Simply put, there would be no rock n’ roll as we know it without Chuck Berry. Or to put it another way: rock n’ roll’s birth either would’ve been prolonged another couple decades, or its sound would’ve been dramatically different. Berry set the tone for how a guitar should sound and he laid the blueprint for rock’s lyrical structure and its shorthand that spoke directly to a young generation hungry for anything new and expansive. As Cub Koda once wrote, Elvis changed the imagery of rock but Berry created its heart and soul. Because Berry casts such a huge shadow on rock, it is easy to forget that he does have some overlooked gems—one of which is “Blues For Hawaiians,” in which his guitar is tuned to sound like a sleepy electric ukulele. It’s an instrumental track that is dreamlike and mellow as you’ll ever hear; mood music that would sound perfect coming out of any jukebox or car stereo, and music that can act as a bridge to anything on a playlist because it’s Chuck Berry and Chuck Berry goes with damn near everything.
[Editor’s note: below is the full playlist of hour three.]