Machers and Rockers: Chess Records and the Business of Rock & Roll

Aslo published as

The Record Men: The Chess Brothers and the Birth of Rock & Roll

Author: Rich Cohen

Publication date: 2004

W. W. Norton & Company

Publishers description:

On the south side of Chicago in the late 1940s, two immigrants—one a Jew born in Russia, the other a black blues singer from Mississippi—met and changed the course of musical history. Muddy Waters electrified the blues, and Leonard Chess recorded it. Soon Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry added a dose of pulsating rhythm, and Chess Records captured that, too. Rock & roll had arrived, and an industry was born.

In a book as vibrantly and exuberantly written as the music and people it portrays, Rich Cohen tells the engrossing story of how Leonard Chess, with the other record men, made this new sound into a multi-billion-dollar business—aggressively acquiring artists, hard-selling distributors, riding the crest of a wave that would crash over a whole generation.

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