|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Founder|| Leonard Chess |
|Status||Active in the present day (since its later incarnations)|
|Country of origin||United States|
Chess Records was an American record company established in 1950 in Chicago, specializing in blues and rhythm and blues. It was the successor to Aristocrat Records, founded in 1947. It expanded into soul music, gospel music, early rock and roll, and jazz and comedy recordings, released on the Chess and its subsidiary labels Checker and Argo/Cadet. The Chess catalogue is owned by Universal Music Group and managed by Geffen Records.
Established and run by two Jewish immigrant brothers from what was then Poland, Leonard and Phil Chess, the company produced and released many singles and albums regarded as central to the rock music canon. The musician and critic Cub Koda described Chess as "America's greatest blues label".
Chess was based at several locations on the south side of Chicago, initially at South Cottage Grove Ave.The most famous was 2120 S. Michigan Avenue, from May 1957 to 1965, immortalized by the Rolling Stones in "2120 South Michigan Avenue", an instrumental recorded there during the group's first U.S. tour in 1964. The building is now the home of Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation. In the mid-1960s, Chess relocated to a much larger building, the former home of Revere Camera Company at 320 E. 21st Street, the label's final Chicago home. Shortly before the death of Leonard Chess in 1969, the brothers sold the company.
Leonard Chess bought a stake in Aristocrat Records in 1947. In 1950, he brought his brother, Phil, into the operation, and they became the sole owners of the company. In the same year, they brought in a third partner, Evelyn Aron, and renamed the company Chess Records.
The first release from Chess was a 78 RPM single, "My Foolish Heart", backed with "Bless You", by Gene Ammons, issued as Chess 1425 in June 1950, which became the label's biggest hit of the year.
In 1951, the Chess brothers began an association with Sam Phillips, of the Memphis Recording Service, the forerunner of Sun Records.One of the most important recordings that Phillips gave to Chess was "Rocket 88", by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (the band was actually Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm), which topped Billboard magazine's R&B Records chart and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 in recognition of its influence on rock and roll. One of the most important artists that came out of Memphis was Howlin' Wolf, who stayed with the label until his death in 1976. Musical figures created for Chess by Bo Diddley, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, and others were the basis of much subsequent rock and roll. Many songs created by Chess artists were later covered by many rock artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, the Beach Boys and Eric Clapton.
In 1952, the brothers started Checker Records as an alternative label for radio play (radio stations had a policy of only playing a limited number of records from any one imprint).In December 1955, they launched a jazz and pop label, Marterry, a name created from the first names of Leonard and Phil's sons, Marshall and Terry. This was quickly renamed Argo Records, but the name was changed again in 1965 to Cadet Records to end confusion with an existing British spoken-word label.
In 1953, Leonard Chess and Gene Goodman set up Arc Music BMI, a publishing company, which published songs by many rhythm and blues artists.
In the mid-1950s, the Chess brothers received two doo-wop groups by Alan Freed, the Coronets and the Moonglows; the former group was not very popular but the latter achieved several major crossover hits including "Sincerely", which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.Several of Chess's releases gave a writing credit to Alan Freed.
During the 1950s, Leonard and Phil Chess handled most of the recording production themselves. They brought in producer Ralph Bass in 1960 to handle the gospel output and some of the blues singers. Bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon was also heavily involved in organizing blues sessions for the label and is now credited retroactively as a producer on some re-releases.During the 1960s, the company's A&R manager and chief producer for soul and R&B recordings was Roquel "Billy" Davis, who had previously worked with Motown founder Berry Gordy on songs for Jackie Wilson, Etta James, Marv Johnson and other early Motown releases.
In 1958, Chess began producing their first LP recordswhich included such albums as The Best of Muddy Waters , Best of Little Walter , and Bo Diddley .
Chess Records was also known for its regular band of session musicians who played on most of the company's Chicago soul recordings, including the drummer Maurice White and the bassist Louis Satterfield, both of whom later shaped the funk group Earth, Wind & Fire; the guitarists Pete Cosey, Gerald Sims and Phil Upchurch; the pianist Leonard Caston, later a producer for Motown; and the organist Sonny Thompson. In 1962, Chess Records was sued by Peacock Records for recording their artists Reverend Robert Ballinger and the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi.
In 1969, Chess Records established a subsidiary label in the U.K., Middle Earth Records, which was distributed by Pye Records. The subsidiary specialized in Psychedelic rock and was a joint venture with the Middle Earth Club in London. The Middle Earth label released only four albums and about a dozen singles before it closed in 1970.
The company was briefly run by Marshall Chess, Leonard's son, in his position as vice president between January and October 1969 and then as president following its acquisition by GRT, before he went on to found Rolling Stones Records.
In 1969, the Chess brothers sold the label to General Recorded Tape (GRT) for $6.5 million. In October 1969, Leonard Chess died and by 1972, the only part of Chess Records still operating in Chicago was the recording studio, Ter-Mar Studios. Following the sale of Chess to GRT, Phil left the label to run radio station WVON. In the 1970s, Chess Records and its publishing arm, Arc Music, were successfully sued by Muddy Watersand Willie Dixon for nonpayment of royalties due to them. Ter-Mar Studios operated at the 2120 S. Michigan building until its closure in 1979.
Some of the other artists who contributed to the legacy of Chess Records were the Flamingos, the Moonglows, Fontella Bass, Billy Stewart, the Dells and the Ramsey Lewis Trio.
In the early 1980s, noticing that much of the Chess catalogue was commercially unavailable, Marshall Chess was able to convince Joe and Sylvia Robinson, who ran All Platinum, to reissue the catalogue themselves under his supervision (All Platinum had been licensing selected tracks to other companies, which ultimately resulted in the disappearance of some original master tapes).The reissued singles and LPs sold well, but by the mid-80s All Platinum had fallen into financial difficulties, and the Chess master recordings were acquired by MCA Records, which itself was later merged with Geffen Records, a Universal Music imprint.
In the 1990s, MCA Records sued Charly Records for selling CDs which contained copyrighted material by Chess artists.
In February 1997, MCA started releasing eleven compilation albums for the 50th anniversary of Chess Records.
In the 2000s, Universal's limited-edition reissue label, Hip-O Select, began releasing a series of comprehensive box sets devoted to such Chess artists as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.
In July 2008, the 2008 Universal Studios fire burned down a warehouse filled with Universal Music Group recording masters, including many albums and songs released by Chess. These masters, by artists such as Chuck Berry, were "priceless" and irreplaceable; while UMG claimed at the time it had copies, later reporting questioned this, with it emerging that the masters were destroyed.
Chess Records was the subject of two films produced in 2008, Cadillac Records and Who Do You Love? . In addition to the Chess brothers, both films feature portrayals of or characters based on Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf and Etta James. Cadillac Records was directed by Darnell Martin and features an ensemble cast including Adrien Brody, Mos Def, Beyoncé Knowles and Jeffrey Wright. Who Do You Love was directed by Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and stars Alessandro Nivola playing Leonard Chess "as a complicated, driven man, hard on both his musicians and his family, yet with a real love for some of America's greatest music." The world premiere of the latter film was at the Toronto International Film Festival, September 11, 2008.
The original Chess LP series started with LP-1425 and included albums on both the Chess and the Checker labels. After 1437, the series was used exclusively for the Chess label; the Checker label switched to a 2970 series.
|LP-1425||Rock, Rock, Rock||Various Artists||soundtrack album for the motion picture of the same name featuring The Moonglows, Chuck Berry and The Flamingos|
|LP-1426||After School Session||Chuck Berry|
|LP-1427||The Best of Muddy Waters||Muddy Waters|
|LP-1428||The Best of Little Walter||Little Walter||released on Checker|
|LP-1429||Oh! Suzy-Q||Dale Hawkins||released on Checker|
|LP-1430||Look! It's the Moonglows||The Moonglows|
|LP-1431||Bo Diddley||Bo Diddley||released on Checker|
|LP-1432||One Dozen Berrys||Chuck Berry|
|LP-1433||The Flamingos||The Flamingos||released on Checker|
|LP-1434||Moanin' in the Moonlight||Howlin' Wolf|
|LP-1435||Chuck Berry Is on Top||Chuck Berry|
|LP-1436||Go Bo Diddley||Bo Diddley||released on Checker|
|LP-1437||Down and Out Blues||Sonny Boy Williamson||released on Checker|
|LP-1438||House of the Blues||John Lee Hooker||compiles tracks from 1951–52|
|LP-1439||Oldies in Hi-Fi||Various Artists|
|LP/LPS-1440||Benny Rides Again||Benny Goodman|
|LP-1441||Bunch of Goodies||Various Artists|
|LP-1442||Soulful Saxophone||Gene Ammons|
|LP-1443||In a German Beer Garden||Bob Kames at the Organ|
|LP-1444||Muddy Waters Sings "Big Bill"||Muddy Waters|
|LP-1445||Jug and Sonny||Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt|
|LP-1446||Walkin' by Myself...and Other Blues Hits of the Past||Various Artists|
|LP-1447||The Funniest Woman in the World: Moms Mabley Onstage||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1448||Rockin' at the Hops||Chuck Berry|
|LP/LPS-1449||At Newport 1960||Muddy Waters|
|LP-1450||Have I Had You Before?||Patsy Abbott|
|LP-1451||The Trial||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1452||Moms Mabley at the 'UN' '||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1453||The Loneliest Gal in Town||Little Miss Cornshucks|
|LP-1454||John Lee Hooker Plays & Sings the Blues||John Lee Hooker|
|LP-1455||Memphis Slim||Memphis Slim|
|LP-1456||New Juke Box Hits||Chuck Berry|
|LP-1457||Larry Williams||Larry Williams|
|LP-1458||Murray the K's Golden Gassers||Various Artists|
|LP-1459||Fun||Freddie & Flo Robinson|
|LP-1460||"Moms" Mabley at the Playboy Club||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1461||Murray the K's Blasts from the Past||Various Artists|
|LP-1462||Pigmeat at the Party||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1463||Moms Mabley at Geneva Conference||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1464||Jimmy McCracklin Sings||Jimmy McCracklin|
|LP-1465||Chuck Berry Twist||Chuck Berry||also released as More Chuck Berry|
|LP-1467||Anything Goes with Pigmeat||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1468||Big Bill Broonzy and Washboard Sam||Big Bill Broonzy / Washboard Sam||split album|
|LP-1469||Howlin' Wolf||Howlin' Wolf|
|LP-1470||Murray the K's Gassers for Submarine Race Watchers||Various Artists|
|LP-1471||The Best of Bobby Lester and the Moonglows||Bobby Lester and the Moonglows|
|LP-1472||Moms Mabley Breaks it Up||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1473||Rinky Dink||Dave "Baby" Cortez|
|LP-1474||Treasure Tunes from the Vault||Various Artists|
|LP-1475||The World's Greatest Clown||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1476||Dance Tunes from the Vault, Volume 2||Various Artists|
|LP-1477||Young Men Si, Old Men No||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1478||Groups of Goodies||Various Artists|
|LP-1479||I Got Somethin' to Tell You||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1480||Chuck Berry on Stage||Chuck Berry|
|LP-1481||Slappy White at the Club Harlem||Slappy White|
|LP-1482||The Funny Sides of Moms Mabley||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1483||Folk Singer||Muddy Waters|
|LP-1484||Open the Door Richard||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1485||Chuck Berry's Greatest Hits||Chuck Berry|
|LP-1486||Moms Wows||Moms Mabley|
|LP-1487||The Best of Moms and Pigmeat Volume One||Moms Mabley / Pigmeat Markham||split album|
|LP/LPS-1488||St. Louis to Liverpool||Chuck Berry|
|LP/LPS-1489||Full Bloom||Miss Jackie Ross|
|LP-1490||The Blues Soul of Johnny "Guitar" Watson||Johnny "Guitar" Watson||also released as I Cried For You|
|LP-1491||Groups of Goodies Volume 2||Various Artists|
|LP/LPS-1492||Shades of a Genius||Mitty Collier|
|LP-1493||Mr. Funny Man||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1494||Up Tight||Clay Tyson|
|LP/LPS-1495||Chuck Berry in London||Chuck Berry|
|LP/LPS-1496||I Do Love You||Billy Stewart|
|LP-1497||The Men in My Life||Moms Mabley|
|LP/LPS-1498||Fresh Berry's||Chuck Berry|
|LP/LPS-1499||Unbelievable||Billy Stewart||also released as Summertime|
|LP-1500||This'll Kill Ya!||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1501||The Real Folk Blues||Muddy Waters|
|LP-1502||The Real Folk Blues||Howlin' Wolf|
|LP-1503||The Real Folk Blues||Sonny Boy Williamson|
|LP-1504||One More Time......||Moms Mabley / Pigmeat Markham||split album|
|LP/LPS-1505||If You Can't Be Good, Be Careful!||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP/LPS-1506||The Comeback||Herb Lance|
|LP/LPS-1507||Muddy, Brass & the Blues||Muddy Waters|
|LP/LPS-1508||The Real Folk Blues||John Lee Hooker|
|LP/LPS-1509||More Real Folk Blues||Sonny Boy Williamson|
|LP/LPS-1510||The Real Folk Blues||Memphis Slim|
|LP/LPS-1511||More Real Folk Blues||Muddy Waters|
|LP/LPS-1512||More Real Folk Blues||Howlin' Wolf|
|LP/LPS-1513||Billy Stewart Teaches Old Standards New Tricks||Billy Stewart|
|LP/LPS-1514||Chuck Berry's Golden Decade||Chuck Berry|
|LP/LPS-1515||Mr. Vaudeville||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP/LPS-1516||The Baroques||The Baroques|
|LP-1517||Save Your Soul, Baby!||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP/LPS-1518||Sax and the Single Girl||Charlie Chalmers|
|LP/LPS-1519||Wayne Cochran!||Wayne Cochran|
|LP/LPS-1520||Petal Pushers||Various Artists||The Bystanders - Royal Blue Summer Sunshine Day; Sounds Around - Red White And You; Pennsylvania Sixpence - Love Of The Common People; Ali Ben Dhown - Mustapha; Pinkerton's Colours - MUM And DAD; The Bystanders - Make Up Your Mind; The Traffic Jam - Almost But Not Quite There; Tony Crane - Anonymous Mr. Brown; Ali Ben Dhown - Turkish Delight; The Bystanders - Pattern People.|
|LP/LPS-1522||Heavy Heads||Various Artists|
|LP/LPS-1523||Here Come the Judge||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP/LPS-1524||The Last Request||Ben Branch and Operation Breadbasket|
|LP/LPS-1525||Moms Mabley Breaks Up the Network||Moms Mabley|
|LP/LPS-1526||Tune Me In||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP/LPS-1527||I Left My Blues in San Francisco||Buddy Guy|
|LP/LPS-1528||Heavy Heads Voyage 2||Various Artists|
|LP/LPS-1529||The Hustlers||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP/LPS-1530||Moms Mabley Sings||Moms Mabley|
|LP/LPS-1531||Fathers and Sons||Muddy Waters|
|LP/LPS-1532||Koko Taylor||Koko Taylor|
|LP-1533||Blues from Big Bill's CopaCabana||Various Artists|
|LP/LPS-1534||Pigmeat's Bag||Pigmeat Markham|
|LP-1535||Hate to See You Go||Little Walter||Chess Vintage Series|
|LP-1536||Bummer Road||Sonny Boy Williamson||Chess Vintage Series|
|LP-1537||Whose Muddy Shoes||Elmore James / John Brim||Chess Vintage Series|
|LP-1538||Door to Door||Albert King / Otis Rush||Chess Vintage Series|
|LP-1539||Sail On||Muddy Waters||Chess Vintage Series reissue of Chess LP-1427|
|LP-1540||Evil||Howlin' Wolf||Chess Vintage Series reissue of Chess LP-1434|
|LP-1544||Pop Origins Volume One||Various Artists|
|LP/LPS-1545||Moogie Woogie||The Zeet Band|
|LP/LPS-1546||Souled Out||Various Artists|
|LPS-1547||Billy Stewart Remembered||Billy Stewart|
|LPS-1548||Just a Taste||Joann Garrett|
|LPS-1549||On the Case||The SCLC Operation Breadbasket Orchestra and Choir|
|LPS-1550||Back Home||Chuck Berry|
|LPS-1551||Black Merda||Black Merda|
|LP-1552||Rocky Roberts||Rocky Roberts|
|LP-1553||They Call Me Muddy Waters||Muddy Waters|
The Chess Vintage LP series started with LP-407 and featured 9 albums released in 1970/71 with an additional three albums released in 1975.
|LP-407||Chicago Bound||Jimmy Rogers||with Little Walter and Muddy Waters recorded 1954-56|
|LP-408||Hung Down Head||Lowell Fulson||recorded 1954-61|
|LP-409||I Was Walking Through the Woods||Buddy Guy|
|LP-410||Natural Man||J. B. Lenoir|
|LP-411||Drop Down Mama||Various Artists||featuring Johnny Shines, Robert Nighthawk, Big Boy Spire, Honey Boy Edwards and Floyd Jones|
|CHV-412||Shoutin', Swingin' And Makin' Love||Various Artists||featuring Jimmy Rushing, Jimmy Witherspoon, Wynonie Harris and Al Hibbler|
|CHV-413||Rare Unissued Recordings, Vintage 1951-53||Various Artists||featuring Leo Parker, Sahib Shihab and Red Saunders|
|CHV-414||Chicago's Boss Tenors (1948-1956)||Various Artists||featuring Tom Archia, Gene Ammons, Claude McLin and Johnny Griffin|
|CHV-415||South Side Jazz||Various Artists||featuring Eddie South, Eddie Johnson, Prince Cooper, Red Saunders and Dave Young|
|CHV-416||Confessin' the Blues||Little Walter|
|CHV-417||One Way Out||Sonny Boy Williamson|
|CHV-418||Change My Way||Howlin' Wolf|
In 1971 Chess Records was purchased by General Recorded Tape, a.k.a. GRT Corporation, which consolidated both the Chess and Cadet labels into a single labeling number sequence.
|Chess CH-50001||Another Dimension||Bo Diddley|
|Chess CH-50002||Message to the Young||Howlin' Wolf|
|Cadet CA-50004||Freedom Means||The Dells|
|Cadet CH-50005||Great Female Soul Vocalists||Various Artists|
|Cadet Concept CC-50006||Hey Love||The New Rotary Connection|
|Cadet CA-50007||Occasional Rain||Terry Callier|
|Chess CH-50008||San Francisco Dues||Chuck Berry|
|Cadet CA-50009||Mystical Lady||Shirley Scott|
|Cadet Concept CC-50010||Oh What a Lovely War||Colonel Bagshot|
|Cadet CA-50011||Swahili Strut||Bobby Bryant Sextet|
|Chess CH-50012||Live at Mr. Kelly's||Muddy Waters|
|Chess CH-50013||Greatest Hits||Little Milton|
|Chess CH-50014||Power and Light||Power & Light|
|Chess CH-50015||Live and Cookin'||Howlin' Wolf|
|Chess CH-50016||Where it All Began||Bo Diddley|
|Cadet CA-50017||The Dells Sing Dionne Warwick's Greatest Hits||The Dells|
|Chess CH-50018||Basic Soul||Koko Taylor|
|Cadet CA-50019||What Color Is Love||Terry Callier|
|Cadet CA-50020||The Groover||Ramsey Lewis|
|Cadet CA-50021||Sweet as Funk Can Be||The Dells|
|Cadet 2CA-50022||The Best of the Soulful Strings||The Soulful Strings|
|Chess CH-50023||Can't Get No Grindin'||Muddy Waters|
|Cadet CA-50024||Check This Out||Jack McDuff|
|Cadet CA-50025||Lean on Me||Shirley Scott|
|Cadet CA-50026||Mr. Bojangles||Sonny Stitt|
|Chess 2CH-50027||This Is My Story||Sonny Boy Williamson|
|Chess CH-50029||The London Bo Diddley Sessions||Bo Diddley|
|Chess 2CH-50030||The Golden Age of Rhythm and Blues||Various Artists|
|Chess CH-50031||Love More Than Pride||Laura Lee|
|Chess CH-50032||Ghettos of the Mind||Bama the Village Poet|
|Chess 2CH-50033||Fathers and Sons||Muddy Waters|
|Cadet CA-50034||Teardrops in the Rain||Johnny Nash|
|Cadet 2CA-50035||Inspiration||Ahmad Jamal|
|Cadet CA-50036||Superstition||Shirley Scott|
|Cadet CA-50037||Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation||The Dells|
|Cadet 2CA-50038||It Was a Very Good Year||Ray Bryant|
|Cadet 2CA-50039||I Cover the Waterfront||Sonny Stitt|
|Chess CH-50040||Come and Get Me||Kim Tolliver|
|Cadet CA-50041||I Just Can't Help Myself||Terry Callier|
|Chess CH-50042||Etta James a.k.a. Only a Fool||Etta James|
|Chess CH-50043||Bio||Chuck Berry|
|Cadet CA-50044||Songs for Ageing Children||Dave Van Ronk|
|Chess CH-50045||The Back Door Wolf||Howlin' Wolf|
|Cadet CA-50046||The Dells||The Dells|
|Chess CH-50047||Big Bad Bo||Bo Diddley|
|Cadet CA-50048||While My Guitar Gently Weeps||Jimmy Ponder|
|Cadet CA-50049||Atlantis||Daniel Salinas|
|Cadet CA-50051||The Fourth Dimension||Jack McDuff|
|Cadet CA-50052||In the Cut||Ray Bryant|
|Chess CH-50053||You Can All Join In||The Violinaires|
|Cadet 2CA-50058||Solid Ivory||Ramsey Lewis|
|Cadet CH-50059||Cross My Heart||Billy Stewart|
|Cadet CA-50060||Satan||Sonny Stitt|
|Chess 2CH-60000||Laugh Time||Moms Mabley and Pigmeat Markham|
|Cadet CA-60001||Back to the Roots||Ramsey Lewis|
|Cadet 2CA-60002||Charlie Parker Memorial Concert||Various Artists|
|Cadet 2CA-60003||Rock Bottom||Various Artists|
|Chess 2CH-60004||Peaches||Etta James|
|Chess 2CH-60005||Got My Own Bag of Tricks||Bo Diddley|
|Chess 2CH-60006||McKinley Morganfield A.K.A. Muddy Waters||Muddy Waters|
|Cadet 2CA-60007||Ha' Mercy||Lou Donaldson|
|Chess CH-60008||The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions||Howlin' Wolf|
|Chess 2CH-60009||Moms and Pigmeat||Moms Mabley and Pigmeat Markham|
|Cadet 2CA-60010||Everything 'Bout Sax and Flute||James Moody|
|Chess 2CH-60011||Mad Man's Blues||John Lee Hooker|
|Chess 2CH-60012||Chicago Blues Anthology||Various Artists|
|Chess CH-60013||The London Muddy Waters Sessions||Muddy Waters|
|Chess 2CH-60014||Boss Blues Harmonica||Little Walter|
|Chess 2CH-60015||Blues Rock Cookbook: Montreux Festival||Various Artists|
|Chess 2CH-60016||Chester Burnette A.K.A. Howlin' Wolf||Howlin' Wolf|
|Cadet 2CA-60017||The Heatin' System||Jack McDuff|
|Cadet 2CA-60018||Inside||Ramsey Lewis|
|Cadet 2CA-60019||Cool Cookin'||Kenny Burrell|
|Chess CH-60020||The London Chuck Berry Sessions||Chuck Berry|
|Cadet CA-60021||12 X 6 The Hard Way||Various Artists|
|Cadet CA-60022||12 X 6 The Easy Way||Various Artists|
|Chess 2CH-60023||Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Volume 2||Chuck Berry|
|Cadet CA-60024||12 X 6 Volume 3||Various Artists|
|Cadet CA-60025||12 X 6 Volume 4||Various Artists|
|Chess 2CH-60026||London Revisited||Howlin' Wolf / Muddy Waters|
|Cadet CA-60027||The Dells vs. The Dramatics||The Dells / The Dramatics|
|Chess 2CH-60028||Chuck Berry's Golden Decade, Volume 3||Chuck Berry|
|Chess CH-60029||Come a Little Closer||Etta James|
|Cadet CA-60030||The Mighty, Mighty Dells||The Dells|
|Chess CH-60031||"Unk" in Funk||Muddy Waters|
|Chess CH-60032||Chuck Berry||Chuck Berry|
|Cadet CA-60033||Got to Get Your Own||Reuben Wilson|
|Chess CH-60034||American Gypsy||American Gypsy|
|Chess CH-60035||The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album||Muddy Waters|
|Chess CH-60036||The Dells Greatest Hits, Volume 2||The Dells|
|Chess CH-60037||Black Caucus Concert||Various Artists|
|Cadet 2CA-60038||Early Visions||Gene Ammons|
|Cadet CA-60039||Magnetic Feel||Jack McDuff|
|Cadet CA-60040||Never Can Say Goodbye||Sonny Stitt|
|Chess CH-60042||Music to Make Love By||Solomon Burke|
|Cadet CA-60044||We Got to Get Our Thing Together||The Dells|
William James Dixon was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. He was proficient in playing both the upright bass and the guitar, and sang with a distinctive voice, but he is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Next to Muddy Waters, Dixon is recognized as the most influential person in shaping the post–World War II sound of the Chicago blues.
McKinley Morganfield, known professionally as Muddy Waters, was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician who was an important figure in the post-war blues scene, and is often cited as the "father of modern Chicago blues". His style of playing has been described as "raining down Delta beatitude".
Muddy Waters (1913–1983) was an American blues artist widely considered to be one of the most important figures in post–World War II Chicago blues. He popularized several early Delta blues songs, such as "Rollin' and Tumblin'", Walkin' Blues", and "Baby, Please Don't Go", and recorded songs that went on to become blues standards, including "Hoochie Coochie Man", "Mannish Boy", and "Got My Mojo Working". During his recording career from 1941 to 1981, he recorded primarily for two record companies, Aristocrat/Chess and Blue Sky; they issued 62 singles and 13 studio albums.
Chester Arthur Burnett, known professionally as Howlin' Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player. Originally from Mississippi, he moved to Chicago in adulthood and became successful, forming a professional rivalry with fellow bluesman Muddy Waters. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists.
Lejzor Szmuel Czyż, best known as Leonard Sam Chess, was a Polish-American record company executive and the co-founder of Chess Records. He was influential in the development of electric blues, Chicago blues, and rock and roll.
Chicago blues is a form of blues music developed in Chicago, Illinois. It is based on earlier blues idioms, such as Delta blues, but performed in an urban style. It developed alongside the Great Migration of the first half of the twentieth century. Key features that distinguish Chicago blues from the earlier traditions, such as the Delta blues, is the prominent use of electrified instruments, especially the electric guitar, and especially the use of electronic effects such as distortion and overdrive.
Checker Records is an inactive record label that was started in 1952 as a subsidiary of Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois. The label was founded by the Chess brothers, Leonard and Phil, who ran the label until they sold it to General Recorded Tape (GRT) in 1969, shortly before Leonard's death.
Rotary Connection was an American psychedelic soul band, formed in Chicago in 1966.
"You Shook Me" is a 1962 blues song recorded by Chicago blues artist Muddy Waters. Willie Dixon wrote the lyrics and Earl Hooker provided the instrumental backing; the song features Waters' vocal in unison with Hooker's slide-guitar melody. "You Shook Me" became one of Muddy Waters' most successful early-1960s singles and has been interpreted by several blues and rock artists.
Moanin' in the Moonlight is a compilation album and the first album by American blues artist Howlin' Wolf, released by Chess Records in 1959. It contains songs previously issued as singles, including one of his best-known, "Smokestack Lightning". Rolling Stone ranked it number 477 on its 2020 list of "the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
"Hoochie Coochie Man" is a blues standard written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954. The song makes reference to hoodoo folk magic elements and makes novel use of a stop-time musical arrangement. It became one of Waters' most popular and identifiable songs and helped secure Dixon's role as Chess Records' chief songwriter.
"Wang Dang Doodle" is a blues song written by Willie Dixon. Music critic Mike Rowe calls it a party song in an urban style with its massive, rolling, exciting beat. It was first recorded by Howlin' Wolf in 1960 and released by Chess Records in 1961. In 1965, Dixon and Leonard Chess persuaded Koko Taylor to record it for Checker Records, a Chess subsidiary. Taylor's rendition quickly became a hit, reaching number thirteen on the Billboard R&B chart and number 58 on the pop chart. "Wang Dang Doodle" became a blues standard and has been recorded by various artists.
Philip Chess was a Polish-born American record producer and company executive, the co-founder with his brother of Chess Records.
"Little Red Rooster" is a blues standard credited to arranger and songwriter Willie Dixon. The song was first recorded in 1961 by American blues musician Howlin' Wolf in the Chicago blues style. His vocal and slide guitar playing are key elements of the song. It is rooted in the Delta blues tradition and the theme is derived from folklore. Musical antecedents to "Little Red Rooster" appear in earlier songs by blues artists Charlie Patton and Memphis Minnie.
The Best of Little Walter is the first LP record by American blues performer Little Walter. First released in 1958, the compilation album contains ten Little Walter songs that appeared in the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B chart from 1952 to 1955, plus two B-sides. The album was first released by Checker Records as LP-1428, which was the first LP record released by Checker, and then released on Chess Records with the same catalog number.
Cadillac Records is a 2008 American biographical drama film written and directed by Darnell Martin. The film explores the musical era from the early 1940s to the late 1960s, chronicling the life of the influential Chicago-based record-company executive Leonard Chess, and a few of the musicians who recorded for Chess Records.
The Howlin' Wolf Album is the first studio album by Howlin' Wolf, released in 1969. It features members of Rotary Connection as his backing band. The album mixed blues with psychedelic rock arrangements of several of Wolf's classic songs. Howlin' Wolf strongly disliked the album, which is noted on the album's cover art. The album peaked at number 69 on Billboard magazine's "Black Albums" chart.
The Real Folk Blues is a 1966 compilation album of Muddy Waters recordings, released on the Chess record label in January 1966. The album was the first release of The Real Folk Blues series and has since been re-released in multiple formats. The album features some of Waters' first recordings.
Super Blues is a 1967 studio album by a blues supergroup consisting of Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter. The album was released in both mono and stereo formats by Checker Records in June 1967. A follow-up album The Super Super Blues Band was released later that year and featured Howlin' Wolf replacing Little Walter.
Little Walter (1930–1968) was an American blues artist who is generally regarded as the most influential blues harmonica player of his era. Most of his earliest recordings were as a sideman, when he contributed harmonica to songs by Chicago blues musicians such as Jimmy Rogers and Muddy Waters. As the featured artist, he recorded the instrumental "Juke" in 1952. The single reached number one on the Billboard Rhythm and Blues chart and launched his career as a solo artist.