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Sweet Little Sixteen


Chuck Berry

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Berry wrote this song when he was on a package tour, and came across a teenaged autograph-seeker who was insistent upon getting the autograph of each headliner on the tour. Said Berry: "She couldn't have seen one act on the show - unless it was mine!"
The Beach Boys used the melody for this song on their 1963 hit "Surfin' U.S.A.." Berry got composing credit on the Beach Boys song in the mid-'70s as a result of a plagiarism lawsuit.
Peaking at #2, it was Berry's biggest hit until "My Ding-a-Ling" was a surprise #1 hit in 1972.
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Comments (6):

Its amazing to me that the Beach Boys thaught they would get away with totally ripping off Chuck.The Melody doesn't just sound like sweet little sixteen it is the exact same.
- brian, boston, MA
In October 1961 Bobby Rydell headed a Rock n Roll Revue show in Utica, NY. Chuck Berry was on the bill, he walked on stage and plugged his guitar into a amp. The amp volume was too low for Chuck, so when he soloed on guitar he took the vocal microphone and placed in front the amp's speaker. He put on a great show, I felt a little sorry for Bobby that he had to follow him...
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
oops the song was Little Queenie on Silver Bullet Live,"sorry bout that chief",Alvin Lee's cover is correct
- billy j, san antonio, TX
Alvin Lee does a live version of this song and really rocks.(Anthology)also Bob Seger does part of this song on 'Let It Rock'(Silver Bullet Live)both are rockin
- billy j, san antonio, TX
i can see why the beach Boys got sued. the melodies are identical.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Bobby Rydell's "Kissin' Time" also borrowed heavily from the melody of "Sweet Little Sixteen". Cameo-Parkway's Bernie Lowe and Kal Mann gave no songwriting credit to Chuck Berry, and luckily escaped from a lawsuit. Brian Wilson was not as lucky, and was obliged to give full songwriting credit to Mr. Berry for "Surfin' U.S.A.".
- Rick, San Juan, United States
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