essential chess/stax/soul

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Sketches by T-Boz (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 21 October 2016 00:15 (one year ago) Permalink

So the Chess brothers were good guys for putting out records and getting them widely distributed (of artists who otherwise might not have that access); but bad guys because they didn't always pay the artists enough....

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 October 2016 16:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Over the years, the Chess brothers were accused more than once of taking financial advantage of their artists, and there were lawsuits, usually settled confidentially. Some Chess artists said their compensation was more often like an allowance than like a salary.

But there were many instances of apparently genuine friendship: Chuck Berry sometimes stayed overnight at Phil’s house, sharing a room with his son, Terry, and musicians attended the Chess sons’ bar mitzvahs.

The Chess brothers may have been motivated more by financial considerations than by artistic ones. But virtually no one disputes that they helped document some of America’s most important vernacular music.

curmudgeon, Friday, 21 October 2016 17:00 (one year ago) Permalink

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