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Spinning Blues Into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records

Spinning Blues Into Gold: The Chess Brothers and the Legendary Chess Records [Kindle Edition]

Nadine Cohodas
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Sun Records gave us rock and roll, Motown Records gave us pop soul, and Chess Records gave us the blues. Chess was THE label for Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Etta James, and Bo Diddley--and in this critically acclaimed history we learn the full story of this legendary label. The greatest artists who sang and played the blues made their mark with Leonard and Phil Chess, whose Chicago-based record company was synonymous with the sound that swept up from the South, embraced the Windy City, and spread out like wildfire into mid-century America. Spinning Blues into Gold is the impeccably researched story of the men behind the music and the remarkable company they created.

Chess Records--and later Checker, Argo, and Cadet Records--was built by Polish immigrant Jews, brothers who saw the blues as a unique business opportunity. From their first ventures, a liquor store and then a nightclub, they promoted live entertainment. And parlayed that into the first pressings sold out of car trunks on long junkets through the midsection of the country, ultimately expanding their empire to include influential radio stations. The story of the Chess brothers is a very American story of commerce in the service of culture. Long on chutzpah, Leonard and Phil Chess went far beyond their childhoods as the sons of a scrap-metal dealer. They changed what America listened to; the artists they promoted planted the seeds of rock 'n' roll--and are still influencing music today.

In this illustrated eBook, Cohodas expertly captures the rich and volatile mix of race, money, and recorded music. She also takes us deep into the world of independent record producers, sometimes abrasive and always aggressive men striving to succeed. Leonard and Phil Chess worked hand-in-glove with disenfranchised black artists, the intermittent charges of exploitation balanced by the reality of a common purpose that eventually brought fame to many if not most of the parties concerned. From beginning to end, as we find in these pages, the lives of the Chess brothers were socially, financially, and creatively entwined with those of the artists they believed in.

Includes active links for all songs and albums still in-print, giving the reader the ability to sample and purchase some of the most important music of 20th century America.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2027 KB
  • Print Length: 390 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Iconoclassic Books; First eBook Edition edition (1 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0081XE4LO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chess records story 20 Jan 2014
By paul
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
very imformitive book on the chess records story,to any one interested in r&b and soul music from the fifties and sixties
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable research 16 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is rather callous to emphasise a negative for such a well researched book but the author underplays the immense effect Chess had on embryo bands of the 60s. Chess sides released on that bright & red Pye International were copiously copied by every band in the UK. Every band could play at least 1 Chuck & 1 Bo and the better ones explored Sonny Boy, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker etc.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to put down 9 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
in depth information on the best blues recording studio and artists and the two brothers and son that made it happen...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for blues fans of the fifties 19 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thanks Nadine You actually brought to life that time in the fifties in Chicago for me. As an Englishman my interest in rock n roll and blues was, at best, second-hand but I felt I actually knew Leonard Chess whilst reading this book. Now if he had recorded Elvis.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every day a school day 16 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating insight into the music and musicians that played the sound-track to my life. Not just the Blues, soul and jazz references pepper each page. Essential reading for black-music fans of all ages.
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