"Maybellene" is a song recorded by Chuck Berry, adapted from the traditional fiddle tune "Ida Red" that tells the story of a hot rod race and a broken romance. It was released in July 1955 as a single on Chess Records of Chicago, Illinois. It was Berry's first single release and his first hit. "Maybellene" is considered one of the pioneering rock and roll singles: Rolling Stone magazine wrote, "Rock & roll guitar starts here." The record is an early instance of the complete rock and roll package: youthful subject matter, small guitar-driven combo, clear diction, and an atmosphere of unrelenting excitement.
The song was a major hit among both black and white audiences and it was quickly covered by several other artists after its initial release. The song has received numerous honors and awards throughout the years.
The song is often misspelled "Maybelline" on several releases.
Many have considered the story of the evolution of the country song "Ida Red" important to the history of rock 'n' roll's emergence as a popular music. According to Berry, his favorite song to sing at “salt and pepper clubs” as he called them, (black and white clubs) was the country song "Ida Red", an uptempo...