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2018 Missouri Roots Songbook
2018 Missouri Roots Songbook


Columbia, MO — Thumper Entertainment announces the launch of a new Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival tradition. Each year, the festival management team will select one musician from the state of Missouri, who has had a significant impact on music and culture, to be inducted into a Missouri music “hall of fame,” which the festival director, Tracy Lane, has named “Missouri Roots Songbook”. The primary purpose of this new annual tradition is to encourage the young people of Missouri to take pride in the incredibly rich musical heritage of their home state. This year’s honoree is Chuck Berry.


Chuck Berry is a musical icon who established rock ‘n’ roll as a musical genre and was a pioneer in the racial integration of music audiences. Berry was born in St. Louis on October 18, 1926 and departed this world from his home on March 18, 2017. Berry was a Missourian for the entirety of his 90 years. In celebration with our 10,000 attendees and 30 bands during this year’s festival, we will recognize the historic and cultural impact that Berry’s music has had on every genre of American roots music since the release of “Maybellene” in 1955.


All of our performing artists are included in the celebration, as they are invited to perform a cover of a Chuck Berry song in their Festival sets.


Berry’s family has been invited to attend the Festival and will accept the honor from the stage during the final day of this year’s festival, which is Sunday, September 30, 2018.


Additionally, personal photos selected by Berry’s family will be displayed on the festival grounds.


Lane explained the selection for this year’s honoree: “Of course, Chuck Berry is the only choice as our inaugural honoree; he invented rock ‘n’ roll. It is my sincerest wish to grow the awareness of the incredible legacy of this man’s music and his Missouri roots for generations to come. I’m simply a proud Missourian who regards music as the beautiful thread that binds all cultures, and I want to celebrate the profound breadth and depth of Missouri’s contributions.”  


The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival, currently in its 12th year, is a three-day celebration of American roots music and highlights two of Missouri’s finest cultural offerings–blues and barbeque in  Columbia, MO. This year’s artists include The Avett Brothers, Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Greensky Bluegrass, Lake Street Dive, Trombone Shorty, Margo Price, The Mavericks, Los Lobos, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Mahal, Valerie June, Son Volt, Amanda Shires, Cactus Blossoms, Dale Watson, Ha Ha Tonka, Samantha Fish and an exciting mix of local talented performers.



It was Muddy Waters who witnessed the greatness of Chuck Berry in a performance at the Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis in early 1955 and encouraged Berry to come to Chicago to meet Phil and Leonard Chess. On May 21,1955 Berry recorded a song called “Maybellene” at Chess Studios. Phil Chess described first hearing that song, saying it was “like nothing we’d heard before. We figured if we could get that sound down on a record, we’d have a hit.” Two months later, Leonard Chess gave Alan Freed an acetate of the record while meeting with him in New York. Chess recounted the immediate response of the record, saying “By the time I got back to Chicago, Freed had called a dozen times, saying it was his biggest record ever.” Freed is most often referenced for coining the phrase “Rock and Roll,” and legend has it, he coined it to describe “Maybellene. One thing is certain, Chuck Berry is the father of rock ‘n’ roll. The rest, as they say, is history. source: The History of Rock and Roll, Volume 1


Chuck Berry’s songs have been covered by countless musicians, spanning nearly every genre of modern music including The Beatles, Count Basie, David Bowie, Carlos Santana, Peter Tosh, The Ramones, Wyclef Jean, Linda Ronstadt,  Bruce Springsteen, The Grateful Dead, Emmylou Harris and Waylon Jennings. source:


“If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”

–John Lennon


“There’s only one true king of rock ‘n’ roll. His name is Chuck Berry.”

–Stevie Wonder


“To me, Chuck Berry always was the epitome of rhythm and blues playing, rock and roll playing. It was beautiful, effortless, and his timing was perfection. He is rhythm supreme.”

–Keith Richards


“[My mama] said, ‘You and Elvis are pretty good, but you’re no Chuck Berry.'”

–Jerry Lee Lewis


“The epitome of what it is to be a rock ‘n’ roll guitar player, songwriter and singer.”

–Joan Jett


“Chuck Berry is a musical scientist who discovered a cure for the blues.”

–Anthony Kiedis


“It’s called rock now; it used to be called boogie-woogie; it used to be called rhythm and blues; and it even went through a stage of what is known as funk…names of it can vary, but music that is inspiring to the head and the foot, it’s there. Call it rock, call it jazz, call it what you may. If it makes you move, or moves you or grooves you, it’ll be here. The blues rolls on, rock steady knocks, and they all are here now and I think they all will be here from now on.”

–Chuck Berry on Ralph J. Gleason’s Jazz Casual television program in the 1960s


“Curiosity provoked me to lay a lot of our country stuff on our predominantly black audience, and some of our black audience began whispering ‘who is that black hillbilly at the Cosmo?’ After they laughed at me a few times they began requesting the hillbilly stuff and enjoyed dancing to it.”

–Chuck Berry discussing his earliest gigs at The Cosmopolitan Club in St. Louis, from his book, Chuck Berry the Autobiography


A list of awards and achievements can be found here:


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