In the middle of the 20th century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American history.
But for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked. Leeba didn't exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captured the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offered her a job at his new record company. What began as answering phones and filing became much more as Leeba came into her own as a songwriter and befriended performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James.
But she also found love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree. With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba's Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon found themselves in the middle of the civil rights movement, and they discovered that in times of struggle, music can bring people together.
"The award-winning voice actor Robin Miles has a wonderful affinity for accents and character voices. This intimate look at the rise of Chicago's electric blues and the Chess Record label in the late 1940s and '50s gives her a perfect stage. Miles produces a myriad of character voices--from legendary bluesman Muddy Waters's Mississippi growl to harmonica player Little Walter's insistent tone to Leonard Chess's Yiddish intonations. Miles also finds the easy warmth and pulsating sense of discovery that sweeps the interracial couple Leeba Groski and Red Dupree from the first chords of a love song to the front lines of the Civil Rights movement. This is a big-hearted story that can only be told with the rhythm of the blues." (AudioFile)
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Timely and Timeless
- Sydney Joy
- Book Hoarder Letty