With the passing of phil chess co founder of chess records in late 2016 culture trip takes a look back at the story of the legendary independent label that brought the chicago blues of muddy waters and howlin wolf and the rock and roll of chuck berry to the worlds attention in the 1940s 50s and 60s phil and leonard chess were born in . The story of chess records early origins phil and leonard chess were jewish immigrants who moved to the midwestern united states from poland making waves the company really began to take off the following year when the chess brothers started a very successful later years as well as producing . Leonard and phil chess two polish born immigrants founded chess records the pre eminent blues label of the 50s and 60seventually they created a monopoly of chicago music recording doing sessions and releasing recordings by every major blues performer from john lee hooker elmore james king of the slide guitar to bo diddley through jimmy reed chuck berry and everyone in between
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