Chuck Berry is gone, but he left behind a parting gift for fans: a "sensational" new album, "Chuck." The first single will be released in a matter of weeks, reports the Associated Press.
The 90-year-old pioneer of rock and roll continued to perform regularly at the Blueberry Hill club in St. Louis, not far from his home just outside the city where he died Saturday. Owner Joe Edwards raved about the "sensational" new tracks he's previewed and his longtime friend. "What a genius," Edwards said.
"Chuck" will be Berry's first studio album since "Rock It" in 1979. The first musician to ever write and sing about a car as if it were a girl ("Maybellene"), Berry built rock's early foundation with rollicking songs like "Roll Over Beethoven," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Carol" and "Johnny B. Goode."
Though he was a mainstay on the pop charts in the late 1950s, Berry never had a No. 1 single until a live rendition of a naughty throwaway ditty, "My Ding-A-Ling," topped the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks in October 1972.
That hit appeared on "The London Chuck Berry Sessions," the only Berry album to crack the Top 10.
Maybe "Chuck" will serve as an encore, a fitting farewell now that Berry has duckwalked into history.
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