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Chuck Berry Dead at 90

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CHICAGO- JANUARY 01 Chuck Berry performs at the Congress Theater

Now that he's gone, at the age of 90 still too soon, that's one part of the legacy he leaves.

Ringo Starr quoted Berry's song Rock and Roll Music, which the Beatles covered on their album Beatles For Sale: "Just let me hear some of that rock "n" roll music any old way you use it".

Berry was 90 years old.

Using a mere three chords, syncopated with his lefty pinky forever reaching down and tapping the neck of his Gibson guitar, the son of St. Louis not only redefined music, but the very power and possibility of youth. Among his 1950s classics: "Maybellene", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Rock and Roll Music" and "Johnny B. Goode".

Ground-breaking rock and roll guitarist and pioneer, Chuck Berry has passed away. Berry switched to Mercury Records in 1966 to boost his career, but the move did little to help.

He said most people don't understand the lasting significance of Berry's contributions to music.

Presley, of course, had a major hit in the "70s with Berry's "The Promised Land", but one of the most enduring legends in the history of rock "n" roll centers around a 1958 concert in Brooklyn, New York, where disc jockey and concert promoter Alan Freed made the decision for Berry to close the show immediately after Lewis" set. "We said, 'What songs are we going to do?' He goes, 'We're going to do some Chuck Berry songs'". "He's the one who invented rock "n" roll". Dressed in a dapper white tuxedo and wielding his red Gibson guitar, Berry joined the E Street Band and dug into the opening riffs of "Johnny B. Goode".

Sir Mick Jagger also tweeted: "I am so sad to hear of Chuck Berry's passing".

Successful tours followed. He scored a few more hits with No Particular Place to Go and Memphis, Tennessee. At the time I didn't think that some of the acts I was witnessing would eventually no longer be with us, including Berry, Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, and James Brown.

Mr. Berry, who remained in good health until recently, played well into his 80s, keeping it local as he aged and playing in low-key bands.

Entitled simply "Chuck", the album is slated to be released sometime this year.

Paying tribute to Berry on Twitter on Saturday, Springsteen called him "rock's greatest practitioner, guitarist, and the greatest pure rock "n" roll writer who ever lived". Even in recent years, with Berry well past retirement age, the fire in his performance still burned bright, clearly showing why his combination of blues, country, R&B and a positive, rebellious attitude was so irresistible both to fans and fellow musicians.

Richards and all of Chuck's children will be playing his licks forever. He merged the styles with an electric energy and consummate stage showmanship, although he hesitated to say that he created rock "n" roll.

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