Chess Records was an American record company based in Chicago, Illinois. It specialized in blues, R&B, soul, gospel music, early rock and roll, and occasional…
Rotary Connection 1971 | They released 6 albums between 1967 and 1971. All of the albums are good but the stand out album is 1971's Hey Love. On this album we see a jazzier Rotary Connection than we have before. The band must have viewed it as a drastic enough change that they even credit the album to the New Rotary Connection.
Rotary Connection | He formed Rotary Connection from musicians close to Chess Records. He gathered studio musicians, songwriters, and singers. Two stand out musicians who joined the band were guitarist Phil Upchurch (who went on to have a stellar Jazz career) and then Chess receptionist, Minnie Riperton.
Willie Mabon | Willie Mabon was an American R&B singer, songwriter and pianist. Born Willie James Mabon, and brought up in Hollywood, Memphis, Tennessee, he had become known as a singer and pianist by the time he moved to Chicago in 1942. He formed a group, the Blues Rockers, and in 1949 began recording for the Aristocrat label, and then Chess.
Willie Dixon | William James "Willie" Dixon was an American blues musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and record producer. A Grammy Award winner who was proficient on both the upright bass and the guitar and as a vocalist, Dixon is perhaps best known as one of the most prolific songwriters of his time. Next to Muddy Waters, Dixon is recognized as the most influential person in shaping the post-World War II sound of the Chicago blues. Dixon's songs have been recorded...
Wayne Cochran - Wayne Cochran is an American soul singer, known for his outlandish outfits and white pompadour. He is sometimes referred to as The White Knight of Soul. Cochran is best known today for writing the song "Last Kiss", which he performed with his band, Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders. Although it was not a success for him, later covers by J. Frank Wilson and Pearl Jam became hits. Cochran is currently a minister in Miami, Florida.
Tony Clarke | Tony Clarke was an American soul singer-songwriter. Clarke, born Ralph Thomas Williams in New York City, was raised in Detroit. He wrote the songs "Pushover" and "Two Sides to Every Story", hits for Etta James. Clarke scored a chart hit of his own with "The Entertainer" which hit #10 R&B and #31 Pop in the US in 1965.
Tommy & the Tom Toms | Tommy & The Tom Toms first started with two guitars and drums, Eddie Wayne Hill on lead guitar, Leonard Walters on rhythm guitar and Joel Colbert on drums. The three fledgling musicians from Arlington, Texas began jamming in an old barn in 1959 and evolved to playing around town for private parties. This exposure led to regular Friday night appearances at a small, local lounge. Bass guitarist David Martin joined the group a few months later.
The Valentinos | The Valentinos was a Cleveland, Ohio-based family R&B group, mainly famous for launching the careers of brothers Bobby Womack and Cecil Womack, the former brother finding bigger fame as a solo artist and the latter finding success as a member of the husband and wife team of Womack & Womack with Linda Cooke.
The Dells | The Dells were an American R&B vocal group. Formed in high school in 1952 by founding members Marvin Junior, Verne Allison, Johnny Funches, Chuck Barksdale, and Mickey and Lucius McGill, under the name the El-Rays, they released their first recording in 1954, and two years later, had their first R&B hit with "Oh What a Night". After disbanding due to a near-fatal car crash in 1958.
Sonny Boy Williamson II | Alex Miller, known professionally as Sonny Boy Williamson, was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, from Mississippi. He is acknowledged as one of the most charismatic and influential blues musicians, with considerable prowess on the harmonica and highly creative songwriting skills. He recorded successfully in the 1950s and 1960s, and had a direct influence on later blues and rock performers.
Solomon Burke | Solomon Burke was an American recording artist and vocalist, who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s and a "key transitional figure in the development of soul music from rhythm and blues. He had a string of hits including "Cry to Me", "If You Need Me", "Got to Get You Off My Mind", "Down in the Valley" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love".
Rusty York | Rusty York is an American musician and member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Rusty York achieved Hall of Fame status with his Rockabilly song "Sugaree." The rockabilly phase was a minor success, but by the 1960s, York had returned to bluegrass and country. He also began to cultivate an interest in the business end of country and in 1961 started building a studio in his garage. By the early '70s York had retired from performing.
Renaldo "Obie" Benson | Renaldo "Obie" Benson was an American soul and R&B singer and songwriter. He was best known as the bass of Motown group the Four Tops, which he joined in 1953 and continued to perform with for over five decades, until April 8, 2005. He also co-wrote "What's Going On" which became a #2 hit for Marvin Gaye in 1971, and which Rolling Stone rated as #4 on their List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time released in 2004.
Rahsaan Roland Kirk | Rahsaan Roland Kirk was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist who played tenor saxophone, flute and many other instruments. He was renowned for his onstage vitality, during which virtuoso improvisation was accompanied by comic banter, political ranting, and the ability to play several instruments simultaneously.