Chuck Berry to release new studio album at 90
Berry has music in him yet – not unlike other famous rockers such as Paul Simon and Mick Jagger, who remain creative long past retirement age.
At 90, many people think they are ready for a warm spot by the fire and a good book to read. Not so for rocker Chuck Berry, who announced plans for a new studio album on Tuesday, his 90th birthday.
With the album’s release in 2017, Mr. Berry will join the ranks of some of the world’s greatest rock and rollers who have continued innovating and creating well into their twilight years.
"This record is dedicated to my beloved [wife] Toddy," Berry said in a statement, according to Entertainment Weekly. "My darlin' I'm growing old! I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!"
Berry’s first studio album in nearly four decades, called “Chuck,” is due to be released by Dualtone Records in 2017. With son Charles Berry Jr. and daughter Ingrid Berry playing backup on guitar and harmonica, the record will be a family affair for the rock star. Longtime Berry musical affiliates Jimmy Marsala, Robert Lohr, and Keith Robinson will also be part of the action.
The rocker says that he has been working on this record for a long time. Most of the music on the album will be entirely new material, recorded by Berry.
"What an honor to be part of this new music," said Charles, Jr., in a statement. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us the Blueberry Hill Band, fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful thought-provoking time capsules of a life's work."
The elder Berry is famous for hits like “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode,” and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.
Three decades ago, Berry was already receiving lifetime accolades in the form of Grammy Lifetime Achievement awards and documentaries made in his honor.
"Chuck Berry is an enigma,'' said documentary filmmaker Taylor Hackford, maker of Berry documentary, "Hail! Hail! Rock'n'roll."
"Chuck is reclusive and very protective and devious. But underneath it all, he's an immensely talented artist – one of the most complete I've ever met.''
Yet despite his age, Berry is not alone in late-in-life musical or artistic work.
Although Paul Simon recorded his biggest hits decades ago, the rocker is still pursuing his passion today, a decade after he might have retired from another career. This summer, Mr. Simon performed at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger is also not one to take his foot off the gas pedal in old age, touring the US once again with the Stones in 2013.
Despite also being more than 70 years old, Sir Mick's fellow Brit, Paul McCartney of The Beatles fame, has evolved with the times, from British Invasion-era pop rock writer and singer to collaborating with Kanye West and Rihanna on a single in 2015.