Thesis: Record Row produced sounds of African American to be heard by groups across a broad range of races.
Record Row was a stretched avenue in Chicago crowded with restaurants, clubs, and record labels. It emitted the sounds of jazz, gospel, soul, blues, and R&B. Two of the most successful labels on the avenue were black operated, Chess and Vee-Jay Records.
Chess records produced artists such as Muddy Waters, Etta James, Chuck Berry, Ike Turner, Minnie Riperton, and others among noted artists. Vee-jay Records included artists such as The Beatles, Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, Gene Chandler, Gladys Knight, Dick Gregory, and Betty Everett.
Record Row created an outlet for African American music and business. It presented them in a professional light by giving them the opportunity to be more than blue-collar laborers. The sounds of record row also created room for African Americans to project their music to populations across both races.
As the decade of the 60s came to an end, so did the success of labels. The musicians at Chess left due to being underpaid for their efforts. Other labels were forced to close due to financial hardships. Contemporarily, the avenue is home to deteriorating, unattended buildings. What was once a bustling avenue for black Americans is now desolate.
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