Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland Honors Chuck Berry

Honoree Chuck Berry performs during the 2012 Awards for Lyrics of Literary Excellence at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library And Museum on February 26, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley/Getty Images)

Honoree Chuck Berry performs during the 2012 Awards for Lyrics of Literary Excellence at The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library And Museum on February 26, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Marc Andrew Deley/Getty Images)

Berry, a rock pioneer with early hits that included “Roll Over Beethoven,” ”Sweet Little Sixteen” and “Johnny B. Goode,” was in 1986 the first inductee into the Hall of Fame.  To mark the American Music Masters award presentation, the rock hall has mounted a special exhibition with items including Berry’s stage clothes, a guitar and his 1958 Chess Records recording contract.

The lineup for last night’s tribute concert honoring Berry at the State Theater included Ernie Isley and Darryl DMC McDaniels, Joe Bonamassa, Rick Derringer, Rosie Flores, John Fullbright, David Johansen, Ronnie Hawkins, Steve Jordan and Merle Haggard.

Berry, who still performs monthly at a club in suburban St. Louis, offered some advice to the performers: “Keep rocking, keep rocking. That’s two words. Next word is: Be kind to your fans.”

The rock hall’s new library and archives has a separate exhibit with items including Berry’s 1964 British tour program and a handbill promoting his appearance with the Grateful Dead in 1968.

Past American Music Masters program honorees include Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin and Woody Guthrie.

Berry, the museum’s first inductee in 1986, called the award and enshrinement in the rock hall a great honor. “You can’t get any higher in my profession than this building or this reason for this building,” he said.

article by  Thomas J. Sheeran, Associated Press via thegrio.com

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