Chess Records helped give rise to a force of nature named Chuck Berry.
Berry, the singer songwriter behind rock classics like “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene” and “You Never Can Tell,” died March 18, 2017, at his home outside St. Louis. He was 90.
In this special rebroadcast by WBEZ Presents, Sound Opinions hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot dive into the history and the legacy of Chess, a Chicago record label that changed rock n’ roll.
Read more and hear more from Sound Opinions:
- Remembering Chuck Berry
- 50 Chicago Artists Who Changed Popular Music (Part 1)
- 50 Chicago Artists Who Changed Popular Music (Part 2)
Berry released most of his best-known songs with Chess Records. Founded by brothers Leonard and Phil Chess, the label had many titans of R&B and blues on their roster, including Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Etta James, Willie Dixon and Buddy Guy. Their music went on to influence British Invasion rockers like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and many others.
In 2010, WBEZ’s Sound Opinions and a handful of WBEZ listeners visited the home of Chess Records. Click 'play' to listen to this presentation of WBEZ Presents.