Chuck Berry
Charles Edward Anderson "Chuck" Berry
Biographical information
Date of birthOctober 18, 1926
Age (1931)5
Age (1955)29
Age (1985)59
Age (2015)89
Age (2045)Deceased
Physical description
Hair colorblack
Eye colorbrown
Behind-the-scenes information

Chuck Berry (October 18, 1926March 18, 2017) was the cousin of Marvin Berry. He wrote and recorded "Johnny B. Goode".

On November 12, 1955, Marvin called Chuck to have him listen to Marty McFly playing "Johnny B. Goode", stating it was "that new sound" that he had been looking for.

Behind the scenes

While Marvin Berry was fictitious, Chuck Berry, was one of the pioneers of rock music, and had his first Top 40 hit earlier in 1955 with Maybellene. Though Berry wrote Johnny B. Goode in 1955, it would not be released until three years later. As this would seem to have created an ontological paradox, some commentators were offended by the idea that "Marty the white kid teaches Chuck Berry how to make blues-influenced black rock and roll music" [1].

Fans have pointed out that, by the time Marvin has gotten Chuck to "listen to this", Marty has departed from "Johnny B. Goode", has stopped singing, and has moved into a heavy metal jam of his own. When Marty has finished, it's clear that Marvin is no longer on the telephone with Chuck. Furthermore, the fact that Marty (who from the original timeline in which he did not go back in time) was familiar with the song indicates Chuck originally conceived of the song without any help from Marty. This is further suggested by the historical Berry's acknowledgement that the song was semi-autobiographical [2].

However, it is still possible that the Chuck Berry of Timeline 2 (created by Marty's first 1955 trip) was at least partly inspired by Marty's "new sound". One possible scenario is that Marvin, a musician in his own right, later played Chuck a sample of Marty's version of the song, to show what he'd had in mind during the phone call.



  1. C.W.E. Bigsby, The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (Cambridge University Press) p387
  2. Rolling Stone - Johnny B. Goode
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