Johnny B. Goode

We’re trying something different this week: a rocking Friday Cocktail Hour. I thought it would B a Goode idea to post it early too.

Chuck Berry wrote Johnny B. Goode three years before recording it in 1958. It was a hit on both the R&B and pop charts. The B-side of the single is another oft recorded classic: Around and Around.

Johnny B. Goode is one of Berry’s most autobiographical songs. The “country boy” in the lyrics was originally “colored boy,” but it was changed to make it more radio friendly. Berry was also born in a house on Goode Avenue in St. Louis. That exhausts my knowledge of the song.

Let’s rock.

We begin with the man himself:

Johnny B. Goode is a loud and raucous song. Nobody did loud and raucous better than Johnny Winter.

Johnny B. Goode is one of the songs I saw the Dead do the most. Typically, it was the final song of a two-tune encore.

I’d never heard of Suzanne Prentice before. I saw this version listed on, liked it, and posted it. That site is my lodestar for this feature.

Peter Tosh transformed the Berry classic into a reggae classic. It may be the best of the bunch.

What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without instrumental versions of the week’s tune. This time, James Burton followed by Al Kooper.

That’s it for this week. I propose a toast to every garage band that ever jammed on Johnny B. Goode. It’s what Chuck and Keith would want. Never argue with them.