Rock and roll set a whole generation free and on fire during the 1960’s. I have written before about how much influence the blues had on British and American rock and roll. We also need to appreciate where rock and roll came from. One of the leading innovators – Chuck Berry – is still alive and deserves our deep respect and appreciation. He taught us all how to have fun and enjoy life. He helped young people shake off their shackles and get happy. He sang about cars, girls and wild music. He was also one of the most gifted guitar players. He directly influenced all the best sixties bands – Beach Boys, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Animals and countless others who covered his songs. He is likely the most studied and admired musician we have known.
John Lennon said “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.” He helped us break sexual taboos and rebel against authority. Chuck Berry will soon celebrate his 85th birthday. He has had an amazing and creative life that have made us all much happier. Read what follows to learn about the many honors Chuck has received along with his impacts on music and society. There is also news about his health following an incident in Chicago last January. Learn to appreciate how his songwriting and guitar picking were truly innovative and important. Go to I-tunes or wherever to get the real deal and support this great artist. Let’s all praise rock and roll’s leading light for almost a century.
Pundits have suspected that President Obama has a hard time relating to ordinary people. He seems to be distant and aloof, hoping to remain “above the fray.” Unfortunately, he is also looking like a wimp who is afraid to fight for what progressives and liberals believe to be proper public policy. His cultural and educational background taught him to compromise and be conciliatory. However, this is not how the civil rights movement was able to make progress during the 1960’s. This is a losing strategy for dealing with the angry and aggressive tea-baggers who are holding our country hostage. As Bill Maher has stated we need a gansta (i.e., tough-black) president now more than ever!!
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are offended and concerned that America’s “first black president” would forget his roots in the African-American community. Problem is that Barack Obama has few if any connections to the legacy of slavery that has hung over the African-American community for centuries. One way to think about this is that Barack Obama never had to really feel or sing the blues (this purely American music is intimately tied to African-American heritage and community.) This article provides details on the history of the blues and its relationship to black culture. You will also learn how to write your own blues song – using my free instrumental tracks for you to sing with. I also review the wonderful book, DVD, and CD produced by Bill Wyman (former bassist for the Rolling Stones) called Blues Odyssey. Pass this on so we all can start singing and enjoying the blues.
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