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”.
Understood to be Cleo Jackson Randle | Image restored by Google Archives | tc478
Cleo Jackson Randle was a gospel singer from Chicago who also recorded soul music under the name of Cleo Randle. She was born as Cleopatra Jackson but although having a wonderful voice, she did not achieve recognition. Cleo Jackson Randle died in March 2004 in Chicago.
Rune Öfwerman | Music Industry of Sweden | tc477
Rune Overman was Axel Ivar Rune Öfwerman, who was born on December 24, 1932, in Stockholm, Sweden, and died on December 13, 2013. His sons Clarence Öfwerman and Staffan Öfwerman are rock musicians. There are two other sons. Mr Öfwerman was a jazz pianist and a co-founder of a record label in Sweden; the recording was licenced for distribution by Chess.
The Norvells | NumeroGroup | tc476
Originally called The Belvederes, the Norvells were Billy Smith, Richard Pegue, Claude “Dee-Dee” Wyatt, Victor Trice and Richard Slaughter. The group formed at High School and modelled their sound on The Spaniels. Their current whereabouts are not known.
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.”
Roosevelt Nettles With Pat McMahon & Mel Carter | Bob Corritore | tc567
Louisiana native and singer Roosevelt Nettles grew up in New Orleans and sung professionally as a teenager in Mobile, Alabama, then after a period with The Flames he joined the Air Force in 1958 where he formed the Enchanters.
Nettles made Pheonix Arizona his home after his military duties ended in 1962.
He made a local hit which was released nationally on Chess. Nettles and Chess could not agree on a follow-up and his relation with them ended. He steadily performed in the Southwest area opening for Ike & Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, and the Righteous Brothers.
He still resides in the Phoenix area and is understood to work as a Chef, a skill he learned in the services.
Edna McRaney | Robert Campbell | tc566
Chicago based blues singer Edna McRaney recorded a few sides for Chess in 1951. They were recorded for Chess by Jackie Brenston at the Sun Studios in Memphis. We have not been able to locate any biographical information for this artist. Can anyone help, please?