Checkmate- time to check out Chicago's legendary Chess Records

April 27, 2010

I've lived in Chicago for over twenty-years and I didn't go to the top of the Sears Willis Tower until a couple of years ago.‚  With Chicago being literally packed with incredible, world-renowned landmarks one would think I would go out every weekend and have something amazing and historical to do.‚  Unfortunately, it always seems to take some sort of thing, independent of the landmark, to get me outta my house and out in the world of Chicago history. Until Breeze Richardson and I decided to include a tour of legendary Chess Records as part of the Chicago Public Radio presents... Series, I had only heard of it.‚  I never realized that this place that was home to Chuck Berry, Benny Goodman, Muddy Waters, Etta James and Koko Taylor was just south of the Loop. I saw Cadillac Records and knew that the film (starring‚  Adrien Brody as Leonard Chess, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Mos Def as Chuck Berry,‚  and Beyoncƒ© Knowles as Etta James) was a biopic about Chess Records but even that didn't motivate me. But the chance to learn a 12-bar blues on my own, get a brand new harmonica, tour the studio, hear history and perspective on Chess by the Sound Opinions' hosts AND have complimentary food and beer in the courtyard afterward?‚  I'm there!‚  I mean, I have to be there - it's my job - but you know what I mean! I think that that's enough to motivate you but Breeze thinks you may want something a bit more historically relevant: In July 2000, Chicago Public Radio's Richard Steele recorded an interview with author Nadine Cohodas, author of Spinning Blues into Gold: The Chess Brothers & Legendary Chess Records.‚  Here's a recording of the interview. 000705_848-chessrecords The Legacy of Chess Records Sunday, May 23‚  3PM - 6PM 2120 S. Michigan Ave Get Tickets