Let's go to the charts. Actually Berry was as or more popular on the
Billboard R&B chart than he was on the Hot 100 chart. His hit singles
often went higher on R&B than Hot 100. He had three #1 singles on
R&B and only one #1 on Hot 100.
There were a lot of people contemporary with Berry like Fats Domino,
Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, etc. I would say of those, Berry
was likely the predominant influence on rock music, but not the sole
influence. I've noticed that when celebrities die their influence is
often exaggerated a bit.
I think it's Chuck Berry's unique guitar style, along with his vast composing skills, that made him such an outstanding influence in rock and roll music.
Mike Love said in his recent autobiography that he based his Beach Boy lyrics on Chuck Berry's style of writing. In a recent biography of Carl Wilson, it was stated that his guitar playing was primarily influenced by Chuck Berry and that the opening of Fun Fun Fun is a version of a Chuck Berry riff.
The Beach Boys style has been described as the harmonies of The Four Freshmen put over the musical style of Chuck Berry,which they actually did when they stole Sweet Little 16 and made it Surfin' USA without attributing anything initially to Chuck Berry.
Even though I had a collection of Chuck Berry original 45's when I was very young--my older brother managed to get a hold of them--I still missed out on a lot of his hit singles.
I learned the song Johnny B Goode from The Beach Boys live concert album and I learned the song Roll Over Beethoven from the Beatles Second Album. Those two songs were concert staples for my two favorite groups.