Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year from Chess Treasures.

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Thanks for supporting the web site and for remembering Chess Records. As you can see, 2019 was another good year for visits to the web site. Thank you!

Paul

Remembering Koko Taylor

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Rex Features | 2007

It is ten years since blues singer KoKo Taylor died. Writing in The Independent, Paul Wadey remembered her career and influence.

Although temporarily sidelined by a near fatal road accident in the late Eighties, Taylor proved a battler. She toured exhaustively with her band, Blues Machine, continued to record and appeared in both David Lynch’s offbeat Wild at Heart (1990) and Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), a futile attempt by director John Landis to tap into the cult success of The Blues Brothers (1980). She also received a clutch of awards including, in 1997, induction into the Blues Hall of Fame and, in 2004, a National Heritage Fellowship from America’s National. She made her last public appearance in May when she performed at the Blues Foundation’s Awards in Memphis and collected a record 29th trophy from that organisation.

When asked what the blues meant to her, her reply was typical of a performer who for 50 years had consciously eschewed the stereotypically hard-living approach to life of a veteran blues musician: “Blues is my life. It’s a true feeling that comes from the heart, not just something that comes out of my mouth. Blues is what I love, and singing the blues is what I always do.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/lifeinfocus/koko-taylor-death-obituary-american-singer-chicago-blues-scene-a8955901.html

Denise LaSalle has died

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Denise LaSalle with her grand daughter, Samantha | Malaco Music Group | tc046

Singer/songwriter/record producer Denise LaSalle died on 9 January 2018.

Billboard obituary

More Chess Vinyl coming out

A new Chess Records reissue series has been announced by Third Man Records, the label and pressing plant run by Jack White.

The first releases from Chess/Third Man are three singles from Muddy Waters: ‘Manish Boy’ b/w ‘Young Fashioned Ways’, ’She’s All Right’ b/w ‘Sad, Sad Day’, and ‘Rollin’ Stone’ b/w ‘Walking Blues’.

The 7”s are available individually or as part of a limited bundle. A reissue of Muddy Waters’ 1968 LP Electric Mud has also been announced, with no release date revealed as yet.

The singles are available from Third Man

Muddy on the wall

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The Muddy Waters mural | studiokobra.com | muddymural

The Chicago Defender reports:

The noon-time sun shed light on hundreds of Muddy Waters’ fans as they poured into Chicago’s Loop for the dedication of a 10-story mural of the bluesman who many say put Chicago’s urban blues on the map. Lord knows the huge crowd that filled streets near downtown’s 17 N. State location earlier this summer needed some good news. Like a mailman, Muddy’s mural delivered – a point mirrored by blues singer and journalist Deitra Farr, who appeared there with Muddy’s widow, Marva Morganfield.

Muddy’s son Joseph Morganfield, who spoke that historic day, described the mural this way:

“It’s a big, colorful, eye-catching pic of dad. It’s Chicago paying tribute to one of its sons. Why visit? It’s learning and knowing our history.” Morganfield was one of a dozen surviving relatives present at the celebration of the huge mural designed by Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his talented team.

A Tribute To Muddy: Music, a Mural & Mojo

New album of Chess interpretations

On August 4, S-Curve Records will release Elise LeGrow’s debut album ‘Playing Chess’ a collection of dramatically reimagined songs from the Chess Records catalogue.

Produced by soul legend Betty Wright, S-Curve Records founder Steve Greenberg, and studio wizard Michael Mangini, the album features eleven tracks with contributions by special guests.

The track list includes “Can’t Judge a Book, ” “Who Do You Love, ” and “Rescue Me”.

http://home.nestor.minsk.by/jazz/news/2017/05/2001.html

Marshall Chess remembers Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry’s funeral was attended by a fleet of white cadillacs, and a host of family and celebrities.

Marshall Chess was interviewed by Billboard after the proceedings.

In 1955 I was riding around with my dad Leonard. Back then, car radios had buttons that you programmed to go to your favorite stations, and my dad was a maniac. He never listened to an entire song. He would just keep pushing buttons. That time, though, he pushed a button, on came a song, and my Dad said, “Oh my God,” and slapped the steering wheel. I said, “What’s going on?” And he said, “That’s the number-one white station in Chicago and they just played “Maybellene.”

I had no idea who Chuck Berry was then, but I met him about a year later when my father took me to Alan Freed’s Rock n’ Roll show at the Brooklyn Paramount. Then in 1963, when Chuck got out of prison he drove right to Chicago. I was 21 and working at Chess Records’ offices, and he came in with his guitar and a teeny overnight bag. He wanted to make music and get back to his career.

The last story I told at the funeral was about the last time I saw Chuck. This was probably in the late ‘90s. He was touring with his kids Ingrid and Chuck Jr. and he played B.B. King’s in Times Square. Jamar wanted to meet him, so we went backstage. We were hugging and kissing, the whole thing. He introduced me to his kids, and I introduced him to Jamar. I told him, “You know, Chuck, I’ve never thanked you.” He said, “For what?” I said, “My family’s life changed because of you.” And he looked me in the eye and took my hands and said,” Don’t you know? It’s the same for me.”

http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/features/7760376/marshall-chess-chuck-berry-funeral-interview