I was sad to hear about Chuck Berry’s death last weekend.
When I worked in St. Louis two decades ago, getting an interview with Berry was a challenge for every reporter in town. He hadn’t given an interview in more than two years when I decided to give it a shot. The owner of a venue where Berry played every couple of months suggested I come to the 40th anniversary of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. The idea was the club owner would help me get an interview before the show.
That did not happen.
So I relaxed, had a couple of beers, recorded some of the concert (with some terrible acoustics).
I started talking to the guy next to me. He was a public radio fan and was really interested in a series of reports I'd done on St. Louis schools' desegregation. When I asked his name, he replied, "Charles Berry, Jr."
Yep. Chuck's son.
I told him why I was there and he made sure I got an interview after the show.
Listen to the segment that I produced above. It includes that elusive interview with the legendary Chuck Berry that aired in 1998.