“Maybellene” by Chuck Berry
This gold record from 1955 was Chuck Berry’s first hit and shows why this talented guitarist and showman became one of the stars and catalysts behind rock and roll. “Maybellene” was closely based on Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys’ western swing song, “Ida Red,” and featured a guitar solo that showed off Berry’s double-string bends, signaling the new sound of rock and roll. It became a racial crossover hit and was even covered by Elvis before his rise to stardom. On the song, we hear the two-beat feel (accents on 2 and 4) of Jasper Thomas’ drum groove that would become a rock and roll staple. He plays this beat without fills throughout the song, proving all you really have to do is groove well.