Johnny B. Goode

Album: Chuck Berry Is On Top (1958)
Charted: 8
  • "Johnny B. Goode" was the only rock song included on the "Golden Records" that were sent into space aboard the Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes in 1977. The identical records (one for each craft) contain folk songs from around the word, selections from Bach and Mozart, and greetings in 55 languages.

    On Saturday Night Live, Steve Martin reported that the records were received on another world, which replied with the message, "Send More Chuck Berry."

Comments: 57

  • Rockinrules from School I have to do this for school and I am just gonna ask my dad to help me instead of research lol.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1958 {June 8th} "Johnny B. Goode"* by Chuck Berry peaked at #2 {for 1 week} on Billboard's Most-Played R&B Records By Disk Jockeys chart, for the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "What Am I Living For?" by Chuck Willis...
    And also at the time, "Johnny B. Goode" was at #8 on Billboard's Best Selling R&B Records In Stores chart...
    Between 1955 to 1972 the St. Louis, Missouri native had twenty two records on the Billboard's R&B charts, thirteen made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Maybellene" for eleven weeks in August of 1955 and "School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell)" for five weeks in April of 1957...
    Chuck Berry, born Charles Edward Anderson Berry, passed away at the age of 90 on March 18th, 2017...
    May he R.I.P.
    * "Johnny B. Goode" was Chuck Berry's second of two of his records to peak at #2, his other #2 record was "Roll Over Beethoven" for one week in June of 1956...
    And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the Most-Played R&B Records By Disk Jockeys' Top 10 on June 8th, 1958:
    At #3. "Looking Back" by Nat King Cole
    #4. "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters
    #5. "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by The Everly Brothers
    #6. "Twilight Time" by The Platters
    #7. "Jennie Lee" by Jan and Arnie
    #8. "For Your Love" by Ed Townsend
    #9. "Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes" by Chuck Willis
    #10. "Talk To Me, Talk To Me" by Little Willie John
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1958 {April 28th} the 'Alan Freed's Big Beat Show' performed two performances at the Central High School Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Michigan...
    The seven acts below who appeared on the 'Big Beat' show had records on Billboard's Top 100 chart at the time:
    Chuck Berry, his "Johnny B. Goode" was at #11, while his "Sweet Little Sixteen" was at #50...
    Jerry Lee Lewis, his "Breathless" was at #49...
    The Crickets, their "Maybe Baby" was at #52...
    The Diamonds, their "High Sign" was at #55 plus their "The Stroll" was at #69...
    The Chantels, their "Every Night" at #65 and their "Maybe" was at #82...
    The Pastels, their "Been So Long" was at #73...
    Danny and the Juniors, their "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay" was at #87...
    Another act on the bill was Billy Ford, his duet with Lillie Bryant, "My Happiness", was at #68, but Lillie was not at the show...
    And also performing on the 'Big Beat' show were Frankie Lymon, Larry Williams, and Screamin' Jay Hawkins...
    Plus from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the Billboard's Top 10 on April 28th, 1958:
    At #1. "Witch Doctor" by David Seville
    #2. "All I Have To Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers
    #3. "Twilight Time" by the Platters
    #4. "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" by Laurie London
    #5. "Wear My King Around Your Neck" by Elvis Presley
    #6. "Return To Me" by Dean Martin
    #7. "Book of Love" by the Monotones
    #8. "Tequila" by the Champs
    #9. "Oh, Lonesome Me" by Don Gibson
    #10. "Looking Back" by Nat King Cole
  • Dave from UsThe song was covered by Judas Priest for the 1988 film, "Johnny Be Good" starring Anthony Michael Hall & Robert Downey, Jr.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm
    Legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist Chuck Berry was found dead Saturday, March 18th, 2017 at his residence outside St. Louis. Paramedics were called to the home and found the 90 year-old unresponsive and could not revive him. Born in St. Louis (not Santa Clarita, California as he said to a young lady who later became his publicist in order to impress her), he was studying to be a beautician when he traveled to Chicago and hooked up with Muddy Waters and, through him, impressed Leonard Chess of Chess Records. An adaptation by Chuck of the country tune "Ida Red" that he called "Maybellene", became a #5 hit for him in 1955. Chuck never looked back, racking up such hits as "Sweet Little Sixteen" (#2-1958), "School Day" (#3-1957), "Rock & Roll Music" (#8-1957) and "Johnny B. Goode" (#8-1958). Amazingly, his only #1 hit was the live recording in London of the risque tune, "My Ding-A-Ling" in 1972. Along the way, Chuck (who was incarcerated in 1944 for armed robbery) was jailed for taking an underaged girl across state lines for an immoral purpose in 1963 and income tax evasion in 1979. He was an original inductee of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1986 and was given a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1984. His recording of "Johnny B. Goode" was included on a 'golden record' sent along with the Voyager I spacecraft which is presently outside our solar system.
    May he R.I.P.
  • Steve Napier from California Chuck Berry died today at age 90. What a loss...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 8th 2008, Rolling Stone magazine published its list of the 'Top 50 Guitar Songs' of all time...
    "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry was ranked at #1*...
    Exactly fifty years earlier on June 8th, 1958 the song was at #18 on Billboard's Top 100 chart; two weeks earlier on May 25th, 1958 it had peaked at #8 {for 1 week} and stayed on the chart for 15 weeks...
    * Rounding out the Top 5 were "Purple Haze" by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Crossroads" {live version} by Cream, "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar".
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 16th 1972, Chuck Berry, accompanied by John Lennon, performed "Johnny B. Goode" on the syndicated TV program 'The Mike Douglas Show'...
    Fourteen years earlier on April 22nd, 1958 it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #8 and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #2 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    John Lennon, who was co-hosting the Douglas show, made the statement 'If rock and roll was known by another name, that name would be Chuck Berry'...
    R.I.P. Mr. Lennon (1940 - 1980), Mr. Douglas (1920 - 2006), and Charles Edward Anderson Berry celebrated his 87th birthday four months ago on October 18th (2013).
  • Mike from Newhall , CaIt is funny how Berry always said said the white artists and promoters ripped him off yet here he does the same to the man who helped get him to where he is today
  • Brian from Boston, MaIn terms of guitar playing no one was more influential on bands like the Stones and the Beatles than Chuck Berry.In my opinion if not for Chuck rock and roll as we know it would have a whole different sound
  • Hank from Boston, MaTo rebutle - Alan, London, England & answer - Chris, Arvada, CO - Michael J Fox did NOT record this for the movie. Mark Campbell II is the one who played it. Check imdb for Campbells credit. Hope this clears up some stuff.
  • Steve Hobbs from Santa Clarita, CaActually, Chuck Berry's Grandfather lived in a Louisiana, in a log cabin, back up in the woods in the evergreens... which is here he developed he line. I don't think Chuck ever went there, but that's how Chuck's Mother explained in to him... She also was the one responsible for developing the line, someday your name will be in lights, saying Johnny B. Goode tonight. Although, I'm sure she used her sons name, Charles/Chuck.
  • Drew from B'ham, AlWhat about "I guess you guys weren't ready for that. But your kids are gunna love it!"? And "Chuck... it's Marvin. ... You don't know your cousin Marvin Berry? ... You know that new sound you've been looking for? Well, listen to this...!" Anyone remember Marvin holding the phone toward Marty?
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiathis song is still a huge rocker after so many years..... yeahhhh.... go johnny go......
  • Ted from Phoenix, AzTo Gene in Hammond, IN: The only "king of rock and roll" I ever heard of was the late Elvis Presley. Chuck Berry's nickname is just as good: "The father of rock and roll." And while Chuck plays a lot of lead guitar in this song, it was his rhythm guitar work that inspired musicians such as Keith Richards.
  • Nick from Indianapolis, InI just rated this song 4 stars, because although it does not have an extreme beat or a huge twist, it tells a deep story and that tells me that that it's not all too bad.
  • Ewan from Hereford, United Kingdomim writing an essay about this song, and comparing 2 recordings of it. does anyone know who recorded the version used in back to the future? my a level depends on it!
  • Lozza from Sydney, Australia"alright this is a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes and try and keep up ok?"

    anyone recognize that?
  • Guy from Woodinville, WaThis is it folks, the ultimate rock 'n' roll song of all time. As John Lennon so wisely stated, "If rock 'n' roll had another name, it would be Check Berry.
  • Thang from Led Zep, Viet NamGreat song. My band cover it many times
    It's really great.. Dream of becoming a huge star
  • Jeffery from Myrtle Beach, ScWhy does it say Chuck Berry is dead? He is not dead. I seen him a few months ago at a concert. Anyway Chuck Berry is the founder of rock 'n' roll and this is one of the best rock songs ever.
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United States"Well, it's an oldie where I come from." "Marty, that was quite interesting music." I love Back To the Future! By the way Ray, what don't you like about Elvis? OK, let's don't go on a tangent. For a few years when I first heard this song, I thought it was about someone telling Johnny to behave ("Johnny, Be Good!"). But no, that's his name. This song is usually played in B-flat minor, but I'd prefer that it get played in B minor. Marty McFly shifts from B-flat minor to E minor (opposite key on the Key Wheel). Did Marty not know what other chords to play at that point? Oh yeah, the Beach Boys have an identical intro in "Surfin' USA" and, even more, in "Fun, Fun, Fun!", except that both of those are played in D-sharp minor (E minor is easier to play). Long live Chuck Berry!!
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmJeeves I know who said that It was John Lennon I watched it on You Tube.
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmThis song is Flipping awsome and I memeeized it. Got it in my heart!
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaAwesome, awesome song.
  • Alan from London, EnglandTo Answer your question Chris, I believe Michael J. Fox played the guitar part in that. He was the actor who played Marty McFly and before he bacame an actor he had always wanted to be a rock & roll guitarest--so its not very far fetched of an idea to have him play it.
  • Jeeves from Dc, Dcsomeone said if rock and roll had another name itd be chuck berry
  • Chris from Arvada, CoSo who actually played the lead part on Johnny B. Goode in BttF? Marty McFly is not a real person. And... who sang lead?
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyI have an album called "Chuck Be Covered" where other artists do their takes on Chuck Berry's greatest hits. Reggae singer Peter Tosh does a great twist on Johnny Be Good, making Johnny a reggae singing "Jamaica boy" instead of a rock-and-roll "country boy".
  • Larry from Knoxville, TnEveryone stole guitar riffs from chuck. Surfing USA by the Beach Boys has an almost identical intro to one of Chuck Berry's songs
  • Marsha from Fort Worth, TxJimi Hendrix performed this song at The Berkeley Community Center, California on May 30, 1970.
    -Marsha, Houston, TX
  • Louie from Phoenix, AzSupposedly, Chuck liked to use an e string for this g string, which would let him bend the hell out of the string for his most famous lick. I'm not sure if this is true. Keith Richards says Chuck has uncommonly large hands which would allow him to reaech the flattened 7ths he used a lot of his songs.

    All in all...the greatest guitar player ever, or at least certainly the one who had it all...looks, singing abililty, personality, a signature "gimmick" (ie the duckwalk), and not least of all, songwriting ability...but not just songwriting ability, but he literally created a lyrical vision of America that was popular then, but has become frozen in time as representative of a golden age, before the sissy, un-American rich white drugg addles pansies had to ruin everything for all the generations to come (except for the Stones and the Raiders).
  • Danny from Sydney, AustraliaThe Judas Priest version is so over the top...it rocks hard.
  • Ray from Stockton, NjThis song in my opinion better than Rock and Roll Music but Chuck Berry is that King of Rock and Roll, not Elvis(i hate him) or the beatles ( i love them).
  • Devon from Westerville, OhJudas Priest covered this song on their album Ram it down. Their version is interesting compared to the original.
  • Sam from Provo, Uti love the piano in this song, not that the guitar isnt great either. Chuck Berry rocks!
  • Jordan from Moorhead, MnPhish has covered this song too.
  • Jim from Troy, Ny"It's a blues riff in B..." I'm pretty sure its in B flat. That's where I always play it anway.
  • Angus from Ransomville, Nyi love this song, but i agree with alan about chuck berry being the "true" king of rock and roll. he was definetly one of the most influencial, but not so much as to be called "king"
  • Alan from Grande Prairie, Alberta, CanadaThe male anthem to the early days of rock and roll. Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue being the female equivalant. As far as Chuck Berry being the real king of rock and roll I beg to differ. As great as Berry is no argument but name me one rock ballad he ever sang. Holly on the other hand could sing Rave On or That'll Be The Day and come back with True Love Ways or Well Alright. Songs all covered by British rock bands. Even Holly's cover of Berry's Brown Eyed Handsome Man is better than Berry's own version. Reached #1 in England in '63.
  • Dana from Biloxi, MsWhat fledgling wanna be rock guitar player has not been inspired to learn at least one lick from this classic?
  • Ken from Louisville, KySaturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" mentioned NASA sending this song on the Voyager mission. In their "news report", they said that the reply from "extra-terrestials" that intercepted Voyager was "Send more Chuck Berry!".

  • Gordon from Glasgow, Scotlandthe beatles version is on the bbc sessions double cd
  • Gordon from Glasgow, Scotlandac/dc covered it with bon scott
  • Joseph from Atlanta, GaYou have to admit, the style of Chuck Berry certainly
    did have a big influence on decades of musicians to come.

    Side note:This is also one of my favorite Karaoke songs to sing
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI meant "Roll Over Beethoven".
  • Brian from La Mesa, CaThe Voyager Space Probe has a gold LP disk on it with 27 songs from around the world, not just the US. They include a flute piece from Japan, gamelan from Indonesia, Beethoven's 5th, folk music from Peru, and an Indian raga, among others. "Johnny B. Goode" was chosen to represent, along with a Louis Armstrong song, American popular music. Quite an honor.
    "Send more Chuck Berry!"
  • Sam from Edinburgh, Scotlandthink you might have missed Judas Priest off the list of covers... its brilliant. really.
  • Ross from Independence, MoThis is #7 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
  • Dan from Jefferson Township, NjAlso covered by John Denver on his self-titled album.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Scthe song was covered by the Beatles. I didn't know that, and Ive been a huge beatles fan for a while. The Beatles did do songs by chuck berry, like "Poll Over Bathoven".
  • Victor from Vienna, Vawhat music should always be like
  • Tim from Milestone, CanadaThis is a great early rock song, ya gotta love Chuck Berry, also the last night in the first verse is: But he could play a guitar just like a ringin' a bell

    not

    But he could play the guitar just like a ringin' a bell
  • Erik from Elm Grove, WiGrateful Dead also covered this song
  • Gene from Hammond, InMany rock artists have been dubbed "The King of rock 'n' roll" or "King of pop". In my humble opinion as a musician for nearly 40 years, Mr. Chuck Berry TRULY deserves the nickname "King of Rock 'n' Roll". Few, if any, guitarists have had such a profound influence on many guitar players. Catch Chuck in the made for TV movie "American Hot Wax"...Chuck saves the day and performs even after he's told he can't be paid for the gig. Chuck is "THE MAN"!
  • Ken from Boise, IdThe word "go" is repeated in the song 45 times, (I read it in a trivia book and sat down and counted it to be certain).
  • Randy from Beaumont, TxIn his autobiography, Berry says that his mother actually told him "..someday your name will be in lights..."
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