Starting today, the Chuck Berry Database is online. You'll find links to the database on top of all pages of the main text as well as in the menu to the right of this article. Or simply click HERE
What is the 'Database'? The Chuck Berry Database contains the full and most accurate information about the musical works of Chuck Berry. This includes the full session data such as date, location or recording takes. It includes the full musicians listings for each song and recording. It has release information which tells you where to find a specific recording. And much more!
The database is much more than a full listing. It not only gives a chronological overview. Concurrently it cross-references all the data which allows you to query for instance all the different recordings of Johnny B. Goode
. Or to find out which recordings Willie Dixon played bass on.
The database is an international joint work by Fred Rothwell, England, by Morten Reff, Norway, and by myself, located in Germany. Also collaborating were Thierry Chanu, France, Arne Wolfswinkel, the Netherlands, and Claude Schlouch, France, plus there was help from record collectors and readers of this page world-wide.
It was a tremendous work to collect all the data in the database and to take it to a structure which allows you to get answers to almost any question regarding the music of Chuck Berry.
The database project started in the late 1970s, early 1980s. I had a first access to computers and wrote a summary from all the session and recording data which I found on records and in books. By the end of the 1980s I had my own personal computer and database (dBase 2 running on CP/M). All the session data available then was put into the database with the goal to publish it as a book at some time. Over many years the project stalled as I was busy with family and work.
Then I learned to know Fred and Morten. Both were working on similar projects, and both had much more data and knowledge than I had. From then on we exchanged letters, later emails and combined our research. In the end, Fred published his "Long Distance information - Chuck Berry's Recorded Legacy" which was much more than a sessionography with lots of well-written comments about each recording. Morten published his four-volume "The Chuck Berry International Directory". Again this was much more than just a discography. It was THE complete and commented discography about all of Chuck Berry's records published world-wide. And I created the "Collector's Guide to the Music of Chuck Berry" on the Internet with hundreds of pages, this blog and much more.
Since the release of Fred's book, further recordings surfaced. When Fred wrote the sessionography for the huge 16-CD Bear Family box, readers learned about many additions over the previously published data. And when you look at the database now, you will find even more data and a lot of changes over those two print-versions.
The Chuck Berry database contains what Fred, Morten and I believe is the most up to date and most accurate report of Chuck Berry's recorded legacy. Whenever new information comes up, such as a new record or some new recording details, we will integrate it into the database soon. Therefore this will be the ultimate Chuck Berry sessionography.
If you have wishes for future extensions of the database or if you have reliable data that is missing or incorrect here, don't hesitate to contact us! Until then: Enjoy!