Marvin Junior

Marvin Junior, the lead singer of The Dells, has passed away.

Junior died from kidney failure and had a weak heart, his son Marvin Junior Jr. told ABC7. He says his father died surrounded by family in his home in Harvey around 3:15 pm on Wednesday afternoon.

ABC Local

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Floyd Dixon

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Floyd Dixon | Specialty Records | tc090

Jay Riggins Jr. (Floyd Dixon) was born in Texas on February 8, 1929 and died on July 26, 2006 of cancer-related renal failure. He was a pioneer of country influenced jump blues. In 1993, Dixon received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

Paul Gayten

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Paul Gayten | Juke in the back | tc091

Paul Gayten was born on January 29, 1920 and died on March 26, 1991. In 1956, after a successful career as a band leader and recording artist for other labels, he joined Chess as a talent scout, introducing Clarence Frogman Henry to the label. He produced Henry’s Chess hits. He also played piano on “Carol” by Chuck Berry. When Chess expanded its operations, Gayten moved to Los Angeles to run their West Coast office.

Billy Boy Arnold

Billy Boy Arnold | Vee Jay Records | tc092

William “Billy Boy” Arnold was born on September 16, 1935 in Chicago. John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson was a neighbour and gave him harmonica lessons! He played harmonica on the March 2, 1955 recording of Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man” and recorded some tracks under his own name in the same session. The tracks were not released at the time because he was signed to Vee Jay Records.

Alberta Adams

Alberta Adams | Copyright control | tc093

Roberta Louise Osborn (Alberta Adams) was born July 26, 1917 in Indianapolis, and died on December 25, 2014, aged 97. Adams was raised in Detroit and began tap dancing in the 1930s. By 1942 she was appearing with artists including John Lee Hooker. She signed a recording contract with Chess Records in 1952, recording with Red Saunders.

Henry Gray

Henry Gray | Mami Takayama | tc094

Henry Gray was born on January 19, 1925 in Louisiana. He served in the US Army in World War 2. After demobilisation, he relocated to Chicago. He became one of the key players of blues piano. From 1952 he became one of the regular session men for Chess Records. In 1956 he joined Howlin’ Wolf’s band. In 1968 he returned to Louisiana where he has continued to play and attend blues festivals. In 1989, his home in the Baton Rouge area was destroyed by a tornado. He is understood to still be living.

Gus Jenkins

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Gus Jenkins | Funky 18 Corners | tc095

Blues and R&B pianist, vocalist and bandleader Jaarone Pharoah, born Augustus D. “Gus” Jenkins, (Gus Jenkins) was born on March 24, 1931 in Birmingham, Alabama and died on December 22, 1985. He moved to Chicago in the 1940s. Jenkins first recorded for the Chess label in January 1953, accompanied by Walter Horton and Willie Nix.