Vivian Carter and James Bracken formed Vee-Jay Records in 1953 to produce the “good music” that listeners of Vivian’s radio broadcasts and customers of her record store in Gary, Indiana, wanted to hear. By “good music,” her audience—largely southern-born African American migrants to the Chicago region—didn’t mean classical or pop. They hungered for electric blues, […]
Blues patriarch Big Daddy Kinsey had three sons who played together as the Kinsey Report.
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.
Even when Mavis Staples wasn’t singing gospel at Pitchfork, her powerful spiritual voice could bring together generations.
Perhaps the music lovers in your life would enjoy 23 CDs of the Isley Brothers, two decades of the Staple Singers, or a half century of rural southern sounds from County Records.
In I’ll Take You There, Tribune critic Greg Kot tracks the Staple Singers’ march toward freedom.
Neko Case talks to Mavis Staples in advance of their appearances at Hideout Block Party & A.V. Fest
New reviews and notable screenings in this week’s issue.