What, Where, and Why was “Record Row”?
Record Row was established and located on Michigan Ave, a famously known street within Chicago, Illinois. This ten-block street housed the most well-known independent Record Label Companies from the 1950s through the 1970s. These Record Labels like Chess, Vee-Jay Labels, etc., allowed Black Artists to practice within their craft of music and ultimately produce historic singles and albums.
Name the Companies on Record Row
Chess, Vee-Jay, Chance, King, Brunswick, Constellation, and One Dreadful.
Name the Artist on what Label
Etta James – Chess
The Staple Singers – Vee-Jay
The Flamingos – Chance
Were specific Labels known for certain types of Music?
Chess was more associated with Blues, Jazz, Soul, and Rock and Roll, all four being postwar music genres. In contrast, Vee-Jay was known to produce more Gospel and Jazz tracks.
Compare Record Row to other Record Companies creations in American Cities.
As previously stated, Record Row implemented opportunities for Black Artists to practice their music craft within a space that embraced their culture. Record Labels like Chess and Vee-Jay were created when the Black culture was not accepted within societal standards, especially amongst various White Record Labels. They often limited their musical capabilities, so Record Row was a place where Black Artists felt welcomed and had a chance to shine.