Chuck Berry Remembers Call From Cousin About White Kid Playing 'Johnny B. Goode'

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Chuck Berry Remembers Call From Cousin About White Kid Playing 'Johnny B. Goode'

WENTZVILLE, MO—In a shocking revelation that turns a half century of rock-and-roll history on its head, legendary musician Chuck Berry recalled Monday how he got the idea for his iconic song "Johnny B. Goode"—believed for decades to have been written by Berry himself—after listening to a white teenager playing it over the telephone. "I'll never forget that night back in 1955 when I got the call from [cousin] Marvin [Berry] saying, 'Chuck, this is that sound you've been looking for!'" recounted Berry, explaining that his cousin was playing an "Enchantment Under The Sea"–themed high school dance when the mysterious teen, Calvin Klein, took to the stage and single-handedly invented rock and roll as we now know it. "Marvin held up the phone and I heard the song that would make me famous. Then I stole it."