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Posted: March 19, 2017

Key dates in the life of rock 'n' roll visionary Chuck Berry

FILE - In this Saturday, March 28, 2009 file photo, American guitarist, singer and songwriter Chuck Berry performs during the
FILE - In this Saturday, March 28, 2009 file photo, American guitarist, singer and songwriter Chuck Berry performs during the "Rose Ball" in Monaco. On Saturday, March 18, 2017, police in Missouri said Berry has died at age 90. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

The Associated Press

—Oct. 18, 1926: Born Charles Edward Anderson Berry in St. Louis.

—Oct. 28, 1948: Marries Themetta Suggs with whom he has four children.

—Dec. 31, 1952: Needing a replacement for an ailing musician for a New Year's Eve show, pianist/bandleader Johnnie Johnson calls acquaintance Berry.

—May 1, 1955: Berry signs with Chess Records.

—May 21, 1955: Berry records "Maybellene," his version of "Ida Red."

—Aug. 1, 1955: "Maybellene" reaches No. 5 on Billboard's Best Sellers chart, goes on to top R&B chart.

—June 30, 1956: Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" hits No. 2 on the R&B chart, No. 29 on pop chart.

—May 1957: Berry's first album, "After School Session," released; single "School Day" reaches No. 3 on pop chart.

—Feb. 24, 1958: Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" released. Weeks later, reaches No. 2 on Billboard's pop chart and tops the R&B chart.

—June 14, 1958: "Johnny B. Goode," his tribute to Johnson, makes the Top Ten.

—1962: Convicted of transporting a minor girl across state lines.

—June 1, 1966: Berry leaves Chess for Mercury Records. Re-signs with Chess in 1970.

—May 1, 1972: "The London Chuck Berry Sessions" released, including novelty song "My Ding-a-Ling." Album becomes Berry's best seller, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard chart.

—1973: Johnson leaves Berry's band.

—June 1, 1979: Berry performs at White House at President Carter's request, months before serving several months in prison on tax evasion.

—Feb. 26, 1985: Berry given Lifetime Achievement Award at annual Grammy Awards.

—Jan. 23, 1986: Berry inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

—1987: Release of "Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll," the documentary of the Fox Theatre concert in St. Louis to celebrate Berry's 60th birthday.

—1988, 1989: Berry sued for allegedly punching a woman in New York and later for allegedly videotaping women secretly while they were using the restroom at his St. Louis-area restaurant.

—1996: Berry begins performing monthly at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room in St. Louis.

—November 2000: Berry sued by Johnnie Johnson, who seeks share of royalties on songs he co-wrote with Berry but were credited to Berry alone.

—April 13, 2005: Johnnie Johnson dies following dismissal of lawsuit, resumption of his and Berry's friendship, and a few more concerts together at Blueberry Hill.

—Oct. 18. 2016: Berry announces on his 90th birthday that he plans to release his first album since 1979, called "Chuck," sometime in 2017. A specific release date isn't set.

—March 18, 2017: Berry dies at his home in suburban St. Louis.

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Source: Interviews and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cleveland.


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