Chicago Soul’s Record Row FULL DOCUMENTARY (Parts 1-5)

Who can resist Windy City soul? We know we can’t. From one of our all time favorites, Curtis Mayfield to the soul stirring sounds of countless doo wop era groups, this city not only has some of the best people and pizza anywhere, but also some of the most soulful tunes anywhere on the planet.  This incredible 5 part documentary, which was originally broadcast on February 20th, 1997 on PBS during it’s African American Heritage Month series. It was narrated by the late Etta James.  This should be perfect for a nice weekend viewing.  Enjoy!

Pt. 1
This particular video features the early beginnings of both Chess Records and Vee Jay Records.
Record Row was where the Chicago music industry developed into a world class institutions of great impact and influenced the careers of the the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Beatles and Eric Clapton.

Pt.2This video tells the story of how the Chicago music industry addressed racial segregation in America and finally achieved to bring about unity across racial lines through the love of music which has no colour.

Pt. 3
The story about Chicago Soul music industry which Features some of the key creative power brokers in Chicago responsible for the success of Soul music in general across America and the world.

For example Billy Davis, the A&R director at Chess during the 1960s and record producer for such Soul classic as “Rescue Me” and “We’re Gonna Make It” released Chess Records.

Also featured in this documentary is the late Curtis Mayfield, the prolific song writer, composer and producer for Jerry Butler and the impressions their early hit on Vee Jay Records; “For Your Precious Love”.

The “Duke of Earl” classic performed by Gene Chandler and produced by Carl Davis.The record was released by Vee Jay Records. This hit record became the company’s first million selling record and Billboard Pop number one single in 1961.

Pt. 4
The dynamic development of Soul music according to Chess Records featuring Fontella Bass, The Dells and the sound of Chess Records’ studio band.

Just listen to Chicago Soul classic gold records such as “Rescue Me”, “Oh What A Night” and “Sitting In The Park.”

Witness other developments in the Chicago entertainment industry with the Chess brothers buying radio station called WVON. The station became the voice of black community address social issues of the day.

Don Cornelius former DJ employee of WVON and founder of Soul Train television programme talking about the impact of Chicago Soul music across America. Also Curtis Mayfeild and Eddie Thomas launching Curtom Records in 1968 and The Impressions performing songs with social messages and empowerment.

Pt. 5
The finally documentary tells the sad story of the decline of “Record Row” the heart of Chicago music industry.

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