Brad Paisley paid tribute to one of his idols this weekend when he launched into an electrifying cover of the late, great Chuck Berry’s 1958 Billboard Top 5 hit “Johnny B. Goode” during his Runaway Country festival performance in Kissimmee, Florida. Paisley’s impromptu tribute came within hours of the news (which was posted in a Facebook statement) that Berry had died in his home on Saturday, at age 90.
The attached Instagram video finds Paisley singing part of the rock classic against a large backdrop displaying a photo of Berry. He struts the catwalk extending from the main stage and rips into the solo on his electric guitar as fans cheer and scream around him.
The Grammy-winning country music superstar is clearly immersed in the moment as the crowd chants along with him during the infectious, indelible chorus. Together they shout, “Go! Go Johnny Go!”
“Johnny B. Goode” impressively made the Top 10 of Rolling Stone’s 2010 ranking of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, coming in at No. 7. The song was also recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock.
Paisley joins an elite list of artists who have covered the song, either during a live show or via a recorded cover version. The Beatles recorded their own rendition of it in 1964 and Jimi Hendrix scored a posthumous hit with his version of it when it reached No. 35 on the UK Singles Chart in 1972.
Fellow country artist Buck Owens topped Billboard’s Hot Country Sides with his 1969 version. Berry’s original version was the second single (behind “Maybelline”) from his 1959 third studio album Chuck Berry Is On Top. It hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot R & B Sides Chart and is considered by fans and critics alike to be one of Chuck Berry’s greatest career hits and one of the most recognizable tracks in rock and roll history.
Paisley isn’t the only music artist to pay homage to Berry with a “Johnny B. Goode” cover in the wake of his passing. Bon Jovi also covered the song at the band’s March 18 concert in Columbus, Ohio.
Brad Paisley’s highly-anticipated 11th studio album Love and War featuring some hot guest appearances from Johnny Cash and Mick Jagger is slated to drop on Apr. 21. Stay tuned to AXS for Brad Paisley updates.