As part of the 17th annual American Music Masters series, Case Western Reserve University and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will honor one of music’s all-time greats: Chuck Berry.
During the weeklong celebration, “Roll Over Beethoven: The Life and Music of Chuck Berry,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Case Western Reserve will host a variety of events, including an on-campus keynote lecture Thursday, Oct. 25.
Greg Tate, an author and musician, will speak about Berry’s significance in American history during his talk, “Oh, How We Rock That American Hunger: Charles Edward Anderson/Chuck Berry and the History of Our Future.” Tate’s free, public lecture will begin Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Harkness Chapel.
Tate has authored numerous books on African American music and culture, including Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience and Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture.
Tate’s keynote lecture falls midway through the weeklong American Music Masters series, which began Oct. 22 with “Rock and Roll Night School: A Spotlight on Chuck Berry” and culminates Oct. 27 with the American Music Masters Tribute Concert at Playhouse Square’s State Theatre.
Tribute concert performers scheduled to appear include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Ernie Isley and Darryl DMC McDaniels, Joe Bonamassa, Rick Derringer, Rosie Flores, John Fullbright, David Johansen, Ronnie Hawkins, Steve Jordan, Malina Moye, JD McPherson, Lemmy Kilmister, Merle Haggard, Chuck Prophet, Vernon Reid, Duke Robillard, Ray Sharpe, Earl Slick and M. Ward.
Other events throughout the week include:
Oct. 23: “An Evening with Author Nadine Cohodas,” who will speak on the role Chess Records played in Berry’s career;
Oct. 24: A teachers’ workshop inspired by Berry’s inventive wordplay, titled “Stop and Listen”: Using Spoken Word and Slam Poetry in the Classroom;
Oct. 24: A film screening of Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll!
Oct. 25: “Oh, How We Rock That American Hunger: Charles Edward Anderson/Chuck Berry and the History of Our Future,” a talk with author Greg Tate;
Oct. 26: A live concert by the Rick Derringer Trio;
Oct. 27: The American Music Masters Conference, a reflection on Berry’s career and his impact on rock and roll music; and
Oct. 27: The American Music Masters Tribute Concert.
“American Music Masters is a signature program of the College of Arts and Sciences because it adds to the scholarship of our young but growing Rock and Popular Music Institute,” said Cyrus C. Taylor, dean of the college. “Through our partnership with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, students and faculty, along with the community, are able to dive deeply into the music legends who have shaped the soundtrack and culture of both the recent past and today. AMM engages audiences on multiple levels—whether you just want to enjoy a great concert or if you want to explore the social and societal issues that are expressed through the artists and their music.”
Berry was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He is considered a pioneer in rock ‘n’ roll music, with songs such as “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Johnny B. Goode.”
“I’m happy to be honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum,” Berry said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to reelin’ and rockin’ in Cleveland.”
American Music Masters is a co-production of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the College of Arts and Sciences that celebrates the lives and careers of artists who changed the shape and sound of American culture. Past honorees include Les Paul, Jerry Lee Lewis and Aretha Franklin. For a full schedule of events or to order tickets, visit rockhall.com/events/american-music-masters/.