Chess

Chess

Profile:
For bootlegs/unofficial releases, see Chess (2). Also appears as "Chess Record Corp." on earliest releases and as "Chess Records" from 1967/68.

Chess was one of the premier blues labels of the 1950s and 60s, also releasing R&B, soul, jazz, gospel and rock. They released records by every major blues artist in Chicago, including John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Little Walter and many others.
Brothers Leonard Chess and Phil Chess emigrated from Poland to the United States in 1928. In the 1940s they owned the upscale Macomba nightclub in Chicago's Southside neighborhood and several other bars. Blues artists performed regularly at The Macomba, and the Chess brothers realized they were not being recorded. They bought in to the small R&B label The Aristocrat Of Records in 1947, then bought out the remaining partners in 1949 and changed the name to Chess in 1950. The label sold to General Recorded Tape (GRT) in January 1969 for $6.5 million, and was sold again to All Platinum Record Group in 1975. Leonard Chess died on October 16th, 1969.

Company: Chess Producing Corp. or sometimes Chess Records
Associated to the publishing company Arc Music (2) or Arc Music Corp., that was co-founded by Leonard Chess in 1953.
Label code: LC 0156

For company credits, see:
-Chess Record Corp. / Chess Records Corp. / Chess Recording Corp.
-Chess Producing Corp.
-Chess Records / GRT Record Group / GRT Corporation
-All Platinum Record Group / All Platinum Record Co. / All Platinum Record Co., Inc.
-Sugar Hill Records Ltd.
-MCA Records, Inc.

First pressings identification:
1458-1670 (1951–1957): Blue and silver label, with three chess pieces at the top.
1671-1798 (1957–1961): Blue label with vertical Chess letters.
1799-1840 (1961–1963): Either blue label with vertical Chess letters or multi–color label.
1841-1950 (1963–1966): Black label, however there are many pressing plant variations. Some 1800 series issues exist on blue and silver, others on multi-color Chess labels.
1951 and higher (1966 forward): Light blue label.
A few red vinyl issues appeared in the 1530–1550 series. Inexplicable pressing plant variations exist, such as numbers as high as 1966 (mid-'66) with the blue label, with vertical Chess letters on left side.
Sublabels
Parent Label:
Sites:

Label

Releases

Status Catalog Number  Image Artist Title ( Format) Label Catalog Number  Country Year Actions
2ACH-77 Rev. C.L. Franklin* - The Project Of Making Man & This Is My Beloved Son Rev. C.L. Franklin* The Project Of Making Man & This Is My Beloved Son(2xLP, Album) Chess 2ACH-77 US 1977 Sell This Version
2ACH-78 Reverend C.L. Franklin - Double Sermon No. 78 - The Lord Is Good Jesus And Nicodemus Reverend C.L. Franklin Double Sermon No. 78 - The Lord Is Good Jesus And Nicodemus(2xLP, Album) Chess 2ACH-78 US 1978 Sell This Version
2ACH79 Reverend C.L. Franklin - Fret Not Thyself Reverend C.L. Franklin Fret Not Thyself(2xLP, Album, Mono) Chess 2ACH79 US 1977 Sell This Version
2ACH-9001 Ramsey Lewis - Solid Ivory: His Greatest Hits Ramsey Lewis Solid Ivory: His Greatest Hits (Comp) 2ACH-9001 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-201 Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf (Comp) 2ACMB-201 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-202 Little Walter - Little Walter Little Walter Little Walter(2xLP, Comp, RE, Gat) Chess 2ACMB-202 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-203 Muddy Waters - Muddy Waters Muddy Waters Muddy Waters(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Chess 2ACMB-203 US 1976 Sell This Version
2-ACMB-204 Little Milton - Little Milton Little Milton Little Milton (Comp, Album) 2-ACMB-204 US 1976 Sell This Version
2-ACMB-205 Lowell Fulson - Lowell Fulson Lowell Fulson Lowell Fulson (Comp, Album) 2-ACMB-205 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-206 Sonny Boy Williamson (2) - Sonny Boy Williamson Sonny Boy Williamson (2) Sonny Boy Williamson (Comp) 2ACMB-206 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-207 Jimmy Rogers - Jimmy Rogers Jimmy Rogers Jimmy Rogers(2xLP, Comp) Chess 2ACMB-207 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-208 J.B. Lenoir - J.B. Lenoir J.B. Lenoir J.B. Lenoir(2xLP, Comp) Chess 2ACMB-208 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMB-209 Sugarboy Crawford* - Sugarboy Crawford Sugarboy Crawford* Sugarboy Crawford(2xLP, Album, Gat) Chess 2ACMB-209 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-401 John Klemmer - Magic Moments John Klemmer Magic Moments (Comp) 2ACMJ-401 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-402 Woody Herman - Double Exposure Woody Herman Double Exposure(2xLP, Comp) Chess, Chess 2ACMJ-402 US 1976 Sell This Version
2-ACMJ-403 James Moody - Moody's Mood James Moody Moody's Mood (Comp) 2-ACMJ-403 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-404 Oliver Nelson / Lou Donaldson - Back Talk Oliver Nelson / Lou Donaldson Oliver Nelson / Lou Donaldson - Back Talk (Comp) 2ACMJ-404 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-405 Max Roach / Art Blakey - Percussion Discussion Max Roach / Art Blakey Max Roach / Art Blakey - Percussion Discussion (Comp) 2ACMJ-405 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-406 Sonny Stitt And Zoot Sims - Interaction Sonny Stitt And Zoot Sims Sonny Stitt And Zoot Sims - Interaction(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Chess, Chess 2ACMJ-406 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-407 Ahmad Jamal - Sun Set Ahmad Jamal Sun Set (Comp) 2ACMJ-407 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-408 Kenny Burrell - Recapitulation Kenny Burrell Recapitulation (Comp) 2ACMJ-408 US 1976 Sell This Version
2ACMJ-409 Al Grey - Basic Grey Al Grey Basic Grey (Comp) 2ACMJ-409 US 1976 Sell This Version
2CA 60017 Jack McDuff* - The Heatin' System Jack McDuff* The Heatin' System(2xLP, Album, Promo) Cadet 2CA 60017 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH-1514 Chuck Berry - Chuck Berry's Golden Decade (The Original Two Albums) Chuck Berry Chuck Berry's Golden Decade (Comp) 2CH-1514 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH-9190 Chuck Berry - The Great Twenty-Eight Chuck Berry The Great Twenty-Eight (Comp) 2CH-9190 US 1984 Sell This Version
2CH-9191 John Klemmer - Blowin' Gold John Klemmer Blowin' Gold(2xLP, Comp, RP, Pic) Chess 2CH-9191 US 1984 Sell This Version
2 CH 50 023 Various - Blues Avalanche - Recorded Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland Various Blues Avalanche - Recorded Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland(2xLP, Album) Chess, Chess, Chess 2 CH 50 023 France 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 50027 Sonny Boy Williamson (2) - This Is My Story Sonny Boy Williamson (2) This Is My Story (Comp) 2CH 50027 US 1972 Sell This Version
2 CH 50 030 Bo Diddley - Got My Own Bag Of Tricks Bo Diddley Got My Own Bag Of Tricks(2xLP, Comp) Chess 2 CH 50 030 France 1972 Sell This Version
2CH-50030 Various - The Golden Age Of Rhythm & Blues Various The Golden Age Of Rhythm & Blues (Comp) 2CH-50030 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 50033 Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald "Duck" Dunn / Sam Lay / Buddy Miles Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald "Duck" Dunn / Sam Lay / Buddy Miles - Fathers And Sons (Album) 2CH 50033 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 60004 Etta James - Peaches Etta James Peaches (Comp) 2CH 60004 US 1971 Sell This Version
2CH 60004 Etta James - Peaches Etta James Peaches(2xLP, Comp, Promo) Chess 2CH 60004 US 1971 Sell This Version
2CH60005 Bo Diddley - Got My Own Bag Of Tricks Bo Diddley Got My Own Bag Of Tricks (Comp) 2CH60005 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH-60006 Muddy Waters - McKinley Morganfield A.K.A. Muddy Waters Muddy Waters McKinley Morganfield A.K.A. Muddy Waters (Album, Comp) 2CH-60006 US 1971 Sell This Version
2CH60009 Moms Mabley & Pigmeat Markham - Laugh Time Moms Mabley & Pigmeat Markham Moms Mabley & Pigmeat Markham - Laugh Time(2xLP, Album, Comp) Chess 2CH60009 US 1964 Sell This Version
2CH 60011 John Lee Hooker - Mad Man Blues John Lee Hooker Mad Man Blues (Comp) 2CH 60011 US 1973 Sell This Version
2 CH 60012 Various - Chicago Blues Anthology Various Chicago Blues Anthology (Comp) 2 CH 60012 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 60014 Little Walter - Boss Blues Harmonica Little Walter Boss Blues Harmonica (Comp) 2CH 60014 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 60015 Various - Blues Avalanche (Recorded Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland) Various Blues Avalanche (Recorded Live At The Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland) (Album, Comp) 2CH 60015 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH-60016 Howlin' Wolf - Chester Burnett A.K.A. Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf Chester Burnett A.K.A. Howlin' Wolf (Comp) 2CH-60016 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 60023 Chuck Berry - Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Vol.2 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Vol.2 (Comp) 2CH 60023 US 1972 Sell This Version
2CH 60028 Chuck Berry - Golden Decade Volume 3 Chuck Berry Golden Decade Volume 3 (Comp) 2CH 60028 US 1974 Sell This Version
2CH 50027/2 Sonny Boy Williamson (2) - This Is My Story Sonny Boy Williamson (2) This Is My Story(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Chess 2CH 50027/2 New Zealand 1972 Sell This Version
2CH-C-9190 Chuck Berry - The Great Twenty-Eight Chuck Berry The Great Twenty-Eight(Cass, Comp) Chess 2CH-C-9190 US 1984 Sell This Version
2CHLS 001 Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald "Duck" Dunn / Sam Lay Muddy Waters / Otis Spann / Michael Bloomfield* / Paul Butterfield / Donald "Duck" Dunn / Sam Lay - Fathers And Sons(2xLP, Album) Chess 2CHLS 001 Australia 1969 Sell This Version
2CHLS 002 Chuck Berry - Chuck Berry's Golden Decade (The Original Two Albums) Chuck Berry Chuck Berry's Golden Decade (The Original Two Albums)(2xLP, Comp) Chess 2CHLS 002 Australia 1972 Sell This Version
2CHLS 003 Bo Diddley - Got My Own Bag Of Tricks Bo Diddley Got My Own Bag Of Tricks(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Chess 2CHLS 003 Australia 1972 Sell This Version
2CHLS 004 Sonny Boy Williamson (2) - This Is My Story Sonny Boy Williamson (2) This Is My Story(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Chess 2CHLS 004 Australia 1972 Sell This Version
2CHLS005 Chuck Berry - Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Vol.2 Chuck Berry Chuck Berry's Golden Decade Vol.2(2xLP, Comp) Chess, Chess 2CHLS005 Australia Unknown Sell This Version
2CHLS 006 Various - Blues/Rock Avalanche Various Blues/Rock Avalanche(2xLP, Comp) Chess 2CHLS 006 Australia 1973 Sell This Version
2CHLS 007 Chuck Berry - Golden Decade Volume 3 Chuck Berry Golden Decade Volume 3(2xLP, Comp, Gat) Chess 2CHLS 007 Australia Unknown Sell This Version
003 James Moody - At The Jazz Workshop James Moody At The Jazz Workshop(CD, Comp) GRP 003 US 1998 Sell This Version
0006 Woody Herman And His Thundering Herd* - Keep On Keepin' On: 1968-1970 Woody Herman And His Thundering Herd* Keep On Keepin' On: 1968-1970(CD, Comp, RM) Chess, GRP 0006 US 1998 Sell This Version
7-LPS-1469 Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf Howlin' Wolf(7", Jukebox) Chess 7-LPS-1469 US 1963 Sell This Version
7-LPS-1476 Various - Dance Tunes From The Vault - Vol. #2 Various Dance Tunes From The Vault - Vol. #2(7", Jukebox) Chess 7-LPS-1476 US 1963 Sell This Version
7N.25242 Chuck Berry - No Particular Place To Go / Liverpool Drive Chuck Berry No Particular Place To Go / Liverpool Drive(7", Single, Promo) Pye International 7N.25242 UK 1964 Sell This Version
008C Various - The Heart 'N' Soul Of Rock 'N' Roll Various The Heart 'N' Soul Of Rock 'N' Roll(4xCD, Comp, RE) Reader's Digest Music 008C US 1995 Sell This Version
0016-2 Various - 98.9 Smooth Jazz KWJZ Volume 2 Various 98.9 Smooth Jazz KWJZ Volume 2(CD, Comp) Smooth Jazz KWJZ 98.9 0016-2 US 1998 Sell This Version
30 CV 1292 Chuck Berry - Le Roi Du Rock Chuck Berry Le Roi Du Rock (Comp) 30 CV 1292 France 1973 Sell This Version
30 CV 1386 Chuck Berry - Promised Land Chuck Berry Promised Land(LP, Comp) Musidisc 30 CV 1386 France 1978 Sell This Version
30 CV 1394 Paul Anka - Live Paul Anka Live(LP, Album, RE) Chess, Musidisc 30 CV 1394 France 1976 Sell This Version
30 CV 1401 Chuck Berry - Back Home Chuck Berry Back Home(LP, Album, RE) Musidisc 30 CV 1401 France 1977 Sell This Version
45-HL-M.8585 Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen Chuck Berry Sweet Little Sixteen(7", Single, Tri) London Records 45-HL-M.8585 UK 1958 Sell This Version
45-HL-M.8629 Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode / Around And Around Chuck Berry Johnny B. Goode / Around & Around (Single) 45-HL-M.8629 UK 1958 Sell This Version
45-HLM 8767 Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Rock And Roll / Joe Joe Gun Chuck Berry Sweet Little Rock And Roll / Joe Joe Gun (Single) 45-HLM 8767 UK 1958 Sell This Version
45-HL-M 8853 Chuck Berry - Almost Grown Chuck Berry Almost Grown(7", Single) London Records 45-HL-M 8853 UK 1958 Sell This Version
45-HLM 9180 Etta & Harvey - If I Can't Have You / My Heart Cries Etta & Harvey If I Can't Have You / My Heart Cries(7", Single) London Records, London American Recordings 45-HLM 9180 UK 1960 Sell This Version
45-HL-U 8275 Chuck Berry And His Combo* - No Money Down / The Downbound Train Chuck Berry And His Combo* No Money Down / The Downbound Train (Single) 45-HL-U 8275 UK 1956 Sell This Version
45-HLU 8428 Chuck Berry - Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry Roll Over Beethoven(7", RE) London Records, London American Recordings 45-HLU 8428 UK Unknown Sell This Version
61 Reverend C.L. Franklin - The Eagle Stiret'h Her Nest Reverend C.L. Franklin The Eagle Stiret'h Her Nest(Shellac, 10") Chess 61 US Unknown Sell This Version
76 The Kenny Burrell Trio - Live At The Vanguard The Kenny Burrell Trio Live At The Vanguard(CD, Album) Chess 76 UK 1987 Sell This Version
91 Reverend C.L. Franklin The Prodigal Son(10") Chess 91 US 1956 Sell This Version
92 Reverend C.L. Franklin The Prodigal Son(10") Chess 92 US 1956 Sell This Version
93 Reverend C.L. Franklin The Prodigal Son(10") Chess 93 US 1956 Sell This Version
131 Bobby Charles / Rod Bernard - See You Later, Alligator / This Should Go On Forever Bobby Charles / Rod Bernard Bobby Charles / Rod Bernard - See You Later, Alligator / This Should Go On Forever(7") Chess 131 US Unknown Sell This Version
311 Cash McCall - You Mean Everything To Me / That Lucky Old Sun Cash McCall You Mean Everything To Me / That Lucky Old Sun(7") Thomas Records 311 US 1967 Sell This Version
000365 Various - Original Rhythm 'N' Blues Hits Various Original Rhythm 'N' Blues Hits(3xLP, Comp + Box) Mode (4) 000365 France 1983 Sell This Version
407 Jimmy Rogers with Little Walter, Muddy Waters - Chicago Bound Jimmy Rogers with Little Walter, Muddy Waters Jimmy Rogers with Little Walter, Muddy Waters - Chicago Bound (Comp) 407 US 1970 Sell This Version
408 Lowell Fulson - Hung Down Head Lowell Fulson Hung Down Head (Album, Comp) 408 US 1970 Sell This Version
409 Buddy Guy - I Was Walking Through The Woods Buddy Guy I Was Walking Through The Woods (Comp) 409 US 1970 Sell This Version
410 J.B. Lenoir - Natural Man J.B. Lenoir Natural Man (Comp, Album) 410 US 1970 Sell This Version
411 Various - Drop Down Mama Various Drop Down Mama (Comp) 411 US 1970 Sell This Version
416 H Little Walter - Confessin' The Blues Little Walter Confessin' The Blues(8-Trk, Comp) Chess, GRT, GRT 416 H US 1974 Sell This Version
524 Cova Elkins - Looking For A Rainbow Cova Elkins Looking For A Rainbow(7") Cova Records 524 US Unknown Sell This Version
535 Billy Stewart - Summertime Billy Stewart Summertime(7") Chess 535 Brazil 1968 Sell This Version
600 The Shades Of Blue - The Time Of My Life / Turn Turn Turn The Shades Of Blue The Time Of My Life / Turn Turn Turn(7", Single, Mono) Shades (2) 600 US 1966 Sell This Version
610 Ahmad Jamal Trio - Count 'Em 88 Ahmad Jamal Trio Count 'Em 88(LP, Album, Mono) Argo (6), Chess 610 New Zealand Unknown Sell This Version
649 Various - Remember The Oldies Various Remember The Oldies(LP, Comp, Mono) Chess 649 New Zealand Unknown Sell This Version
00677 John Lee Hooker - The Real Folk Blues John Lee Hooker The Real Folk Blues(LP, Album, RE) Chess, Chess 00677 Brazil 1989 Sell This Version
750 The Ramsey Lewis Trio and Jean DuShon - You Better Believe Me The Ramsey Lewis Trio and Jean DuShon The Ramsey Lewis Trio and Jean DuShon - You Better Believe Me(LP, Album) Chess, Chess, Chess, Argo (6) 750 Canada 1965 Sell This Version
000821 Buddy Guy - Buddy Guy Buddy Guy Buddy Guy (Comp) 000821 Brazil 1984 Sell This Version
851 Lynn Hope Quintet - Song Of The Wanderer / Tenderly Lynn Hope Quintet Song Of The Wanderer / Tenderly(Shellac, 10") Chess 851 US 1951 Sell This Version
855 Robert Anderson (5) - Holding My Saviors Hand Part I / Holding My Saviors Hand Part II Robert Anderson (5) Holding My Saviors Hand Part I / Holding My Saviors Hand Part II(Shellac, 10") Chess 855 US 1952 Sell This Version
868 Robert Anderson (5) God Answers Prayer / Prayer Changes Thins(Shellac, 10") Chess 868 US 1952 Sell This Version
00872 Howlin' Wolf - The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions Howlin' Wolf The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions(LP, Album, RE) Chess, MCA Records 00872 Brazil 1990 Sell This Version
00874 Muddy Waters - The London Muddy Waters Sessions Muddy Waters The London Muddy Waters Sessions(LP, Album, RE) Chess, Chess, MCA Records, MCA Records 00874 Brazil 1990 Sell This Version
905 Earl Washington - Miserlou / Wolf Call Earl Washington Miserlou / Wolf Call(7", Single) Chess 905 Jamaica 1958 Sell This Version
916 Dale Hawkins - Class Cutter Dale Hawkins Class Cutter (7", Single) Chess 916 US 1959 Sell This Version
1006 Various The Best Of Chess Rhythm & Blues(CD, Comp) Chess 1006 US 1989 Sell This Version