Rick Hall, right, with Robert “Bumps” Blackwell and Little Richard, left, at Fame Studio, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, 1970 | Getty Images |tc504
The record producer Roe Erister “Rick” Hall, who produced a number of sessions for various artists which were released on Chess labels, died on 2 January 2018.
In 1960 with two partners he started Fame (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises) and opened a first primitive studio above a drugstore. The partnership was dissolved in 1961, and Hall kept the Fame name.
That year Arthur Alexander came in with a song he had written, a mid-tempo country-inflected R&B ballad called You Better Move On. Hall liked it, put a small group of musicians together for a recording session, and took the tape to Nashville, 120 miles away, where he licensed it to Dot Records. The record was a hit and the $10,000 Hall earned was used to build a better studio.
One of the many Chess released recordings made at Fame and produced by Rick Hall is appended.
Bo Diddley with the Bo-Ettes, but not featuring Cookie V | Restored by Google | tc488
Cornelia Redmond-Chavez (Cookie V) was born in 1948 and died in late 1999 aged 50. She met Bo Diddley in Washington, became one of his background singers and toured with him for more than 25 years, including at the Woodstock pop festival. She was famed for her humourous interactions with Diddley, and for her pet monkey, which accompanied her on some tours. She ceased performing due to failing health in 1986.
Thanks to Marc for his detective work on this artiste.
Cookie V Obituary, Baltimore Sun
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?
The Ideals | Satellite Records Archive | tc485
The Ideals were a vocal group from Chicago who first formed in 1952 and recorded for a variety of labels. Their recording “Kissing won’t go out of style” for Satellite Records, which was distributed by Chess, was their most successful recording, in 1966. The group at that time are thought to have been Reggie Jackson, Leonard Mitchell and Sam Steward. Some web sites have his name as Stewart. Previous line ups of the group had included another Chicago stalwart, Major Lance. The group broke up in 1967.
There was another 1950s group also known as The Ideals.
Mamie Galore Davis | Copyright control | tc483
Mamie Galore Davis was born on September 24, 1940 and died on October 6, 2001 of a stroke.
She toured with Little Milton and Ike & Tina Turner before signing to St. Lawrence Records in Chicago. Her 1966 recording ‘It Ain’t Necessary’ was a local hit. She moved to California where she continued to write and record Blues songs. Mamie recorded ‘No Right to Cry’ and duetted with her songwriting partner Dee Irwin for Imperial Records. In 1972 she became a music teacher in the Southern states, and was known as ‘The Soul Queen of Greenville’. On some recordings she is credited as Mamie P. Galore.
The Entertainers were a group formed in Muscle Shoals by Dan Penn, and were Louis (L.J.) Cooper, Grant Qualls, Roy Lee Pirtle and Charles Smith. The tracks were leased to Chess for distribution in March 1966 but the recording is thought to have sold poorly.
There is a current country music artist called Grant Qualls, does anyone know whether this is the same person, please.
We have traced a Roy Lee Pirtle to Texas, the gentleman is in his seventies, does anyone know whether this is the same person, please.
Thanks to Marc for the information regarding this recording.
David Ruffin | Pinterest | tc479
Singer Davis Eli “David” Ruffin, former lead singer of The Temptations, was born on January 18, 1941 and died on June 1, 1991 of “an adverse reaction to drugs”.
With a highly distinctive voice, Ruffin was ranked as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2008. Prior to signing with Motown and becoming a Temptation, when they were at the peak of their success, Ruffin had recorded with the Chess Detroit subsidiary CheckMate.
Personal issues began to take over his life. In 1982 he was sentenced to six months prison for failing to pay taxes during the mid-1970s. In 1986 he pleaded no contest to a charge of receiving and concealing a stolen gun worth less than $100 and was fined $50 plus $100 in court costs. In 1987 a cocaine arrest landed him in jail for repeated parole violations.
Most people are already aware that Jimmy Ruffin, a fellow Motown singer, was his brother, and after David Ruffin’s death, Jimmy Ruffin became a well known anti-drugs campaigner. Jimmy Ruffin died on November 17, 2014.