Dueling movies about Chess Records spin into release


When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time in Chicago, home of two great baseball teams, a host of colorful politicians and the best blues in the world. Back in the day, you weren't anyone in the blues world unless you were signed to Chess Records, the label that made stars out of a generation of rough and tumble musicians, notably Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Howlin' Wolf.

So when I was at the recent Toronto Film Festival, I made a point of seeing "Who Do You Love," which stars Alessandro Nivola and Jon Abrahams as Leonard and Phil Chess, two hard-nosed immigrant entrepreneurs who ended up creating Chess Records, the 1950s record label that popularized urban blues and later, with the arrival of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, ushered in a brash new form of rock 'n' roll that was adopted by the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and thousands of other young white rock artists.

After the screening, I ran into a film executive, who whispered in my ear, "Do you know that there's another one?" Puzzled, I said, "Another what?" He laughed. "Another movie about Chess Records."

(LA Times)


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