Guitar News

Guitarists We Lost in 2017

Chuck Berry

Berry was one of the pioneers of rock ‘n roll. He passed away on March 18. He died of natural causes at 90 years old. Cherry left a music legacy that is quite impressive. He was famous for various songs including “Johnny B. Goode” and others.

Berry was born in October 1926 in the city of St. Louis. He was exposed to music at a young age at school and church. Berry started producing hit songs in the 1950s. That included “Johnny B. Goode” 1958). His first No. 1 was “My Ding-a-Ling” (1972). Berry became popular with his smart lyrics and unique sounds. In fact, his music has affected many musicians in rock music history.

In high school Berry wasn’t interested in studying and didn’t like the strict environment. At 17 years old he dropped out of school and went to California with some friends. After serving 3 years in jail he worked as a photography and janitor. He started playing the guitar again in 1951 when a former classmate invited him to join a band. Berry became famous for his guitar skills and showmanship.

Berry was influential in the birth of rock ‘n roll in the 1950s. His song “Maybellene” hit No. 1 on R&B charts as well as a No. 5 on pop charts. In fact, the song is often considered the world’s first truly rock ‘n roll song.

Berry then recorded other singles that helped to define rock ‘n roll. After going to prison again for about nearly two years he started recording popular and game-changing songs again.

Tom Petty

Petty was best known for playing in the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He also achieved success as a solo artist and had various hits including “Free Fallin’.”

In 1950 Petty was born in Florida and started his career in the music group Mudcrutch. The band was reformed later as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Their first album was released in 1976 and launched their run of successful singles/albums that lasted decades. This includes several hit singles over the years.  Petty went on to start a solo career that was also successful. He also collaborated with several famous rock stars including Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Stevie Nicks, and Johnny Cash.Petty won 3 Grammy Awards over his music career and died in October 2017 after a heart attack.

Tom Petty was born in Florida in 1950. He learned to play guitar and liked the works of musicians like the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Petty dropped out of school at age 17 to play in a new band called Mudcrutch.

Petty later restructured his deal and signed a contract with the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They started to work on a new album that was released in November 1976. It was a blueprint for the success of their successful work in the future. The music combined a rock ‘n roll foundation with the pop sound of 60s groups like the Beatles. It also featured the voice of Petty for storytelling.