On this day 55 years ago, The Rolling Stones visited Chess Records studio at 2120 South Michigan Avenue in Chicago during their first U.S. tour where they recorded R&B covers from some of their favorite artists. During the day, they met their blues heroes, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, and rock pioneer Chuck Berry, some of the famous artists that recorded there. The visit came just after their debut album was climbing the charts in the UK where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards got their start playing covers of Chess recordings. LEARN more, and check out the new exhibit featuring photos of the historic visit to benefit restoration of the building… (1964)

The sessions were featured on their U.K. EP Five by Five and on their second U.S. studio LP 12 x 5, and included the song that became their first #1 hit, It’s All Over Now, as well as Time Is On My Side. It also included the Stones’ original instrumental named after the studio’s now-famous street address, 2120 South Michigan Avenue.

A new photo exhibition of the historic visit opened last week (running through June 29) at Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation, which is located at the site of the famous blues label’s headquarters. Prints and portfolios of the photos taken by the band’s US tour manager will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefitting the Foundation in its efforts to restore the Chess Records building.

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In his biography, Keith Richards described Chess records as “hallowed ground” and the “perfect recording studio”.

MORE Good News on this Day:

  • The Chicago Tribune newspaper began publishing (1847)
  • A patent for the window envelope (an envelope with a window in it) was granted to H F Callahan (1902)
  • The United Church of Canada held its first service following the merger of Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregationalist churches (1925)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio, by Bill Wilson –who, the day before, drank his last drink– and Dr. Bob Smith who helped form AA’s Twelve Step program of spiritual and character development. (1935)
  • Saab produced its first automobile (1947)
  • Apple Computer shipped its first Apple II personal computer (1977)
  • Web 2.0‘ became the millionth word to enter the English language, a technical term meaning the next generation of World Wide Web products and services (2009)

Judy Garland square

And, on this day in 1922, Judy Garland, the singer and actress who played ‘Dorothy’ in the Wizard Of Oz, was born in Minnesota. Named Frances Ethel Gumm, she was performing at the age of three and went on to earn Academy Award nods for roles in A Star Is Born and Judgment at Nuremberg. During her 40-year career, she is perhaps best known for singing ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, which was voted the ‘Song Of The Century’ in an American poll. In 1969, at the age of 47, the international star died of a barbiturate overdose. Other famous films include Meet Me in St. Louis and Easter Parade. Her children, Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, carried on her legacy as singers and actors.


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