Last week, I was putting together a “This Historic Day In Music” post to celebrate the anniversary of something good that happened on a January 6: the recording of “Johnny B. Goode.”
At least I thought that January 6, 1958, was the day Chuck Berry made that immortal recording.
As I looked around the internet, I was surprised to discover three dates being offered and, in several instances, an overriding amount of uncertainty.
January 6, 1958, is the date Wikipedia gives.
December 29, 1957, is the date given in the liner notes of my Chess Records Chuck Berry, His Best, Volume 1 CD and numerous websites.
February 28, 1958 is the date given in none other than: Chuck Berry: The Autobiography.
Then I discovered that who the musicians were that accompanied Chuck’s vocals and electric guitar on “Johnny B. Goode” is open for debate as well!
Specifically, is that Johnnie Johnson or Lafayette Leake on piano? Is the drummer Fred Below or Jasper Thomas?
Willie Dixon is definitely the bassist on the track.
The What and Where are definites, too: “Johnny B. Goode” is a Rock & Roll song, written (words & music) by Chuck Berry. “Johnny B. Goode,” the iconic, genre-defining recording, was made in the brand new studios of the Chess Recording Corporation at 2120 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Whatever side of the Who and When debates you take, I think any day – even (especially!) January 14, 2021 – is a great day to listen to “Johnny B. Goode.”
So, go ahead. Listen!
That will never get old.