Willie and Marie Dixon
2120 South Michigan Avenue
In 1993, Willie Dixon's widow, Marie, purchased the
Chess Records building at 2120 S. Michigan Avenue and began the restoration of the historic landmark, reopening in September 1997 with a dedication ceremony donating the building to the Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation.
It is now home to the
Blues Heaven Foundation.
Chess Records, formed and run by brothers Leonard and Phil Chess, was a company that produced and released many important singles and albums, which are now regarded as central to the blues and rock music genre. At one time, Chess Records was considered "America's greatest blues label" with notable acts including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Etta James, Chuck Berry, and Bo Diddley. Willie Dixon was one of the main producers, songwriters, and arrangers of the signature "Chess Records Sound".
Chess Records was based at several different locations on the south side of Chicago, Illinois. The most famous location was 2120 S. Michigan Avenue from around 1956 to 1967.
During those years, Willie Dixon, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson II, and so many more, were recorded in the legendary studio.
As an homage, it was immortalized by British rock group The Rolling Stones in
"2120 South Michigan Avenue",
an instrumental recorded there in June 1964, during the group's first U.S. tour.