The Record Men: The Chess Brothers and the Birth of Rock & Roll

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The Record Men: The Chess Brothers and the Birth of Rock & Roll

Rich Cohen

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Format: Paperback

On the south side of Chicago in the late 1940s, two immigrants; one a Jew born in Russia, the other a black blues singer from Mississippi; met and changed the course of musical history. Muddy Waters electrified the blues, and Leonard Chess recorded it. Soon Bo Diddly and Chuck Berry added a dose of pulsating rhythm, and Chess Records captured that, too. Rock & roll had arrived, and an industry was born. In a book as vibrantly and exuberantly written as the music and people it portrays, Rich Cohen tells the engrossing story of how Leonard Chess, with the other record men, made this new sound into a multi-billion-dollar business; aggressively acquiring artists, hard-selling distributors, riding the crest of a wave that would crash over a whole generation. Originally published in hardcover as Machers and Rockers. About the series: Enterprise pairs distinguished writers with stories of the economic forces that have shaped the modern worlds; the institutions, the entrepreneurs, the ideas. Enterprise introduces a new genre; the business book as literature.

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