For two decades, a short stretch of Michigan Avenue hosted a concentration of creative entrepreneurship whose influence on Black popular music is still felt today.
Thanks in part to a long partnership with the late Cash McCall, Prather has played with the likes of Willie Dixon, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Etta James.
This 95-year-old living legend has played jazz, written blaxploitation soundtracks, and arranged for Stan Getz, B.B. King, and most famously Curtis Mayfield—but he’s probably most widely heard via hip-hop samples.
Even when Mavis Staples wasn’t singing gospel at Pitchfork, her powerful spiritual voice could bring together generations.
She’s best known for the 1968 hit “Love Makes a Woman,” but she also had a productive songwriting duo with Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites.
Memphis vocalist Karen Wolfe has adopted the persona of a vintage blueswoman—feisty, independent, and ready to call out no-good men.
Don Bryant narrowly missed stardom at Hi Records in the 60s, but now he’s taking another swing.
Chicago native Johari Noelle has shaped her polished debut EP with years of choir and theater, half a season on reality TV, and nearly 18 months in the studio.
On his sophomore album, Noir, Smino highlights his rap skills without abandoning the soulful singing of Blkswn.
Despite his arresting falsetto on “Time Stopped” (and a cosign from Curtis Mayfield), Marvin Smith’s solo records never did better than his 1966 Artistics single “I’m Gonna Miss You.”
Christian JaLon performs Saturday, July 21, at Pilsen gallery Casa Calle 20.
The Blues Festival pays tribute to 91-year-old saxophonist Gene “Daddy G” Barge with a set with by his longest-running band, the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings.
For Willie Clayton’s fourth appearance on the Blues Festival’s main stage, the southern soul king will be cooking with a full band—backup singers, horn players, and all.
Decades after his greatest group disbanded, Chicago soul singer Doug Shorts is finally being recognized for his brilliance.
Cash McCall has moved from gospel to soul to blues, and his best-known song is still the 1966 single “When You Wake Up.”