Today In Pop Music: October 18 – Chuck Berry – Dead Or Alive


1949 – Gary Richrath (REO Speedwagon – guitar)

1949 – Joe Egan (Stealers Wheel – ‘Stuck In The Middle With You’)

1952 – Keith Knudson (The Doobie Brothers – drums – died 2005 – pneumonia)


1964 – A productive day for The Beatles as they finished up eight songs in one day: I Feel Fine, Eight Days A Week, Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey,Mr. Moonlight, I’ll Follow The Sun, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, Rock and Roll Music, and Words of Love.

1965 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience played their first gig as a supporting band for French pop star Johnny Hallyday at the Paris Olympia.

2002 – The Ronettes lost a 15 year court battle against producer Phil Spector after  New York State’s highest court ruled they did not have the right to share money earned by Phil through the use of the group’s songs in movies, television, and advertising.  To add insult to injury, the court also substantially reduced the amount they would receive from royalties on records and compact discs.  However, they are free while Phil sits in jail for the rest of his life.

Chuck Berry is very much alive, still rockin’ and rollin’ at 87 years old!!

I met Chuck Berry once in 1983 when I emceed a months worth of concerts in Las Vegas, and he was on the bill for one of the shows.  The thing I remember is how imposing his presence was, and how big his hands were.  But her was very gracious to me, to the point I pulled out a recorder and asked if we could speak for a few minutes.  Here’s how it went.

Here’s Chuck jamming with Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.


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