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Each program in the Impact! series puts the spotlight on the songs that have left an indelible mark on the world. Certain songs have come to define the times in which they appeared as they proved to be the catalyst for the transformation of the cultural and political landscape. Most set trends in music, fashion and dance while flouting convention and testing the boundaries of society's accepted moral values.
Besides setting the scene for the release of the song, the programs feature the song's creator(s) and explore its cultural impact and the ways that it changed the course of history. Guests include recording artists, music industry executives, cultural and political pundits and the music fans themselves for whom these songs became their life's soundtrack.
If you were going to give rock n roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.
On May 21, 1955, rock n roll history was born. On that day, Chuck Berry recorded Maybellene, a song whose influence was massive and groundbreaking. Berry took an old Western sing-style song, gave it an extra kick with his signature electric guitar licks, renamed it Maybellene and unintentionally changed the direction of American popular music and culture. Berry s guitar style influenced an entire genre of musicians and the song had so much social and cultural bearing in the transitional environment of the 1950 s, that a cultural historian refers to Chuck Berry as central to the new rock n roll generation. Anticipating and pre-dating the fusion of black and white musical styles that Elvis popularized, Berry ignited interracial rock explosions in the 50s. With Maybellene, Berry influenced a plethora of guitar players, laid the foundation for rock music, began breaking down racial barriers and defined youth culture of the 50 s.
With song clips, archive interviews with Dave Somerville (The Diamonds archive), Paul Anka, Joe Mauldin (Buddy Holly & The Crickets), John Hammond Jr., B.B. King, Bob Weir (Grateful Dead), Mike Love, Steve Howe, Ron Wood, Justin Hayward, Randy Bachman, Robbie Krieger, Jerry Lee Lewis.