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Chess Brothers
Polish Jews who emigrated to the U.S. with their family, Phil and Leonard Chess started a record label which recorded a veritable who's who of the blues: Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Robert Nighthawk, Little Walter, Johnny Shines, and Willie Dixon. The family-run operation also owned a chain of South Side nightclubs, where the likes of Billy Ecstine and Gene Ammons worked.

The Chess Records is now owned by MCA, who's kicked off a vast reissue program to honor the 50th anniversary of the label's inception. It includes best of Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy, two decade-length overviews, and 51-track 2-CD set of the complete recordings of Muddy Waters guitarist Jimmy Rogers (whose previously available work comprised just one record).

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