Phil Chess, co-founder of a Chicago record label that amassed perhaps the most influential blues catalog of all time and launched the careers of Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters, has died. He was 95.
Chess died overnight in Tucson, Ariz., his nephew Craig Glicken told the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday.
Chess and his brother, Leonard, founded Chess Records in 1950.
The label recorded not only blues artists but also the early rock ‘n’ roll of Chuck Berry and Etta James' rich vocal stylings. It was Chess Records that helped raise Chicago to its status as the capital of blues, recalled Buddy Guy.