Elliott Shavers

Saxophonist and singer Elliott Shavers, whose real name is believed to be Elliott Chavers, led an instrumental band who made a number of records in the early 1960s, some of which were distributed by Chess. Elliott Chavers was born in Waco, Texas on November 15, 1930. He relocated to Los Angeles where the recordings are thought to have been made, including surfing music instrumentals. Mr Chavers is thought to be deceased.

Can anyone provide any more information about this artist, please?

No photo located.

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

Esmond Edwards

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Esmond Edwards | Copyright control | tc451

Musician, record producer, recording engineer and photographer Esmond Edwards was born in Nassau on October 29, 1927 and died in California on January 20, 2007.

As Wikipedia puts it,

… He studied radiography at the Jersey City Medical Center, and while working there pursued an avid interest in photography and music. Using his years of piano lessons as a background, he began creating jazz compositions in his teen years, and ultimately combined his creativity in music and photography into a very prolific and successful career.

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Coleman Hawkins LP Cover, 1959, photographed by Esmond Edwards | Copyright control/Prestige | tc452

After working for Prestige Records from 1957, he moved to Chess as an A&R man in the early 1960s and began producing jazz, folk and blues records for the Argo/Cadet label.

He received many silver and gold records, and also won a Grammy for his work.

Edwards’ photographic work has been displayed in New York’s Lincoln Center Jazz Archives, around the world, and in The New York Times Magazine and others.

Ray Stevens

The Chess UK singles – one by one

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Ray Stevens in 2014 | Billboard | tc440

Singer, songwriter and record producer Harold Ray Ragsdale (Ray Stevens) was born on January 24, 1939. He is remembered for his songs “Everything is beautiful” and his comedy records “Bridget the Midget” and “The streak”. He has spent his entire working life in the music industry, and has received many awards.

“The streak” was released in the US on the Janus/Barnaby label, and in the UK on the Chess label on Chess 6146201 in May 1974.

Doctor Ross and his Jump and Jive Boys

Singer, guitarist, harmonica player, drummer, and one-man band Charles Isaiah Ross was born on October 21, 1925 and died on May 28, 1993. Often compared with John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson in style, he made a number of recordings for Sun Records in the 1950s which were released on the Chess label. He subsequently moved to Detroit where he worked for General Motors and recorded for other labels.

In the early 1970s he toured London and Europe, recording for Blue Horizon records and others. In 1981 his album “Rare blues” was awarded a Grammy.

Berry’s back

Chuck Berry | Uncredited and undated photo | 16483ch

Chuck Berry chose his 90th birthday to announce his first album in almost four decades. The album, “Chuck”, will consist mainly of original songs written, recorded and produced by himself. Berry made the surprise announcement on Tuesday, his birthday.

“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” said Berry in a statement, referring to his wife of 68 years. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!” he added.

http://news.sky.com/story/rock-and-roll-legend-chuck-berry-announces-new-album-at-90-10623247

Phil Chess RIP

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Phil Chess | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty | 16482

Phil Chess, who co-founded the legendary label Chess Records with his brother Leonard and helped make Chicago the epicenter of the blues, died Wednesday at his home in Tucson, Arizona, his nephew Craig Glicken confirmed. He was 95 and had been in good health.

Born Fiszel Czyż in Poland in 1921, Chess’ family immigrated to Chicago and changed their last name to Chess in 1928. After a stint in the army, in 1950 Chess joined his brother Leonard – who purchased a stake of Aristocrat Records – in the music business. Their label was eventually renamed Chess Records.

Today, Buddy Guy told the Chicago Sun-Times: “Phil and Leonard Chess were cuttin’ the type of music nobody else was paying attention to – Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy, Jimmy Rogers, I could go on and on – and now you can take a walk down State Street today and see a portrait of Muddy that’s 10 stories tall. The Chess Brothers had a lot to do with that. They started Chess Records and made Chicago what it is today, the Blues capital of the world. I’ll always be grateful for that.”

Chess Treasures sends condolences to family, friends and colleagues.

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/phil-chess-pioneering-blues-and-rock-exec-dead-at-95-w445639