You don’t have to look very hard to establish a country connection. One legendary artist has links both inside and outside of Nashville.

What do Waylon Jennings, Emmylou Harris, The Beach Boys and Johnny Rivers have in common? A man named Chuck Berry.

The catalog of hits for Berry that he performed speaks for itself. As a songwriter, other artists appreciated the messages of universal appeal and found success.

Of the four named artists, Johnny Rivers found the most commercial success with Berry’s “Memphis” reaching number 2 back in 1964. Meanwhile “Rock and Rock Roll Music” was a number 5 pop hit for Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.

Waylon Jennings took a Berry B-side called “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” to the third position on the country chart in 1969. Then eight years later Emmylou Harris sent “(You Never Can Tell) C’est La Vie” to the sixth spot in 1977.

As wide-ranging of a subset that these artists compose, Chuck Berry’s footprint in country music is extensive. We can explore that further in another edition of Country Connections.


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