NEW YORK • When you hear about surprise album releases these days, you probably think of Beyonce, Frank Ocean and Kanye West. Not Chuck Berry.
But he revealed a surprise on his 90th birthday on Tuesday, announcing he would release a new record, Chuck, some time next year.
It will be his first studio album since Rock It in 1979 and will come out on Dualtone Records, the label that has had one of the biggest indie hits in years with The Lumineers.
An announcement of Chuck had few details about the album other than that it would consist "primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced" by Berry and that it was made in studios in St Louis, Berry's hometown.
"This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy," he said in a statement, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta. "My darlin', I'm growing old. I've worked on this record for a long time. Now, I can hang up my shoes."
The band include his children - Charles Berry Jr on guitar and Ingrid on harmonica - who have played with him for years.
Berry's performance schedule has slowed recently. He collapsed during a concert in Chicago in 2011 and has not played his regular show at Blueberry Hill, a restaurant in St Louis, since 2014.
Berry's songs, such as Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven and Johnny B. Goode, are considered foundational documents in rock 'n' roll.