How Chuck Berry shaped the sound of rock 'n' roll guitar

Chuck Berry
(Image credit: Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

It’s May 1951, and Sixty Minute Man by Billy Ward and His Dominoes plays on the Moondog Show. The lyrics – “I rock 'em, roll 'em all night long” – were some of the first to use the words “rock” and “roll,” and would inspire American Disc Jockey Alan “Moondog” Freed to popularize the term on his 1950s radio show. 

Freed, who often played R&B and rock records to bridge the gap between white and Black listeners, described the emerging rock 'n' roll style as a “river of music that has absorbed many streams” of music, all of which contributed to the “big beat.” 

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Guitar Gabby

Atlanta native Gabriella “Guitar Gabby” Logan is a Strategy Lawyer and proud Spelman College and Vermont Law School graduate. Her passion for perspective fueled her desire to establish TxLips Band, LLC., a global entity that triples as a TxLips Academy, TxLips Consulting Group, and an international female and gender-expansive rock collective. Logan believes it is vital for people to be well-rounded and strategic in creating careers based on passion and built off longevity. She is a contributing writer for Guitar World magazine, Governor of the Recording Academy Atlanta Chapter, and a Board Member of the Vermont Law School Alumni Association Board of Directors.