By Nadine Cohodas
Sunlight documents gave us rock and roll, Motown documents gave us pop soul, and Chess files gave us the blues. Chess was once THE label for Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, Etta James, and Bo Diddley--and during this severely acclaimed heritage we examine the total tale of this mythical label. the best artists who sang and performed the blues made their mark with Leonard and Phil Chess, whose Chicago-based checklist corporation was once synonymous with the sound that swept up from the South, embraced the Windy urban, and unfolded like wildfire into mid-century the USA. Spinning Blues into Gold is the impeccably researched tale of the boys in the back of the tune and the awesome corporation they created. Chess Records--and later Checker, Argo, and Cadet Records--was equipped via Polish immigrant Jews, brothers who observed the blues as a different company chance. From their first ventures, a liquor shop after which a nightclub, they promoted reside leisure. And parlayed that into the 1st pressings bought out of vehicle trunks on lengthy junkets throughout the center of the rustic, finally increasing their empire to incorporate influential radio stations. the tale of the Chess brothers is a truly American tale of trade within the carrier of tradition. lengthy on chutzpah, Leonard and Phil Chess went some distance past their childhoods because the sons of a scrap-metal broker. They replaced what the USA listened to; the artists they promoted planted the seeds of rock 'n' roll--and are nonetheless influencing track at the present time. during this illustrated e-book, Cohodas expertly captures the wealthy and unstable mixture of race, cash, and recorded song. She additionally takes us deep into the area of autonomous checklist manufacturers, occasionally abrasive and constantly competitive males striving to be successful. Leonard and Phil Chess labored hand-in-glove with disenfranchised black artists, the intermittent fees of exploitation balanced by means of the truth of a typical function that finally introduced repute to many if no longer lots of the events involved. From starting to finish, as we discover in those pages, the lives of the Chess brothers have been socially, financially, and creatively entwined with these of the artists they believed in.