Chuck Berry’s extraordinary life will be explored in an episode of PBS’s new primetime special, In Their Own Words, premiering tomorrow, Tuesday, July 27.
In Their Own Words, which kicked off last week with Pope Francis, the Argentian cardinal who made history by being the first pope from the Americas, examines the lives and impact of some of the most intriguing figures in recent history. Combining exclusive interviews with archival footage and each subject’s own words to help tell the story, In Their Own Words sheds light on these compelling personalities and examines their continuing influence.
In Their Own Words will stream simultaneously with broadcast and be available on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, and Chromecast.
Berry’s life is the perfect subject for this series. Says PBS: “Chuck’s Berry’s incredible life story spans more than seven decades, beginning in the clubs and bars of a deeply segregated St. Louis. In 1955, his ‘Maybellene’ rose to No.1 on the R&B chart. It then miraculously crossed over, reaching #5 on the top 100 Pop chart, ultimately birthing a renaissance in popular music we now call rock and roll. To his family, Berry was a sensitive poet and devoted family man. To others, he was a demanding and difficult artist, a ‘diabolical genius’ driven by a voracious appetite for money and a deep desire for respect and control. Abstaining from drugs and alcohol, he had a weakness for women. This episode takes a riveting ride on the Chuck Berry train, exploring the life, the legend, the music, and the man. Featured are interviews with his widow, son and grandson, along with colleagues and musicians who idolize him, including Keith Richards, Robert Cray, Slash, Darius Rucker and more.”