Chuck Berry: You never can tell.

By Steven Casey (

With the sad passing of singer-songwriter Chuck Berry recently, I thought I would use this time to pay tribute to the musician. To be honest, when the news broke that Berry had passed away, my first thought was, why does that name sound so familiar?

It took a few days but thanks to the John Creedon show on RTÉ Radio 1,  I soon realised why I liked Berry. It was a surprise to me that Creedon had a wider interest in music than simply watching fiddle players and set dancers on the streets of Galway as the tv show he co-hosts might suggest. This particular evening Creedon happened to play a trio of songs before announcing the name of the band or artist. Among the trio was Berry’s “You never can tell”.

The first and probably only time, up ’til then, that I had heard “You never can tell”, was in the dance scene in “Pulp Fiction” (1994).  Do you remember it? In the scene, a 50’s style diner, similar to Eddie Rockets (or Rockin Joe’s as it is now known) Mia enters herself and her companion Vincent, in the dance competition. The scene has a real 50’s feel with all the staff dressed as American celebrities from that era. Waitresses are dressed as Marilyn Monroe and the waiters as Buddy Holly.

The song Vincent and Mia dance to? Berry’s “You never can tell”.

It is a great scene, matched impressively by Berry’s pre-recorded song. There is a great chemistry between Uma Thurman (Mia) and John Travolta (Vincent). The song, about newlyweds, could easily be about them, if Vincent was not a gun for hire and Mia, his boss’s wife.



Berry’s other hits include Johnny B. Goode (featured in Back To The Future with Michael J. Fox) and Roll over, Beethoven (from the family film, “Beethoven” about a St. Bernard which starred Charles Grodin, pictured below.

Grodin Beethoven

Do you have any questions or comments about this post? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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