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Rock Hall Sets Chuck Berry Week for October

By Rich Heldenfels Published: July 24, 2012

The official word: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and Case Western Reserve University will honor rock and roll pioneer Chuck Berry during the 17th annual American Music Masters® series this October. Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry, a weeklong celebration, will tell the story of one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. Berry has had a lifetime of brilliant musicianship and has inspired nearly every rock artist to date.

“I’m happy to be honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,” said Chuck Berry. “I’m looking forward to reelin’ and rockin’ in Cleveland.” Berry will attend the tribute concert to accept the award and will perform.

“Chuck Berry created the language of rock and roll,” said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “We stand on his foundation, and we are thrilled to honor him and welcome him to Cleveland.”

The annual program begins on Monday, October 22, and will feature interviews, panels, films and educational programs throughout the week, including a keynote lecture at Case Western Reserve University. On Saturday, October 27, a conference will be held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, exploring Berry’s impact on popular music. The tribute concert will be held Saturday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m. at PlayhouseSquare’s State Theater in Cleveland. Ticket information will be announced in the coming weeks. Sign up for the Rock Hall’s e-newsletter to be alerted when tickets will go on sale at A limited number of VIP packages beginning at $250 are available by contacting or (216) 515-1207.

The series is sponsored by Republic Steel and Panasonic Automotive.

About Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry is the poet laureate of rock and roll. In the mid-Fifties, he took a fledgling idiom, born out of rhythm & blues and country & western, and gave it form and identity. A true original, Berry crafted many of rock and roll’s greatest riffs and married them to lyrics that shaped the rock and roll vernacular for generations. He has written numerous rock and roll classics that have been covered by multitudes of artists and stood the test of time. In all essential ways, he understood the power of rock and roll – how it worked, what it was about and who it was for.

While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Berry arguably did more than anyone else to put the pieces together. For the complete Chuck Berry biography written by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, visit:

Each year, the American Music Masters® series explores the legacy of a pioneering rock and roll figure in a range of events that includes Museum exhibits, lectures, films, a major conference and a tribute concert benefiting the Rock Hall’s education programs. Drawing together experts, artists, fans and friends, these events provide new perspectives on the most beloved and influential musicians of the past century.

The tribute concert brings together a diverse mix of artists and musical styles, and as a result, many magical moments have taken place over the years. In 2004, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss performed onstage together for the first time to honor Lead Belly. The pair was awarded the highest honors of Album of the Year for Raising Sand and Record of the Year for "Please Read the Letter" at the 51st annual Grammy awards. Honoree Jerry Lee Lewis, who was not scheduled to perform at the 2007 concert, was moved to take the stage at the end of the show. Lewis tenderly played the piano and sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. At the first American Music Masters tribute concert, Bruce Springsteen set the bar high and performed in honor of Woody Guthrie. The most star-studded and unique performance by a trio was Aretha Franklin, Solomon Burke and Elvis Costello paying tribute to Sam Cooke in 2005. In 2008, a 93-year-old Les Paul took the stage with his trio and then led an epic jam with some of rock and roll’s greatest guitarists, from Jennifer Batten to Slash. Janis Joplin was honored in 2009 by Grammy winner Lucinda Williams with a song she composed especially for the occasion, and in 2010, Dave Bartholomew brought down the house with a performance in tribute of honorees Fats Domino and Bartholomew himself. In 2011, Aretha Franklin was not planning to perform, but at the last minute she requested a piano and took the stage to perform Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” which she recorded in 1974.


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