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In the third, and final, part of a short series, trumpeterturned-record company boss. JIM SIMPSON opens his photo album again Jim's life through a lens, Part 3 Jim's life through a lens, Part 3.

CHUCK BERRY, BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME (1964) SINGER, guitarist, songwriter, duck-walker Charles Edward Anderson - Chuck Berry - is one of the three men who could rightly claim to have been responsible for the shaping of rock and roll.

Many, quite rightly, consider him to have been the most important American wordsmith of the 20th century.

Born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1926, he was one of the first musicians to be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, with the citation: "He laid the groundwork for not only the rock and roll sound, but also a rock and roll stance." The second part of the statement possibly refers to the three separate prison sentences, the first for armed robbery while still at high school in 1944.

Remarkably, despite these distractions, Chuck Berry recorded some of the greatest music of our time, enjoyed a string of hit records, influenced hundreds of bands, including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

John Lennon said: "If you gave rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry."

JERRY LEE LEWIS, THE MAYOR'S PARLOUR, WEST BROMWICH (1964) JERRY Lee Lewis, pianist, singer and songwriter was, not without good reason, known as "The Killer".

His stage performances were primitive, seemingly barely under control, anarchic but unequalled.

He is one of the three men who best embodied the spirit of rock and roll, alongside Chuck Berry and Little Richard.

Lewis was one of the stars of Sun Records in Memphis where his labelmates were Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins.

His rise to international fame was meteoric, fuelled by the massive 1957 hit Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On.

Lewis was selling more records than Elvis, but his career suffered catastrophically when his marriage to his 13-year-old cousin was made public.

The scandal caused his performance fees to plummet from $10,000 a night to $250.

He steadily rebuilt his career, however, with consistently fine recordings and legendary stage shows. His box-set All Killer, No Filler is listed by Rolling Stone in their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

SPENCER DAVIS GROUP, BULL RING MARKET (1964)/1965 SMALLBROOK QUEENSWAY (1965) SPENCER Davies was reading German at Birmingham University and playing solo Blues guitar spots at The Golden Eagle, the Winwood Brothers were in their Muff Woody Jazz Band and Pete York was working at GKN in what he delights in calling The Screw Department.

When Spencer, Steve and Muff decided to form a band and recruited Pete, they called it, somewhat unimaginatively, The Rhythm and Blues Quartette.

They met young music producer, Chris Blackwell, who had just founded The Island Music Company.

They did the deal on a handshake, a matter that was to come back to haunt them, expensively, many years later.

Chris suggested a namechange. Muff suggested The Spencer Davis Group based on the logical premise that Spencer was articulate, and the others could stay in bed while he did the interviews (Chris then told Spencer to drop the 'i' from his real name Davies). The fact that Steve was the band's featured singer, played piano, organ and guitar magnificently and was to develop into an important songwriter was not considered.

n Jim Simpson Photography Retrospective is at Havill & Travis, 14 Lonsdale Road, Harborne, Birmingham, until December 27. Open from noon to 5pm, Thursday to Saturday. Details: www.havillandtravis.com

CAPTION(S):

Rock and roll legends Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis

Steve and Muff Winwood, Pete York and Spencer Davis of The Spencer nDavis Group, on the central divider of Smallbrook Queensway in 1964
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 7, 2014
Words:593
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