Chess: Way Beyond "Cadillac Records"
Let's start things off with the city's “heart beat”â€” music.
Chicago's musical roots are sunk deep in The Blues, which African-American musicians brought from the south and mixed with a new, urban, electrified sound. That special sound stretched beyond the city when a couple of impoverished Jewish immigrants began recording and distributing the music out of a space on South Michigan Avenue. Soon the Chess brothers-Phil and Leonard-and their upstart “Chess Records” became synonymous with the Blues, and set the stage for the rise of rock ‘n roll. Back in July of 2000, I sat down with author Nadine Cohodas to talk about her book “Spinning Blues Into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the legendary Chess Records.” Cohodas said it all began, out of necessity, on Chicago's South Side.