Blues history in the South Loop

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In her concise and illuminating history of the South Loop in this week’s paper Martha Bayne mentions that the old offices and studio of Chess Records at 2120 S. Michigan closed in 1975, earned landmark status in 1990, and now house Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation. Saturday evening in that space, where so much blues history was put to tape, the Chicago Film Archives present Singing Streams: Roots of Gospel and Blues, a program of blues and gospel films. Among the works being screened are The Sun's Gonna Shine, Les Blank's 1969 portrait of Texas singer and guitarist Lightnin' Hopkins (pictured), and Sonny Terry: Shoutin' the Blues, a five-minute short by Yasha Aginsky shot that same year in a motel room in Oakland, California, where the blind harmonica legend explains how he ended up with a role in the original late-40s production of the Broadway musical Finian's Rainbow. The program begins at 7 PM and admission is five bucks. For more info call 773-478-3799.

Today's playlist:

Monotonix, Body Language (Drag City)
Welcome, Sirs (Fat Cat)
Gary Louris, Vagabonds (Rykodisc)
Joseph Jarman, As If It Were the Seasons (Delmark)
Catherine Howe, What a Beautiful Place (Numero Group)

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