Above, enjoy DuSable High School’s own Johnny Williams with Baby Be Mine, a classically Chicago-styled mid-tempo shuffler. A delicious record, it was recorded at Brunswick Records here in Chicago (1449 South Michigan Avenue, to be exact) for their Subsidiary label, Bashie. Get a whif of those cheering flutes on the tail end. A beast. Pictured at left, Brunswick Records, 1967-late 70s.
Brunswick was originally based in New York, but moved operations to Chicago in the mid ’60s to take advantage of a hotbed of talent that was nationally recognized. Brunswick’s Jackie Wilson (on lifetime contract to the label) immediately found success working with the Chicago operation, hitting with the 1966 classic “Whispers (Getting Louder)”.
The label that ultimately brought us the Chi-Lites, Tyrone Davis, Barbara Acklin, and more also enlisted some of the best producers/arrangers in the city: Sonny Sanders, Carl Davis, Willie Henderson, Tom Tom Washington, and later Leo Graham and James Mack (who taught Tom Tom and Willie Henderson at Crane Junior College). What they created was a sound that was a perfect hybrid of blues and soul. Just like the very best of Chicago.