Miff Mole

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Miff Mole | Bix Beiderbecke.com | tc491

Jazz trombonist and band leader Irving Milfred “Miff” Mole was born on 11 March 1898 and died on 29 April 1961 after a long period of ill health. He is known to have been a major influence on bandleaders Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller, and is closely associated with many of the leading orchestras of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He recorded for Premium Records in 1950.

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Terry Timmons

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Terry Timmons | Collection of Robert Pruter/Clemson/Copyright control | tc489

Singer Teresa Walker (Terry Timmons) was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on April 12, 1927 and died on 3 August 1970, aged 43.

She was discovered by Paul Gayten and became a singer with his band. She moved to Chicago and became a singer with Memphis Slim’s band The Houserockers.

Thanks to Marc for finding the video.

Chuck Bernard

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Chuck Bernard | Copyright control | tc486

Chicago singer and songwriter/A&R man Chuck Bernard was from St Louis, Missouri, where he first came to note as a member of a doo wop group called The Blue Notes. It is understood that they were not the Blue Notes of Harold Melvin fame. In 1964 he became signed to Satellite/St Lawrence Records where as well as performing management roles, he also made recordings. When Satellite folded in 1967 Chess acquired all the assets. He went on to record for other labels without enormous success. This artiste’s current whereabouts are unknown; can anyone help, please?

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.