Chess Treasures

Back in the 1960s my local record shop, which was in a basement, got flooded, and some of the LPs in stock got a bit damp – so I managed to get a copy of an LP on the legendary Chess label, “Pieces of Chess”, which had been lovingly curated by the late Mike Raven, for just ten bob. The cover had dried out and the record inside the sleeve was untouched.

The Chess label ran from the 1940s to the 1970s and put out hundreds of classic blues, jazz, jump, rhythm and blues, soul, gospel and rock records. Some of them were produced by Chess themselves; some of them were leased and some of them were picked up from other smaller local companies for national and international distribution. The contribution to music made by Chess Records is enormous.

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Leonard, Phil and Marshall Chess. Copyright details being sought


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