There aren't a whole lot of bridges to that generation of music left over. A hugely exciting time and he was at the forefront. It's funny, I always revered the guy, but I never listened to his music much besides the radio. I certainly reaped the benefit of his influence with the British invasion bands largely modeled after his style.
I was born in 1958 when Johnny B Goode was released, so I wasn't aware at the time -- but, when the Beatles covered Roll Over Beethoven and Rock and Roll Music, I became a Berry fan. The London Chuck Berry Session was an interesting live recording and includes a live version of his ONLY number 1 hit "My Ding-a-Ling" which had to be his worst hit song. Though he brought black and white fans together, the fact that his greatest songs were never chart-toppers, has to speak to the racism of the day. White audiences and record-buyers were keen on Elvis as their own rebel rocker, but not quite as much on the singer-songwriter Berry who was really a far greater influence on the development of rock music. Still, he was great enough to have cross-over fame into popular music along with mellower, more crooning black artists like Sam Cooke or Jackie Wilson. Berry was kind of where Fats Domino, Sam Cooke and Buddy Holly met, creating a sound that was unique -- peppy and bluesy at the same time -- with clear, articulate vocals and a mean guitar.
Some of my favorites: "Memphis" (a hit later for Johnny Rivers) was such a great song (probably my favorite), Brown-Eyed handsome Man, You Never Can Tell, Promised Land (covered by probably hundreds of bands) along with classics Roll Over Beethoven, Rock and Roll Music, Johnny B Goode, and Reelin' and Rockin'. School Days, Sweet Little 16 and Maybelline are probably familiar to many young people as songs they've heard just through every day pop culture.
I'd love to here from Berry fans who can recommend less well-known Berry songs.