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Roll Over Bear Bryant

Berry 6
Chuck Berry changed the world of music.

Steven J. Austin is a HottyToddy.com contributor
I believe it to be the most important song in rock. When Chuck Berry released Roll Over Beethoven in 1956, it immediately began a new chapter in music history. It was all pretty simple. He told us it was time for a new type of music for us to enjoy, love, and hang on to. In eight words he said it all: “Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news.”
Berry’s version was pure rock n’ roll, no doubt, but subsequent and unique covers by The Beatles and particularly Electric Light Orchestra easily extended the song’s amazing power and essential message into other decades.
You may remember me as the guy who wrote the most popular article to appear on this website in 2013: Click here to read The 10s of Oxford.
You may also remember that I did not grow up in SEC country. In my hometown of New York City, college football really meant nothing. We grew up hearing about Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, USC, and the handful of other teams that always seemed to show up in the few bowl games that were played back then. New York City always has been, and forever will be, a professional sports town. Although he is now retired, I promise that if Derek Jeter announced he was launching a new business or getting married, it would be blasted all over the front page of the New York Post. The war on ISIS? See page 12.
Paul-Bear-Bryant
Bear Bryant changed college football but a new era began Oct. 4 at Vaught-Hemingway.

For ten years prior to my move to Mississippi I lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, home to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Duke was eight miles down the road. NC State and Wake Forest were both a short drive away. Walk up to someone on Franklin Street, the main drag in Chapel Hill and ask, “What if UNC could have three national football championships or one more NCAA basketball title, which would you want?” The response would be something like, “You’re kidding, right?” It’s always basketball in the ACC. Florida State last year…well, they were just giving the SEC a rest.
After relocating to Mississippi in 1992, it didn’t take long to learn that football here is 365/24/7. And I love it. For a variety of reasons I became an Ole Miss fan, but I really never have figured out how to root against other SEC teams when they play teams out of conference or each other. I wasn’t born here so I just don’t have that gene. I just watch, and hope Ole Miss takes care of business.
What I do have, however, is the pleasure to know that I am smack in the middle of an historic run and a likely changing of the guard for Ole Miss football. After seeing The Grove and the game on TV my friends around the country all asked, “Is it that beautiful? Are the women that amazing? Do they really have gourmet food under those tents? Is the team really that good?” Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Alabama63
How do frenzied Rebel fans and the first music lovers to hear “Roll Over Beethoven” connect?

I believe that the final whistle of the Ole Miss, Alabama game communicated the same era-changing notes that sounded across the nation when Chuck Berry strummed his closing power chord to Roll Over Beethoven. The scenes are separated by 50 years but clear in our collective conscious. As we watched Berry duckwalk off the stage and delirious Rebel fans file off the Vaught-Hemingway field hoisting goal posts over their shoulders, we all knew one thing for sure: The world had changed.
For a New York City guy like me to caught up in all of this is more fun than I can express. I wish I could write music. Maybe I’d pen a new version to Chuck Berry’s classic. I would change a few words: “Roll over Bear Bryant, and tell other coaches the news.” Click here for a video version of Chuck Berry’s classic “Roll Over Beethoven.”
Steven J. Austin writes for travel, entertainment, sports, and business publications worldwide.

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