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Chuck Berry: Rocker, Icon, Poet.
Adding to the already rich discussion on whether popular musicians can be poets, Stephen Akey at The Millions argues that Chuck Berry’s lyrics are more sophisticated than they first seem. In this long and detailed article (complete with music videos!), Akey lauds Berry’s word choice and his ability to measure the teenage zeitgeist of his generation. Akey writes:
For people of my parents’ generation, rock songwriting seemed a paltry thing, and they certainly would have believed that Chuck Berry lacked anything like the sophistication of Ira Gershwin or Cole Porter. That may be. But I didn’t grow up with Broadway musicals, I grew up with rock and roll, and it is to that happily debased art form that I owe my first exposure to poetry.
Check out the whole article here!