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Marshall Chess biography –

Marshall Chess Born: March 13, 1942, Chicago, Illinois

Marshall Chess is the son of Leonard Chess who, along with his brother Phil, co-founded the legendary Chicago blues label Chess Records. Chess released some of the greatest blues ever recorded by legends such as Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, Koko Taylor, and many others, and Chess box sets are among the finest collections of blues available today. Marshall Chess grew up, literally, with the blues, hanging out at the Chess offices to be near his father, surrounded by blues greats and learning the finer points of recording. He later dropped out of college to work for Chess. After many years as a producer he started his own label, Cadet Concept, for which he produced the departure release Electric Mud, which featured Muddy Waters in a more electric, psychedelic blues arena. Despite initially strong sales, the album was widely panned by critics. After his father’s death in 1969, Chess co-founded Rolling Stones Records and served as executive producer on the group’s releases from 1971 through 1976 (or Sticky Fingers through Black and Blue, to be more specific). He has also worked as a film producer. One of his most admirable qualities is his confidence and resilience as a producer — in spite of its lukewarm reception, Chess still considers Electric Mud to be a great piece of work, and as he says in the film Godfathers and Sons, “I’m still not afraid to make the worst blues album ever made.”

Marshall Chess photos