Chuck Berry Special of All-Star Performances Coming to PBS

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Chuck Berry and Keith Richards from from the concert film Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll (Photo: Universal Music; used with permission)

Chuck Berry’s masterful catalog will be celebrated in a new special airing on PBS. Chuck Berry: Brown Eyed Handsome Man is a collection of performances by some of the greatest rock icons in history performing favorite songs written by the legend. Highlights include the Beatles at their first-ever concert in the U.S. performing “Roll Over Beethoven,” Jimi Hendrix taking on “Johnny B. Goode” in Berkeley, Calif., in 1970, just a few months before he passed, and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ rollicking version of “Carol” from 2011. The program opens with a performance of Berry and Keith Richards trading guitar licks from the concert film Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Other artists include Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Linda Ronstadt, Jeff Lynne and Paul McCartney. Berry himself is also featured in a number of solos and duets. Narrated by Danny Glover, Chuck Berry: Brown Eyed Handsome Man is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations beginning Sat., Feb. 29. Check local listings here.

The program spans more than four decades of riveting performances through a mix of classic, rare and not widely available footage. The Rolling Stones are shown putting their spin on “Around and Around” in front of a frenzied crowd in the U.K. Berry himself joins Springsteen and the E Street Band at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. McCartney pays homage to one of his biggest influences with an intimate 1999 performance of “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” in the 250 capacity Cavern Club in Liverpool.

All footage use has been granted by the artist or the artist’s estate and some have been provided from their personal archives. Much of it has been digitally enhanced from the original source to present it in the best possibly quality for the first time.

Watch a teaser clip for the special

Chuck Berry: Brown Eyed Handsome Man includes these performances:

“Carol” – Chuck Berry and Keith Richards
“Maybellene” – Chuck Berry
“Wee Wee Hours” – Chuck Berry
“You Can’t Catch Me” – Chuck Berry
“Around and Around” – The Rolling Stones
“Roll Over Beethoven”– The Beatles
“Johnny B. Goode” – Jimi Hendrix
“Back in the USA” – Chuck Berry and Linda Ronstadt
“Nadine” – Chuck Berry
“Sweet Little Sixteen” – Chuck Berry with Billy Kingsley & Rockin’ Horse
“Johnny B. Goode” – Chuck Berry and Bruce Springsteen
“Roll Over Beethoven” – Electric Light Orchestra
“Carol” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Brown Eyed Handsome Man” – Paul McCartney
“Let It Rock” – Chuck Berry with Billy Kingsley & Rockin’ Horse
“Memphis” – Chuck Berry with Billy Kingsley & Rockin’ Horse

Berry died March 18, 2017 at age 90.

Related: Our feature on 17 classic Chuck Berry covers

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