C & T Lounge On the east side of Prairie Ave., just south of 22nd St.
Tampa Red, Johnny Jones, Odie Payne, and The Aces (Dave & Louis Myers & Jr. Wells) all played regular gigs there, and this was also reportedly the site of Junior Wells’ first public performance, sitting in with Tampa Red in the late ’40s.
Lee’s Lounge 1800 S. Michigan
Jimmie Lee Robinson, Eddy Clearwater, The Muddy Waters Junior Band w/Mojo Buford, and Muddy Waters himself all played there in the late ’50s and early ’60s, and pianist Johnny Jones lived in an apartment upstairs in 1959
The Checkerboard 423 E. 43rd
Club owned by LC Thurmond and Buddy Guy
Pepper’s Lounge 503 E. 43rd
The now-legendary original Pepper’s Lounge, where Billy Boy Arnold, Howlin’ Wolf, Joe Carter, James Cotton, Lowell Fulson, Buddy Guy, Shakey Jake, Earl Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Syl Johnson, JB Lenoir, Magic Sam, Muddy Waters, Fenton Robinson, Otis Rush, Little Mack Simmons, Otis Spann, Eddie Taylor, Jr. Wells, Detroit Junior, Lee “Shot” Williams, and Mighty Joe Young all worked in the ’50s and ’60s.
Pepper’s Lounge 1321 S. Michigan,
Where Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Lazy Lester, B.B. King, Sunnyland Slim, Muddy Waters, Louis Myers, Alvin “BB Jones” Nichols, Andrew “Voice” Odum, Jimmy Reed, Fenton Robinson, Little Mack Simmons, Eddie Taylor, Koko Taylor, Hound Dog Taylor, Johnny “Moose” Walker, and Mighty Joe Young all played
Sunset/Grand Terrace 315 E. 35th
Jazz and blues venue.
Annex Café 2300 S. State
Where Chippie Hill was a featured attraction in ’35
The 35th & State Club
Where Tampa Red played in the ’30s.
The Club Plantation 3520 S. State
The Cozy Inn 43rd and State
Where Johnny Temple and Big Walter Horton played in the early ’50s
The Club Georgia 4547 S. State
Where John Lee Williamson played throughout the 40s with Eddie Boyd, and which held a regular “Battle Of The Blues ” between Williamson and Lonnie Johnson, and also saw regular gigs by Tampa Red
The Heatwave Club 4615 S. State
The site of regular Muddy Waters gigs in 1955
The Club DeLisa/Burning Spear 5521 S. State
By 1936 DeLisa’s had relocated to 5512-16 S. State, where Albert Ammons, Chippie Hill, Johnny Shines, and harmonica ace Rhythm Willie were featured c. ’36-’41, and by the late ’40s the club had relocated across the street as The New Club DeLisa at 5521 S. State (where Jimmy Reed, Harold Burrage and others played c. 1960) until it finally closed for good in the early ’60
The Blue Flame Club The southeast corner of 55th and State
Site of a legendary ‘Battles Of The Blues’ between Otis Rush, Magic Sam and Buddy Guy in the late ’50s.
Theresa’s Lounge 4801 S. Indiana
Legendary club where Bob Koester discovered Buddy Guy and Junior Wells playing and talked them into recording the album Hoodoo Man Blues. Legend says that he brought them into the studio and told them to play “just like they play at Theresa’s.”
Billy Boy Arnold, George “Mojo” Buford, James Cotton, Buddy Guy, Earl Hooker, Little Walter Jacobs, Floyd Jones, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Mabon, Muddy Waters, Louis Myers, Andrew “B.B.” Odum, Jimmy Reed, Fenton Robinson, Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers, Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Johnny “Big Moose” Walker, Junior Wells, and Mighty Joe Young all played gigs here in the ’60s and into the ’70s.
Trocadero Club 4719 S. Indiana
Luther “Snake” Johnson, Lefty Bates, “Singing Sam” and Red Nelson played in the ’60s–it’s still open, now occupied by the Fox Motel.
Turner’s Blue Lounge 4012 S. Indiana
Where Lee Jackson and Uncle Johnny Williams played and Big Walter Horton had a regular gig in the mid ’50s, and J.B. Hutto played regularly in the ’60s. Turner’s large neon sign still adorns the top of the small one-story building,
Ricky’s Show Lounge, a/k/a Mel’s Hideaway 3945 S. Indiana
Where Billy Boy Arnold, Carey Bell, Joe Carter, Freddie King, Earlee Payton, Luther Tucker, and Shakey Jake Harris played gigs in the ’50s, and which was also Little Walter’s ‘home base’ gig in the late ’50s. This small storefront is now occupied by Pop’s Groceries.
Brookmont Club aka The 110 Club in the Brookmont Hotel 110 E. 40th St.
This was reportedly the site of Little Walter’s first ever performance with the Aces, as well as regular gigs by Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Junior Wells and others.
The Club Claremont NE corner of 39th St. and Indiana
Where Kokomo Arnold and Albert Ammons played regularly throughout ’38
Hollywood Rendezvous 3849 S. Indiana
Big Bill Broonzy played there in the late ’40s, and Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, J.T. Brown, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter Jacobs, and Jr. Wells & The Four Aces all did gigs there in the ’50s
Rose & Kelly’s two locations near 39th and Indiana
Smitty’s Corner 3456 S. Indiana
Where George “Mojo” Buford, Elmore James, Sunnyland Slim, Willie Nix, Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers, Otis Spann, and Jo Jo Williams played gigs, and which served as Muddy Waters ‘home base’ in the ’50s and ’60s.
Harmonia Hotel 30th and Indiana
Where Big Bill Broonzy, Eddie Boyd and Big Maceo played gigs in the mid-’40s, and Eddie Boyd played regularly in ’50.
The Flame Lounge 3020 S. Indiana
Site of gigs by Lonnie Johnson c. ’38-mid ’40s, and Sunnyland Slim, Eddie Boyd, Homer Harris, Roosevelt Sykes, Memphis Slim, Tampa Red, Big Maceo, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Williamson gigs from 1944-1948.
Tuxedo Lounge 3119 S. Indiana
Where Baby Face Leroy Foster, Lazy Bill Lucas, and Willie Mabon played gigs in the late ’40s, and Lee Jackson, Elmore James, Jimmy Walker, and Jo Jo Williams played in the ’50s;
George Wood’s Tempo Tap (sometimes referred to as “Timber Tap”) 217 E. 31st St.
Boogie Woogie Red (Vernon Harrison), Willie Mabon, John Lee Williamson, and Memphis Slim played here in the late ’40s
Plantation Club on the north side of 31st St., two doors east of Giles Ave.
Site of gigs by Memphis Slim, Ida Cox, Bertha “Chippie” Hill, Frankie “Half Pint” Jaxon, Lonnie Johnson, Lazy Bill Lucas, Little Hudson, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Young gigs, c. ’20s-early ’50s, as well as John Lee Williamson’s final gig on May 31, 1948.
Sam & Gussie’s Lounge 3022 S. Cottage
Site of gigs by Johnny Jones, L.C. McKinley and Odie Payne in 1952
El Macomba Club 39th and Cottage Grove
Owned by Phil and Leonard Chess
Jimmy’s Palm Garden 804-6 E. Oakwood
The Blue Flame 809 E. Oakwood
Where Eddie Boyd, Willie Mabon, Jump Jackson and Jo Jo Adams held regular gigs
Trianon Ballroom 6201 S. Cottage Grove
Called “America’s most luxurious public ballroom.” Occasional blues artists such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Jimmy Reed, Bo Diddley, Willie Mabon, and Buddy Guy were on the bill in the ’50s
Joe’s Los Angeles Show Bar 6223 S. Cottage Grove
Rhythm Willie, Jo Jo Adams, Joe Williams and others played there between the late ’30s and early ’50s
Cotton Club 6249 S. Cottage Grove
Where Good Rockin’ Charles, Lazy Bill Lucas, Magic Sam, Muddy Waters, Earlee Payton, Little Hudson, Big Smokey Smothers, Big Boy Spires, Johnny Williams, Homesick James and others played in the ’50s.
Tivoli Theater on 63rd just off Cottage Grove
Ruth Brown and Joe Tex played there in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
McKie’s Disc Jockey Lounge 6325 S. Cottage Grove
McKie’s was a popular site for big name jazz and blues acts, including of Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter Jacobs, Muddy Waters, Percy Mayfield, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, T-Bone Walker, Jr. Wells, and Jimmy Witherspoon in the late ’50s and early ’60s.
Strand Lounge 6323 S. Cottage Grove
Basin Street Club 6312 S. Cottage Grove
Where Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Willie Mabon, and Bo Diddley played gigs in the mid ’50s.
Playroom Lounge (in the Pershing Hotel) 6400 S. Cottage Grove
Memphis Slim and Muddy Waters played gigs there 1961
Birdland Club 6412 S. Cottage Grove
where Lowell Fulson and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson played gigs in 1956
The New C&C Lounge 6513 S. Cottage Grove
Club Arden 1368 E. 63rd St.
Where Billy Boy Arnold, Willie Mabon, and McKinley Mitchell played gigs around 1962
Coral Club 1378 E. 63rd St.
“Blue Monday” parties were often advertised in Chicago Defender in late ’50s, although no known blues artists are mentioned in the ads.
Crown Propeller Lounge (a/k/a The Propeller Lounge) 868 E. 63rd St.
Many jazz and blues acts that played there, Amos Milborn, Big Joe Turner, Big Jay McNeely, T-Bone Walker, Harmonica Slim, Clifton Chenier, Clarence “Big” Miller, Roy Milton,and Phillip Walker all worked there from 1953-1955.
The 520 Club at 520 E. 63rd St
Pelican Lounge 416 E. 61st St.
The Hickory Pit 419 W. 63rd
Site of regular gigs by Dr. Jo Jo Adams
The Green Door 450 W. 63rd St.
Willie Mabon, Mighty Joe Young, Billy Boy Arnold, Memphis Slim, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf all played herein the late ’50s.
The 504 Club 504 W. 63rd St
Rock & Roll Lounge 532 W. 63rd St.
Where Billy Boy Arnold, Mighty Joe Young, and Otis Rush had regular gigs in 1959
Walter’s Show Lounge 47th and Lake Park Ave
Where Mojo Buford and others played in the mid ’50s
Tramor Hotel and Café 740 E. 47th
Where Memphis Minnie played and extended engagement with pianist Black Bob and clarinetist Arnett Nelson in 1936
708 Club 708 E. 47th
Between the mid ’40s and the late ’50s when the club closed, it was the site of regular gigs by all of the top names in on the Chicago blues scene, including Memphis Minnie & Little Son Joe, Tampa Red, Billy Boy Arnold, Robert Nighthawk, Howlin’ Wolf, Sunnyland Slim, Rice Miller, James Cotton, Honeyboy Edwards, Babyface Leroy Foster, Buddy Guy, Little Walter Jacobs, Elmore James, Syl Johnson, Little Johnny Jones, Willie Mabon, Magic Sam, Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Louis Myers, Snooky Pryor, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, Jimmy Walker, Uncle Johnny Williams, Joe Carter and Luther Allison among many others. It was outside this club that Buddy Guy had his first fortuitous meeting with Muddy Waters just days after arriving from Louisiana
648 Club 648 E. 47th
Where Roosevelt Sykes had a regular gig
Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge 624 E. 47th
Carey Bell, Eddie Clearwater, Little Walter, Honeyboy Edwards, Elmore James, Luther “Snake” Johnson, Freddie King, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Little Mac Simmons, Hound Dog Taylor, and Detroit Junior were all regulars at Cadillac Baby’s
Brady’s 4719 South Parkway
Regal Theater 47th and King Drive
Original home of the theater, THE Chicago venue for everybody who was anybody on the black entertainment circuit for half of this century–from the ’30s onward including blues artists like Big Bill Broonzy, Louis Jordan, Memphis Slim, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, T-Bone Walker, Otis Rush, Bobby Bland, Ray Charles, Albert King, B.B. King, Ike & Tina Turner, Etta James, Buddy & Ella Johnson, James Booker, Little Milton and Jr. Parker. where BB King- Live at the Regal Theater was recorded.
Savoy Theater/Ballroom 47th and King Dr.
Also housed the offices of Vee Jay Records beginning in late ’53 at 412 E. 47th
Metropolitan Theater, a/k/a The Met 4644 S. King Drive
Where Cab Calloway, Bessie Smith, Victoria Spivey, Louis Armstrong and others played in the ’20s and ’30s.
I Spy 500 block of 63rd
Porter’s 59th and Halsted
Flying Fox 69th and Halsted
Josephine’s 76th and Halsted
Florence’s 54th and Shield
Chorpus Christi Auditorium 4600 S. King Drive
Site of “McKie’s Variety Show” in ’54 starring Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Eddie Boyd, Jimmy Rogers and many others.
Club DeLisa 4708 S. Dearborn
The first location for this club, where Memphis Minnie was a regular in the ’30s (later became the first Cadillac Baby’s Show Lounge in the ’50s),
Cozy Inn Just off the southeast corner of 43rd and State St.
Big Walter Horton and Johnny Temple played gigs here in ’54.
The Indiana Theater 219 E. 43rd St
the anchor of this entertainment district, and a popular site for apres-film midnight variety shows featuring the top local talent like Big Bill Broonzy in the ’30s, Arthur Crudup and Memphis Minnie ’40s, and Muddy Waters, Little Walter, St. Louis Jimmy and Big Bill again in the early ’50s, as well as occasional national touring acts
The White Elephant 528 E. 43rd
Known as The White Elephant in the ’30s when Memphis Minnie and Curtis Jones played there, and as Don’s Den in the ’40s when Johnny Shines had a regular gig there. .
Frader’s Juke Box Lounge at 830-34 E. 43rd St
Where Eddie Boyd and King Kolax were playing in ’52
Ritz Hotel 3949 S. King Drive
On the bottom floor was the Ritz Blue Room, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown played an extended engagement at the affiliated Ritz Theater in 1948, and Rhythm Willie and Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson were also regulars there in the ’40s.
Ruby Luca’s Gay Spot Club 2711 Wentworth
Little Hudson Showers held a regular gig here in ’54
The Dew Drop Inn 3609 Wentworth
Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Baby Face Leroy Foster, Little Walter Jacobs, Earlee Payton, Jimmy Rogers, Little Hudson Showers, Jr. Wells & The Aces and Roosevelt Sykes all played gigs here in the 1940s and 1950s.
The Club Alibi 2726 Wentworth
Jimmie Lee Robinson, Eddie Taylor, Billy Boy Arnold, Earlee Payton, Otis Rush, Little Hudson Showers, and Uncle Johnny Williams played here in the ’50s
The Sawdust Trail 4401 S. Wentworth
Site of gigs by Roosevelt Sykes c. ’49, and Bo Diddley, Otis “Big Smokey” Smothers, Howlin’ Wolf, and Billy Boy Arnold in the early ’50s.
The Club Blue Flame 5127 S. Wentworth
Hob Nob Lounge 5200 S. Wentworth Ave
In 1950, and Shakey Jake Harris and Little Hudson Showers were among those playing gigs here.
Castle Rock A couple of blocks west at the SE corner of 53rd and Princeton
This was site of gigs by Big Boy Spires, Billy Boy Arnold, Big Smokey and Little Smokey Smothers, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, Otis Spann, Uncle Johnny Williams, Mighty Joe Young, and Louis Myers gigs in the ’50s;
Kid Riviera’s Barrelhouse Lounge (a/k/a The Barrelhouse Lounge south side of 51st St., a few doors west of Michigan Ave
Where Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter Jacobs, Jimmy Walker, and Mighty Joe Young all worked 1955 to 1956.
Square’s Steakhouse (a/k/a Square Washington’s Boulevard Lounge) 105 E. 51st St.
Lonnie Johnson played regular gigs here
Ada’s Lounge & Chicken Shack (later known as Rocket Show Lounge in the mid ’50s, and later still as The Del Morocco) 5114 S. Prairie Ave
Muddy Waters played a regular Tuesday night gig here in 1950, and Little Walter Jacobs, Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, Billy Boy Arnold, Muddy Waters, and Junior Wells all played gigs here in the mid to late ’50s.
Harlem Café 350 E. 51st St
It later became known as the Savannah Club, and Lil Mason, Cool Breeze, and Roosevelt Sykes were all regulars there between the mid ’40s and early ’50s.
The Cafe De Society 309 E. 55th (Garfield Blvd.)
The site of an extended engagement by Saunders King in 1944
Swingland Café 300E block of 55th later known as The Rhumboogie in the ’40s
Where T-Bone Walker, Wynonie Harris and Rhythm Willie did gigs in the mid ’40s
Joe’s Deluxe Club 6323 S. King Drive
Lonnie Johnson held down a regular gig in ’43
Roberts Show Club 6620 S. King Drive,
a major venue for jazz, pop and blues from the late ’50s through the ’60s. Dinah Washington, Brook Benton, Ruth Brown, The Falcons, Earl Hooker & Lillian Offit, Louis Jordan, B.B. King, Joe Williams, The Treniers, and Albert King all played there over the years. The 6500 and 6600 blocks of King Dr. have several large buildings, such as Roberts Motel, Roberts Hotel, Roberts Banquets, etc.
Stormy’s Club/Inn NW corner of Root St. and Princeton Ave
Hound Dog Taylor, Big Smokey Smothers, Arthur “Big Boy” Spires, Uncle Johnny Williams all played gigs there
L & D Lounge 335 W. 71st St.
They presented Clear Waters (Eddy Clearwater) and L.C. McKinley gigs in the late ’50s
The Impala Lounge 100 E. 71st St
The Club Jamboree 3328 E. 90th St
It was the site of Snooky Pryor, Floyd Jones, Jimmy Reed and Little Willie Foster gigs in the early ’50s
Restvale Cemetary 11700 S. Laramie, Alsip Illinois
Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, Big Walter Horton, JB Hutto, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Eddie Taylor, Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Tucker, Valerie Wellington are all buried here.
Copa Cabana Club 3358 W. Roosevelt
Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Magic Sam, Elmore James, Shakey Jake Harris, Jimmy Dawkins, Otis Spann, and Hound Dog Taylor played gigs here in the ’50s and early ’60s.
Club 34 3417 W. Roosevelt
Homer Harris, Johnny Jones, Harold Burrage, Muddy Waters, and Eddie Taylor played gigs here in the mid ’50s
The Zanzibar 1254 S. Ashland
The site of gigs by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter Jacobs, Billy Boy Arnold, Carey Bell, Joe Carter, Baby Face Leroy Foster, Freddie King, Johnny Littlejohn, Earlee Payton, Jimmy Rogers, Little Hudson Showers, George “Harmonica” Smith, Arbee Stidham, Eddie Taylor, and Tampa Red from the ’40s through the ’50s. . (It was in the men’s room of this club that Willie Dixon is said to have taught Muddy the lyrics to “Hoochie Coochie Man” during a break in one of Muddy’s many gigs there.)
The 1815 Club 1815 W. Roosevelt
Owned by Howlin’ Wolf in the ’60s and Eddie Shaw in the ’70s, the 1815 Club saw Magic Sam, Luther Allison, Carey Bell, Fenton Robinson, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, Johnny Young, Howlin’ Wolf, Billy Boy Arnold, Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Dawkins, Bobo Jenkins, Birmingham Jones, Johnny Littlejohn, Louis Myers and The Aces, Andrew “Voice” Odum, Jimmy Reed, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Taylor, Hound Dog Taylor, Jimmy Walker, Detroit Junior, Lee “Shot” Williams, and Mighty Joe Young gigs between the late ’50s and the ’70s
The Alex Club also known as the Tay May Club 1400 W. Roosevelt
Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, J.B. Lenoir, Elmore James, Otis Rush, Homesick James, Mighty Joe Young, Willie Dixon, and Shakey Jake all played gigs in the ’50s and ’60s, and where much of Magic Sam’s classic live album was recorded in the early ’60s.
Walton’s Corner The northwest corner of California Ave. and Roosevelt
Luther Allison, Carey Bell, Dusty Brown, Freddie King, Johnny Littlejohn, Muddy Waters, Fenton Robinson, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Rush, Johnny Shines, Little Mack Simmons, Eddie Taylor, and Big John Wrencher all played there in the ’50s and ’60s
2254 W. Lake St. (First location from the late 1930s until sometime around 1960)
3200 W. Lake (Second and smaller location from around 1960 until the early ’70s)
Casbah Lounge On the south side of Lake a few doors west of Kedzie
Del Morroco Club #2 Northwest corner of Lake and Halsted
Maxwell Street One block south of Roosevelt, just east of Halsted
The Maxwell Street Market, where so many famous and obscure blues artists first played in Chicago, and an area where many of them lived as well. The only real “landmark” left on the street is the Jim’s Original Maxwell Street Polish Sausage stand at the corner of Halsted and Maxwell–Jim’s has been open continuously since at least the 1950s, and many a bluesman has enjoyed a late night or early morning heartburn special at this corner.
Maxwell Radio & Record Shop 831 W. Maxwell St
Home of Ora Nelle Records- . Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Sleepy John Estes, Johnny Young and others cut records in the back room.
Triangle Inn the three-way intersection of 14th St., Racine and Blue Island
Eddie Boyd, John Lee Williamson and others played gigs in the ’40s.
1410 Club 1410 W. Roosevelt
Big Bill Broonzy and Memphis Slim played here in the ’40s.
.The Chicken Shack 1806 W. Roosevelt
One of Muddy’s earliest gigs in Chicago with Jimmy Rogers was played here
Charlie’s Lounge 1811 W. Roosevelt
Dusty Brown, Elmore James, and Homesick James played here in the late ’50s.
David & Mason’s Club Polk St. and Ogdan Ave.
The site of Muddy Waters’ first regular gig in Chicago with Jimmy Rogers
Delta Fish Market
Big Duke’s and the Avenue Madison and California
Rock Bottom Club Washburne and Hoyne
Little Walter Jacobs and Howlin’ Wolf played gigs there in 1953
Big Duke’s Flamingo Roosevelt & Washtenaw
L & A (Majestic) 1422 S. Pulaski
Big Squeeze 16th and St. Louis
Curley’s Twist City Madison and Homan
Key Largo Roosevelt & Damen
Rat Trap Cermak & Keeler
Barney’s One Stop Roosevelt a block east of Western
Martin’s Corner 1900 W. Lake
Willie Dixon & Five Breezes, Baby Doo Caston, Memphis Minnie, Lonnie Johnson, Sunnyland Slim, Kansas Joe McCoy, Harmon “Peetie Wheatstraw’s Buddy” Ray, Jump Jackson, Kokomo Arnold, and Tommy Brown played gigs between the mid ’30s and early ’50s
Johnson’s Lounge also known as The Cozy Corner 2200 W. Lake
This was the site of gigs by Big Bill Broonzy and Memphis Slim in the ’40s, and Homesick James, Johnny Shines, Eddie Boyd, Honeyboy Edwards and others in the ’50s;
1015 Club 1015 W. Madison
J.B. Hutto, Lazy Bill Lucas, and Homesick James played here in the late ’40s and early ’50s
The Purple Cat 2119 W. Madison
John Lee Williamson, Snooky Pryor, Homesick James, Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Henley, Little Walter Jacobs, Lazy Bill Lucas, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Tampa Red, and Uncle Johnny Williams all played there in the ’40’s.
Ralph’s Club 2157 W. Madison
Memphis Slim, Eddie Boyd, Willie Mabon played in the early ’50s.
Happy Home Lounge 2250 W. Madison
The site of gigs by Billy Boy Arnold, Eddy Clearwater, J.B. Hutto, and JB Lenoir in the early and mid ’50s
Chuck’s Bar Northeast corner of Madison St. and Damen Ave.
The site of Elmore James’ first gig in Chicago.
Hi Hat Lounge also know n as Red’s Playmore Lounge Southeast corner of Madison St. and Damen Ave.
Freddie King and Jimmie Lee Robinson played there with their band The Every Hour Blues Boys in the early ’50s, and J.B. Hutto was a regular in the early and mid ’50s.
Madison Rink 2560 W. Madison
Mainly the site of a lot of roller skating, but also used for occasional big shows including Dinah Washington and Little Walter in ’53 and ’54.
Wagon Wheel Club 2757 W. Madison (First Floor)
Shakey Jake, Magic Sam, and Hound Dog Taylor played gigs here in the mid and late ’50s
Joe’s Rendezvous Lounge 2757 W. Madison (Second Floor)
Eddie Taylor, Jimmie Lee Robinson and Harold Burrage played gigs here in 1951.
The Bamboo Inn 2724 W. Madison
Fifth Avenue Social Club 10 S. California
Memphis Slim and Muddy Waters were playing gigs here in 1952
One-Derful Records 1827 S. Michigan
George Lwaned and his brother Ernie, Owners. Mar-V-Lus and Halo Records were also locate3d here. Alvin Cash, Otis Clay, Five Du-Tones-“ Make a Tail Feathe”. This was the first company to record the Jackson 5.
Chess Records 4858 S. Cottage Grove
Early Chess headquarters VeeJay Records was down the block
Chess Records 4750 S. Cottage Grove
Another early location. Parrot Records was also located here.
Chess Headquarters 1957-1965 2120 S. Michigan
Currently the home of the Willie Dixon Blues Heaven Foundation
Chess headquarters post 1966 til 1975 320 E. 21st
Chess records warehouse. The original “Chess Corp.” sign is still mounted to the wall next to the main entrance. Recording site of “Electric Mud”
Home of Vee-Jay Records 1449 S. Michigan
Also Brunswick Records: Jimmy Reed, Staples Singers, Swan Silvertones, Wayne Shorter, The Impressions, Betty Everett, Gene Chandler, The Beatles all recorded for or were distributed by Vee-Jay.
Vee-Jay moved around a lot before settling here. They started out at 412 E. 47th St. in 1953, moved to1155 E. 47th in late ’53. Then to 4747 S. Cottage Grove in 1954 2129 S. Michigan Ave., on the ground floor of the demolished New Michigan Hotel. The last home of the label was 1249 S. Michigan
Parkway Records 2320 S. Michigan
Recorded Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Little Willie Foster in the 1950’s
Home of Constellation Records 1421 S. Michigan
Ewert Abner was the president of ther company, He came from Vee Jay, Gene Chandler and Carl Davis recorded for the label.
United/States Records 5052 S. Cottage Grove
For whom Junior Wells, Big Walter Horton, Robert Nighthawk, Lefty Bates and Arbee Stidham, Memphis Slim, and Roosevelt Sykes all recorded in the ’50s
USA Records 1448 S. Michigan Ave
Willie Mabon, Homesick James, JB Lenoir, TV Slim, Detroit Junior, Lonnie Brooks, Andrew Brown, Eddie Clearwater, Billy “The Kid” Emerson, Fenton Robinson, Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, and Johnny Young all recorded here.
Chance Records 2011 S. Michigan
Recorded John Lee Hooker, Sunnyland Slim, J.B. Hutto, Homesick James and others in the ’50s
Curtom Records 8543 S, Stoney Island
Curtom’s Original Home
Curtom Records 5915 N. Lincoln
Curtom’s final home.
CJ/Colt/Firma Records 4803 S. Indiana
An active independent that recorded Jimmy Rogers, Little Mack Simmons, Lee Jackson, Hound Dog Taylor and others
Parrot/Blue Lake Records 4307 S. King Drive
John Brim, Little Willie Foster, J.B. Lenoir, Baby Boy Warren, Sunnyland Slim and others recorded for this label in the early ’50s.
Cobra Records 2854 W. Roosevelt
The original home of Eli Toscano’s Cobra/Abco/Artistic Records. Cobra’s later home was five blocks west at 3346 W. Roosevelt
Tempo-Tone Records 301 S. Sacramento
The site of a tavern that in it’s back room housed Tempo-Tone Records, for which Sunnyland Slim, Baby Face Leroy, Little Walter, Floyd Jones and others recorded in 1950.
JOB Records 1121 W. 59th St
for whom Johnny Shines, JB Lenoir, Memphis Minnie, Sunnyland Slim, John Brim, Babyface Leroy Foster, and others recorded in the early ’50s.