Chuck Berry: 20 Essential Songs

"Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven" and other masterpieces that laid the groundwork for rock & roll as we know it

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"Wee Wee Hours" (1955)

It took Berry only about an hour, by his own estimation, to write "Wee Wee Hours," the bluesy B side to "Maybellene." His inspiration for the song was bluesman Big Joe Turner's smooth "Wee Baby Blues," a romantic declaration of love at first sight – "I was in love with you, baby/ Way before I learned to call your name," Turner sang. Similarly, Berry's song is a tribute to a woman named Margie he met and fell in love with as a teenager when he was playing music for the USO. "In a wee little room, I sit alone and think of you," he sings. "Blues are simple and only seem to need the lyrics of a lonely confession to be put to music," he wrote of the song in his autobiography. "It took the memory of one of the evenings that I didn't get to see Margie at her window to put the words together and the tune is anybody's cry for companionship."

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