Themetta “Toddy” Suggs
Themetta “Toddy” Suggs is the long time wife of Rock and Roll pioneer, Charles Edward Anderson Berry, better known as Chuck Berry.
Berry who recently turned 90, announced he will be releasing his first LP in 38 years and dedicated it to none other than his long time companion, Themetta “Toddy” Suggs.
“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said in a statement. “My darlin’, I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”
A statement read.
Themetta “Toddy” Suggs and Berry have been married for a whooping 68-years. The two have four children — Ingrid Berry Clay, Chuck Berry Jr., Aloha Isa Lei Berry and Melody Exes Berry. She also goes by Themetta Suggs Berry.
Charles Berry became an enormously popular figure within rock & roll. The guitarist was also a major influence on the new young rock bands changing music and culture.
Born in 1926, Berry started off a vocal performer inspired by Nat “King” Cole. During his debut performance in high school, he sang a song called “Confessin’ The Blues” that was considered edgy for the time and place.
From there, Berry picked up guitar, first working independently to pick up basics and then learning more rudimentary fundamentals from his friend Ira Harris.
Berry married married Themetta “Toddy” Suggs on October 28, 1948.
Between 1948 and 1955, Berry worked as a janitor at the Fisher Body auto assembly plant, trained to be a hairdresser at the Poro School, freelanced as a photographer, and assisted his father as a carpenter. All the while beginning his career as a musician.
By 1952, he was confident enough to have joined a club band.
The year after, Berry linked up with the Sir John’s Trio, which featured pianist Johnnie Johnson and performed at St. Louis’ Cosmopolitan Club.
The charismatic Berry came into his own with this combo but it was in 1955 on a visit to Chicago to investigate the city’s blues scene, that his fortunes improved.
During this visit he met Leonard Chess, the founder of Chess Records. Berry presented him with a demo that featured the song “Maybellene” and offered him a record deal.
He released a string of enduring, landmark songs over the next half-decade. His career came to a halt when he was convicted for having improper relationship with an underage girl. He spent time in prison in the early ’60s and was released in 1963.
He continued to tour for decades having memorable performances, however his studio efforts would never be as influential as they once were.
Berry was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.