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25 days of christmas songs, rock 'n' roll appreciation 101

Don’t ever creep up on Chuck Berry, but you can cover his tune

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We all know the story, right? The time Keith Richards walked up behind Chuck Berry, tapped him on the shoulder only to be on the receiving end of a punch to the eye? If not, Google that story or give “Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll!” a viewing, please. You will laugh a hearty laugh to hear that story.

Chuck Berry, the king of the duck walk and 12 bar blues released “Run Rudolph Run” in 1958 as a single release on Chess Records. Melodically, this song is a twin to Chuck Berry’s 1959 single “Little Queenie.”

The lyricists, Johnny Marks (who also wrote “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”) and Marvin Brodie are credited as the primary songwriters. St. Nicholas Music marks the name as the publisher, noted on all of the numerous versions that have been recorded since Chuck Berry’s, which was the first-ever recording of the song.

The only difference on Berry’s 1958 45 single is that the writing credits cite “C. Berry Music – M. Brodie” as the songwriters.

Twenty years later–in 1978–Keith Richards takes a stab at the classic and makes it his own. It was originally released on Rolling Stones Records, with a B-side of Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come.”

“Run Rudolph Run” was re-released in 2007 by iTunes, along with an unreleased 2003 recording of “Pressure Drop” with Toots and the Maytals.

Get Keith Richards’ “Run Rudolph Run/Pressure Drop“on iTunes.

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