Chuck Berry – Nadine

Any Chuck Berry song is a good song. This one is from the sixties and you can tell with the smoother production.

Berry was in jail between October 1961 and October 1963 for bringing a 14-year-old Apache waitress across a state line. During his time in jail he wrote some future hits. You Never Can Tell, Promised Land, No Particular Place To Go, and this song. Nadine was released in February of 1964, the month the Beatles hit America. The Rolling Stones would follow soon after. Both bands would cover Berry’s songs and boost his catalog.

In the UK, his popularity was helped by two compilation albums released in 1962 and 1963 that peaked in the top 10 there to keep his music alive when Berry couldn’t record or tour.

Marshall Chess, who was the son of Chess founder Leonard Chess was Chuck’s road manager when he got out of jail. Marshall said that Berry looked rough when he got out and Leonard gave Marshall $100 and told him to buy Chuck some clothes. When they got back from that, Berry recorded Nadine.

Chuck Berry 1964

The lyrics to this song and most of Chuck’s songs flow so easily. If you want to know what American teenage culture was like in the 50s and early sixties…listen to Chuck Berry.

I remember Bruce Springsteen commenting about Chuck Berry. He said Chuck influenced him because Bruce started to write songs like he was really talking to people and the words flowed naturally like Chuck’s did. He mentioned the lyric:

I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back
And started walkin’ toward a coffee-colored Cadillac

Springsteen had said he never had seen a coffee-colored Cadillac but he knows what one looks like now because of Chuck’s description. The song peaked at #23 on the Billboard 100, #23 in the R&B Charts, and #23 in Canada in 1964.

Nadine

I got on a city bus and found a vacant seat,
I thought I saw my future bride walking up the street,
I shouted to the driver hey conductor, you must slow down
I think I see her please let me off this bus

Nadine, honey is that you?
Oh, Nadine
Honey, is that you?
Seems like every time I see you
Darling you got something else to do

I saw her from the corner when she turned and doubled back
And started walkin’ toward a coffee colored Cadillac
I was pushin’ through the crowd to get to where she’s at
And I was campaign shouting like a southern diplomat

Downtown searching for her, looking all around
Saw her getting in a yellow cab heading up town
I caught a loaded taxi, paid up everybody’s tab
With a twenty dollar bill, told him ‘catch that yellow cab

She move around like a wave of summer breeze,
Go, driver, go, go, catch her balmy breeze
Moving through the traffic like a mounted cavalier
Leaning out the taxi window trying to make her hear

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

34 thoughts on “Chuck Berry – Nadine”

      1. Except Keef as polluted as he was in the brain at least hooked up with woman closer to his age and didn’t sneak em over state lines lol
        ‘Little T&A’…..She’s my Little Rock n roll……

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Saw him in ’75 here; His show was pretty good, better than his rep would have it, which was ‘do an hour, take the money and run.’ Around the same time we got to see Bo Diddley- memorable- and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, less so. Still, legends, and I was naive as to their import then, so my bad.
    Music and lyrically ‘Nadine’ is outstanding, ( Like a southern diplomat!!!) I remember Lennon saying it was a great song- I’d thought it was older, late 50’s but it was out in ’64, so John must have heard it when the Beatles were really starting to roll.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee I would have loved to see.
      I’ve read where it was 50/50 on Chuck…it depended on his backup band and sometimes his mood. Glad you got the good side.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They said there has been a spike in my traffic that might…now MIGHT not be humans. Well so far this year I have not matched last year even with their ‘spike’. I emailed back and said that at the very least they could have….I don’t know….TOLD ME when it happened instead of pulling the rug.

        Like

      2. I told them that my numbers are not as high as last year and didn’t they have protection against bots????

        Like

  2. I never knew this one before but it’s from that period of my favorite songs of his so I’m not surprised I liked it. My favorites by him are C’est La Vie (You Never Can Tell) and No Particular Place to Go. I think they’re even better than the 50s ones.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I love that line! I had that line in the lyrics thing I did…
        Yea I remember that Springsteen interview in Hail Hail Rock and Roll…Springsteen was a highlight in that.

        Like

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