Johnny B. Goode
In a Nutshell
John Lennon once said, "If you were going to give rock n' roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry.'" Well, if you were going to give Chuck Berry another name, you might call him "Johnny B Goode."
About the Song
||Musician(s)||Chuck Berry (vocals, guitar), Lafayette Leake (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), Fred Below (drums)
|Album||"Johnny B. Goode" (single)|
|Producer(s)||Little "Bongo" Kraus|
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
The most recognizable song from one of the people who brought us rock n' roll is all about a small-town boy dreaming of big-city fame. It wasn't really Chuck Berry's story (he was from a middle-class part of St. Louis), but it could be argued that the history of rock n' roll
really did start "deep down in Louisiana," with the origins of the blues
. And Berry—who may have been more influential in the rise of rock n'roll than Elvis
—was just as moved by country music
and the cultural doldrums of the 1950s
as he was by the blues. It's not an exaggeration to say that "Johnny B. Goode" brings together blues and country, north and south, and, of course, black and white
to create a sound and style that changed the course of American popular music.
On the Charts
"Johnny B. Goode" peaked at #8 on the Billboard Pop Charts.
"Johnny B. Goode" was ranked #1 on Rolling Stone
's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of all time.
The song came in at #7 on Rolling Stone
's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
Chuck Berry is #6 on Rolling Stone
's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Players of All Time, and #5 on their listing of "The Immortals: The 500 Greatest Artists of All Time."
Berry received a Grammy award for lifetime achievement in 1984, and in 1986 he became one of the early inductees to the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame, according to this biography