Chuck Berry at the Crossroads of Teenage Rock & Roll Fanaticism and the Racial Powder Keg That Was 1950s America

Devastating news about my main man Chick Berry. He is the reason I fell in love with rock and roll when I was 5 years old. This blog is an excerpt from my MA thesis from 2010.

What I Like Is Sounds

Cleveland had plenty of nightclubs to accommodate rock and roll performers in the 1950s.  The Circle Theatre and Gleason’s Music Bar were two of the top spots for black rock and roll and rhythm and blues artists to perform for black audiences.  Bo Diddley, whom the black weekly newspaper the Call and Post referred to as “one of the foremost agents of Blues Rhythm  and of Rock ‘n Roll,” had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and Steve Allen’s Tonight Show by the time he performed at Gleason’s in January 1956.[1]  The Circle Theatre presented the Rock ‘N Roll Cavalcade in April, an event featuring Roy Brown, Little Willie John, and the Five Royales along with other acts in “the biggest parade of talent ever made across the Circle stage.”[2]  In May the Cleveland Arena hosted an “outstanding progressive Rock and Roll Show” which showcased an…

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