In 1954, McKinley Morganfield bought his first house, located at 4339 S. Lake Park Avenue in Kenwood. Better known as Muddy Waters, the Father of Chicago Blues shared the south-side house with his wife Geneva, Geneva’s son Charles, his granddaughter Amelia “Cookie” Cooper, and his great-granddaughter Chandra “Peaches” Cooper. Quite a few people came and […]
Chicago native Paul Natkin is a prolific concert and portrait photographer who’s shot more than 4,300 musicians and celebrities since he started his career in 1975. He’s also worked as road manager for the likes of Brian Wilson and Alice Peacock and tour photographer for the Rolling Stones. His images have appeared in so many […]
Folks often ask me how I’ve come up with subjects for the Secret History of Chicago Music month after month. I have lots of answers, all of them true, including digging in record bins, falling down Internet rabbit holes, and cultivating knowledgeable friends. I’m tight with experts in several genres well represented in Chicago: big-city […]
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Gene Barge has done his most influential work as a sideman or producer, but he’s just as important as any of R&B’s marquee stars.
Blues patriarch Big Daddy Kinsey had three sons who played together as the Kinsey Report.
Bluesman Johnny Shines spent the late 30s on the road with the great Robert Johnson, then lived long enough to win a W.C. Handy Award in the 90s.
The Aces are best known as a backing band, but they took the lead when it came to the future of the blues.
The Year of Chicago Music has had less music in it than anybody anticipated, but we still have plenty to celebrate.
For 50 years Thom Bishop has been writing songs, lyrics, plays, movies, and more—and his new novel (as Junior Burke) starts with James Dean shooting Ronald Reagan on live TV.
Most of Lucille Spann’s recordings were with her spouse, blues pianist Otis Spann, but she released a great solo album in 1974.
From Glencoe to Monterey Pop to oblivion: Michael Bloomfield’s huge talent and unique style changed rock guitar forever, but while Clapton and Hendrix entered the canon, he faded away.
On the new Legacy! Legacy!, Chicago singer and poet Jamila Woods lovingly details how art can learn from the past as it shapes the future.
The guitar and harmonica master from the Aces played with Junior Wells, Little Walter, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, and many more.
Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, who spent most of his five-decade career in Chicago, was one of the most prominent sidemen in electric blues.