Phil Chess, American record producer and company executive, Died at 95

  Business, Music

Philip “Phil” Chess (birth name Fiszel Czyż) was born on March 27, 1921, and died on October 18, 2016.

He was a Polish-bornb American record producer and company executive, the co-founder with his brother of Chess Records.

He was raised in a Jewish community in Częstochowa, Poland.

Chess and his brother Lejzor, sister Malka and mother followed their father to Chicago in 1928.

His family name was changed to Chess, with Lejzor becoming Leonard and Fiszel becoming Philip.

In 1946, when he left the Army, Phil joined Leonard in running a popular club, the Macomba Lounge.

Two years after that, Leonard became a partner in Aristocrat Records, a local company that recorded a wide range of music, and Phil joined in 1950.

Then the company then changed its name to Chess Records and started concentrating on R&B music, signing and recording artists such as Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, “Sonny Boy Williamson” (Rice Miller), Robert Lockwood Jr., Etta James, Willie Dixon, Howlin Wolf and Chuck Berry. Phil Chess was actively involved in producing many of their seminal blues and rock and roll recordings.

The company stayed at large successfully through the 1950s and early 1960s, until it was sold to GRT in 1968.

Phil Chess passed away at 95 years old.