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Phil Chess, legendary founder of Chess Records, dead at 95

Phil Chess, the legendary co-founder of Chess Records, a label many credit with helping to invent rock ‘n roll, has died in Tucson, Ariz., at 95.

With his brother Leonard Chess, he started the Chicago label that recorded Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy and a cast of other top musicians, spreading the gospel of the blues. Teens in England and around the world heard the records, and the cross-pollination helped birth rock.

Mr. Chess had been in fairly good health, given his age, said a nephew, Craig Glicken. He died overnight in Tucson.

The story of Chess Records was told in the film “Cadillac Records.”

The Rolling Stones used the address of the studio for the name of an LP “2120 S. Michigan Avenue.”







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