He changed the initial lyrics he wrote for the song due to segregation
Chuck Berry releases the absolute Rock classic Johnny B. Goode on this day in 1958
Written by Chuck Berry in 1955, “Johnny B. Goode” is about an illiterate “country boy” from the New Orleans area, who plays the guitar “just like ringing a bell”, and who might one day have his “name in lights”. Released on March 31, 1958, the song was a major hit among both black and white audiences, peaking at number two on Billboard magazine’s Hot R&B Sides chart and number eight on its Hot 100 chart. It also became Berry’s signature song and a worldwide hit, influencing generations of Rockers all over. During an era of heavy segregation in the United States, Berry stated that the original wrote the lyrics referring to Johnny as a “colored boy”, but he changed it to “country boy” to ensure radio play as Afro-American artists were often left outside the mainstream radios. Chuck Berry was one of the founding fathers of Rock music, he passed away in 2017 at age 90 after a lifetime dedicated to Rock N’ Roll. “Johnny B. Goode” it’s a universal classic that will be heard for generations to come just like we listen to Mozart today.
Watch Chuck Berry performing “Johnny B. Goode” live in 1958
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