to say that the stories are true, St. Louis and Chuck Berry are deeply linked, the tribute statue represents more than a tourist nod…and of course “Reelin’ And Rockin” ain’t about staying up all night dancin’. “My Ding-A-Ling”??? Not gonna go there…
    P.S. Hey Chicago…Recognizing our music icons and places is vital to our collective history. Proper preservation and recognition of Chess Records and Record Row is overdue. (WXRT has done a great job with spreading the word, including Terri Hemmert’s July 11 & 12 WWRT blog postings on Chess/Record Row…great info & videos.)
    — Katie Jones, Aurora, IL (

  • Katie A. Jones

    Ah hem…Do you guys know you now work for the glorious rock station WWRT?!?! Goofed in last paragraph of first post. Terri Hemmert’s blogs…along with a wealth of other blogs and news…of course appear through fabulous WXRT!!! (It’s the heat you know…brains are fried!)
    — Katie Jones, Aurora, IL (

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