“I grew up thinking art was pictures until I got into music and found I was an artist and didn’t paint.” ~ Chuck Berry
On March 18, 2017, Rock ‘n’ Roll legend Chuck Berry passed in his home in St. Charles County, Missouri. He was known for his guitar riffs, showmanship on stage and his renowned “duck walk.” His songs defined American music and brought into the mainstream the genre of rock and roll with such hits as “Maybellene” (1955), “Johnny B. Goode” (1958), “Run Rudolph Run” (1958) and “No Particular Place to Go” (1964). Berry received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He was also listed as Time magazine’s top 10 best electric guitar players and Rolling Stones magazine’s “greatest of all time.”
Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born on October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. He was raised in a middle-class family where he developed an interest in music at an early age. Berry was influenced by Blues artists, and developed his guitar skills by studying Blues artists, such as T-Bone Walker. In 1955, Berry met Blues great Muddy Waters and signed with Chess Records. During the 1950s, Berry toured across the country and made several appearances on nationally syndicated television shows. Berry’s music influenced many up and coming artists in America and Great Britain, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
At the National Archives at Kansas City, there is a case file for US v. Charles Edward Anderson Berry (NAID 7403547) from the series Criminal Case Files, 1864-1986 (National Archives Identifier 582694). In January 1962, Berry was sentenced to three years in prison for violation of the Mann Act. The document below is the first page of the transcript of proceedings and testimony of the trial.