Chuck Berry

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Chuck Berry Born

1926

Chuck Berry born in St. Louis, Missouri.

Chuck Berry released from Algoa reformatory

1947

Chuck is released from Algoa Reformatory after serving three years of a ten year sentence for armed robbery.

Johnnie Johnson asks Chuck to be a replacement ailing saxophonist.

1952

Needing a replacement for an ailing saxophonist for a New Year’s Eve show, pianist/bandleader Johnnie Johnson asks Chuck for a hand.

“Thirty Days” hits #8 on the R&B chart.

1955

“Thirty Days” hits #8 on the charts.

'Maybellene' reaches #5 of the charts for 11 weeks.

1955

"Maybellene" is released. It will reach #5 on the pop chart and top the R&B chart for 11 weeks.

Chuck lands a contract with Chess Records.

1955

Chuck gets a record contact and releases his first hit, 'Maybellene'.

“Roll Over Beethoven” enters the charts.

1956

“Roll Over Beethoven” enters the charts, where it will make it at #7.

Chuck Berry buys 30 acres of farmland outside Wentzville, Missouri,

1957

Chuck Berry buys farmland outside Wentzville, Missouri, that he will develop into Berry Park.

“Rock and Roll Music,” by Chuck Berry, enters the pop chart.

1957

'Rock and Roll music' will peak at #8 pop and #6 R&B.

“School Day" tops the R&B chart for the first of five weeks.

1957

His first LP, After School Session, is released this month as well

“Johnny B. Goode,” Chuck Berry’s all-time rock and roll classic is released

1958

“Johnny B. Goode” hits #8 pop and #5 R&B.

“Sweet Little Sixteen,” Chuck Berry's biggest hit, is released.

1958

“Sweet Little Sixteen,” reaches #2 on Billboard's pop chart and top the R&B chart for three weeks.

Chuck Berry’s Berry Land Amusement Park opens outside St. Louis.

1961

Chuck Berry’s Berry Land Amusement Park will shut down later this year after Berry’s arrest on a morals charge.

Chuck Berry is released from prison on his 37th birthday.

1963

Chuck Berry is released from prison after serving two years of a three-year sentence. He had been convicted for violating the Mann Act, forbidding transportation of a minor across state lines for purposes of prostitution.

Berry sues the Beach Boys.

1963

"Surfin' U.S.A.," by the Beach Boys, enters the Top 40, where it will peak at #3. Berry later sues and receives a songwriting credit, citing copyright infringement.

No Particular Place to Go” enters the charts.

1964

No Particular Place to Go” enters the charts, where it will peak at #10 pop and #9 R&B.

'Dear Dad' enters Billboards Hot 100

1965

“Dear Dad” will peak at #95 pop and #90 R&B. It will be Berry’s last charting single for seven years

Chuck Berry signs with Mercury Records.

1966

signing with Mercury Records, ends an 11-year association with the Chess label.

Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade is released.

1967

Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade is a compilation of his classic hits for Chess Records.

Chuck Berry signs with Chess Records

1970

1970 Chuck Berry signs for a second time with Chess Records, his original label.

The London Chuck Berry Sessions is certified gold (500,000 sold) by the RIAA.

1972

The single “My Ding-A-Ling” received a similar certification six weeks earlier.

"My Ding-A-Ling” tops the pop chart.

1972

"My Ding-A-Ling” is his first and only Number One pop hit.

The London Chuck Berry Sessions is released.

1972

The London Chuck Berry Sessions became Berry's highest-charting album, reaching #8.

Rock It is released on Atco Records.

1979

It is the rock and roll pioneer’s last album of new material to date.

1979 Chuck Berry performs at the White House at the request of President.

1979

A month later, Berry begins serving a five-month sentence at California’s Lompoc Prison Camp for tax evasion.

Chuck Berry receives a Lifetime Achievement Award.

1984

Chuck Berry receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual Grammy Awards. He is cited as "one of the most influential and creative innovators in the history of American popular music."

Chuck Berry is inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame.

1986

Inducted at the first induction dinner. His presenter is Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Child-abuse charges against Chuck Berry are dropped.

1990

He receives two years of probation on a misdemeanour marijuana-possession charge.

Chuck Berry performs for the Rock and Roll hall of fame

1995

Backed by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Berry performs "Johnny B. Goode" and "Rock and Roll Music" at the Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Chuck Berry receives the Kennedy Center Honors.

2000

Chuck Berry receives the Kennedy Center Honors at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. His fellow honorees are Mikhail Baryshnikov, Placido Domingo, Angela Lansbury and Clint Eastwood.