Search Results for: Chess Records

Search Results

The Jazz-Soul of Chess Records

Chicago’s Chess Records may be best known for its blues artists such as Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Little Walter. But in the 1960s, they also had a wealth of hip Jazz and Soul artists, many of whom recorded for Chess’ Cadet subsidiary. On this installment of Reclaimed Soul, host Ayana Contreras featured the Jazz-Soul […]

Al-teen Records: Bill Meeks’ little ships of soul

Bill Meeks was, in the late sixties, a jingle writer here in Chicago who started a record label called Al-teen. The label was based at 82nd and Stony Island, and put out records by Sunday (Williams), Drake and the En-Solids, Earl Duff, The Supurbs (sic), and Johnny McCall. Many of the tunes were composed by […]

Charles Stepney in Full Flower

Ayana Contreras Recorded January 26, 1972 at RCA Studios in Chicago, The Dells sing Dionne Warwicke’s Greatest Hits is an album that features nearly a dozen of Charles Stepney’s magical reimaginings of Burt Bacharach/Hal David compositions. On the as-released version of the album, idiosyncratic Dells baritone Marvin Junior growls pleasingly (in concert with the rest […]

Blind Man: Little Milton’s hooked and he can’t let her go.

This is Little Milton. He’s hooked and he can’t let her go. Of this, I am wholly convinced.

Dance Chicago Dance.

Back in 1980, Chicago was still a national hub for music (like LA, Nashville, and New York are today). During that time, Producer/Promoter/Entrepreneur Eddie Thomas ran the influential Dogs of War DJ record association. Based out of Chicago, they were a record pool famous for breaking a number of seminal disco recordings. Essentially, a record pool […]

A bit about Black Rock Bands out of Detroit.

    This weekend at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, I caught a documentary about Death, a 1970s all-black proto-punk band out of Detroit. The documentary, titled “A Band Called Death” chronicled the group’s forming, brush with success, and descent into obscurity. The master tapes of their sole album, recorded under Don Davis’ Groovesville productions languished […]

Fontella Bass: In Memorium.

Fontella Bass was an amazing lady who passed away on December 26th, 2012. In memorium, Darkjive revisits a post from 2011 that touches on her legacy on the Chicago Soul scene. Not only [was] the trajectory of her career fascinating, but she’s arguably the archetype for what Aretha Franklin was to become: a sassy, soulful […]

Reclaimed Soul Episode 007: Architects of Chicago Soul, Building for Tomorrow.

In this installment of my radio show (called “Reclaimed Soul”), I feature interviews with some Architects of the Classic Chicago Soul sound who are “scratching and crawling” today to restore the South Side Clubs and Venues that made them who they are as artists. Two such architects are profiled below: Tom Tom Washington (pictured here) […]

More and More: Little Milton’s plea for more as the cost of living was skyrocketing.

Whew. That was a long blogpost title, huh? I know. But, let me explain: In late 1967, Chess Records’ Checker subsidiary released this record entitled “More and More” by Little Milton, where the chorus sings and growls: “More and More… all the time!” Ironically, the flip is a meandering soulful blues cut called “The Cost […]

Fontella Bass: sassy soulful siren in the first degree.

Fontella Bass is an amazing lady. Not only is the trajectory of her career fascinating, but she’s arguably the archetype for what Aretha Franklin was to become: a sassy, soulful siren in the first degree. Ms. Bass comes from the St. Louis, and is a part of a group of St. Louis native vocalists that […]