Results for Chess Records

interviews

Buddy Guy

Blues legend and fellow Chicagoan Buddy Guy visits the show this week. The 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is back in town for a month-long stint at his club Buddy Guy's Legends. The club has been a mainstay for blues in downtown Chicago for more than a decade, but Buddy recently announced that he is being forced to find a new location. As residents and Sound Opinions listeners know, the city is not always kind to music clubs, but in his interview with Jim and Greg, Buddy stresses the need to maintain such venues. Our hosts also recommend listeners check out the bluesman at his best — live and stripped down at Legends — while they can.

One thing that makes Buddy Guy's music so unique is his sense of melody. He explains how he will listen to spiritual and gospel music on the radio as inspiration. As Greg states: he's trying to imitate the voices. He learned this from B.B. King and went on to inspire vocalists like George Benson. Another musician who inspired Buddy was Guitar Slim. Before seeing Slim play, Buddy didn‘t know how far he could go with a“strat.”Now he is known for his violent, high-energy style. This style wasn’t appreciated by his former label Chess Records, but was adored and emulated by British blues fans like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Andy Summers.

Go to episode 58

Buddy Guy

alligator

Blues legend and fellow Chicagoan Buddy Guy visited the show back in 2007. One thing that makes Buddy Guy's music so unique is his sense of melody. He explains how he will listen to spiritual and gospel music on the radio as inspiration. As Greg states: he's trying to imitate the voices. He learned this from B.B. King. Another musician who inspired Buddy was Guitar Slim. Before seeing Slim play, Buddy didn‘t know how far he could go with a“strat.”Now he is known for his violent, high-energy style. This style wasn’t appreciated by his former label Chess Records, but was adored and emulated by British blues fans like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Andy Summers. This week, we revisit the 2007 interview and are also treated to a rare, acoustic performance from Guy and his bandmember at the time, Rick Hall. Listen to the whole interview, featuring two aditional songs, here.

Go to episode 691
specials

Chess Records

50 years ago, The Rolling Stones touched down in the United States for their very first American tour. While here, the band made a pilgrimage to Chicago's legendary Chess Records to record their take on tunes from the label's blues heavyweights like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Chuck Berry. Those Chess sessions appeared on The Stones second album, 12 x 5, which also debuted 50-years ago. To mark the occasion, Jim and Greg explore the history and legacy of Chess, whose 25-year run produced music that influenced rockers like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and more. Jim and Greg highlight these Chess artists:

  • Muddy Waters
  • Willie Dixon
  • Chuck Berry
  • Howlin' Wolf
  • Little Walter
  • Sonny Boy Williamson
  • Bobby Charles
  • Buddy Guy
Go to episode 440

Chess Records

A couple of months ago Jim, Greg and some WBEZ listeners visited 2120 S. Michigan: the home of Chicago's famed Chess Records. Unfortunately, this was a rare treat. Despite two recent movies, both the museum and the label often don't get their due. Jim and Greg wanted to take an episode to talk about the history and legacy of Chess. During its brief 25-year run, it produced records by heavyweights like Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Chuck Berry. That music went on to influence British rockers like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix. In fact, the Rolling Stones even made a pilgrimage to the studios to record with Waters. Here are the artists Jim and Greg highlight:

Go to episode 245
news

Music News

Maurice White, founder of the great R&B band Earth, Wind & Fire, passed away on February 4 at the age of 74. White started in Chicago as a jazz drummer, playing on Chess Records sessions by Willie Dixon and Etta James before being recruited into Ramsey Lewis's band. The crossover success of that gig allowed him to finance Earth, Wind & Fire, an extravagant showpiece band that could contain more than a dozen members – a flashy update of the big bands of the swing era. Greg goes so far as to call White the "Duke Ellington of R&B." Blending Latin music, R&B, jazz, and African music, Earth, Wind & Fire scored a string of hits in the 1970s. For Greg, the epitome of the band was the 1975 song "Shining Star" which offered a uplifting message during a period of racial strife.

Go to episode 533

Music News

Singer-songwriter Terry Callier never got the acclaim he deserved in the early part of his life, but as Greg explains, his influence was strong. The Chicago native released a Chess Records debut in 1968, and went on to fuse folk with jazz and experimental music. It's a sound that caught the attention of younger artists like Beth Orton and Devendra Banhart, and you can best hear it on the 1973 track "You're Goin Miss Your Candyman."

Go to episode 362

Music News

Remember your first symphonic experience? It was probably Peter & the Wolf. But a recent Supreme Court decision will likely mean fewer performances of Prokofiev's classic and other early 20th century works. By a 6-2 vote, the justices upheld a previous federal law that allows copyright protection to be restored to works previously entered into public domain. So musical works by Shostakovich and Stravinsky, in addition to films by Hitchcock and books by C.S. Lewis, are not as inexpensive as they once were. Jim and Greg talk to lead plaintiff Lawrence Golan about this court battle and what the ruling will mean for conductors and musicians like him.

The internet remains the Wild Wild West, but infamous figures like Billy the Kid and Jesse James have got nothing on Kim Dotcom. Federal authorities shut down his popular file-sharing site Megaupload.com, stating it was part of an international criminal ring. Certainly Dotcom lived the life of an international criminal, owning a $23 million estate in New Zealand, as well as 18 luxury cars with vanity plates like“Mafia”and“Guilty.”But for many, Megaupload was a pretty ordinary site, one used for legitimate content, not just pirated materials. This re-raises the question of how responsible internet sites are for how their customers use them.

After singer Etta James died last week at age 73, many people were playing her classic ballads like "At Last." But, as Greg explains, she was much more than just a ballad singer. Etta was the first great female star on Chess Records, and even at a young age had a big, bawdy voice and a style that was pretty adult for the times. Just listen to her 1966 song "In the Basement."

Go to episode 322