He started Chess Records in 1950 with his brother Leonard. The company had previously been named Aristocrat Records and produced a wide variety of music style. With the name change, the company shifted focus to R&B music. The label released music by Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Willie Dixon, but was perhaps best known for launching the career of Etta James.
He retired in 1972 and the record label ceased operation not long after. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1995 as a non-performer.
Goodbye Phil Chess!
Songs to remember him by:
Gene Ammons - "My Foolish Heart"
Chuck Berry - "No Particular Place to Go"
Etta James - "All I Could Do Was Cry"