Boomer Gen Musings Blog -
"Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods among the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode...."
 
"Johnny B. Goode" is written and first recorded by Chuck Berry. On June 8th 2008, Rolling Stone magazine published its list of the 'Top 50 Guitar Songs' of all time..."Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry was ranked at #1*.
 
This song is based on Berry's life. It tells the tale of a boy with humble beginnings with a talent for guitar. Some details were changed: Berry was from St. Louis, not Louisiana, and he knew how to read and write very well. He graduated from beauty school with a degree in hairdressing and cosmetology.
 
The line "that little country boy could play" was originally "that little colored boy can play." Berry knew he had to change it if he wanted the song played on the radio, and he didn't want to alienate his white fans, who could better relate to the tale of a "country" boy.
 
Berry got the name "Johnny" from Johnnie Johnson, a piano player who collaborated with Berry on many songs, including "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Sweet Little 16." Johnson often wrote the songs on piano, and then Berry converted them to guitar and wrote lyrics.