How did America’s favorite music of the 50s and 60s get to your turntable (and today on Youtube and your i-Pod?) A lot of it came from right here in Chicagoland. You may have heard of the Chess label from the movie Cadillac Records, but what about Brunswick, home of the Chi-Lites, and VeeJay which actually introduced the Beatles and Betty “Shoop Shoop” Everett?  How did Gene Chandler get to be the Duke of Earl?

Longtime Windy City entertainment attorney Jay B. Ross, through his educational Jay B. Ross Foundation, plans to school you with his panel of noted artists, critics and promoters at Columbia College on Friday March 30 2017.

 Doors open for this FREE presentation at Columbia’s Music Center auditorium, 1014 S. Michigan Ave. –the first in a series of Ross Foundation discussions.  Future programs could feature blues, house music, various decades of rock, country, jazz and hip-hop.

“People that don’t know their own history are doomed to make the same mistakes their ancestors made,” stated Ross.  He noted how a minor publishing company in the 1960s sent a representative to Chicago who bought up songwriters rights—much too cheaply, costing these writers and performers thousands, even millions of dollars.

Two esteemed music writers will moderate: Robert Pruter, author of the definitive books like “Doo-Wop” and “Chicago Soul”: and Bill Dahl, All-Music Guide writer and author of “Motown: The Golden Years” and “The Art of the Blues” as well as numerous album liner notes. Noted performers who will tell their true music business stories include Gene Chandler, the elegant Duke of Earl; Marshall Thompson of the Chi-Lites, and Jackie Ross, singer of “Selfish One” and other Chess hits.  Music historian Greg Moore, a former traveling DJ who administers the Facebook page Soul to Soul, will offer an up to date perspective on those formative music years.

Audience members will be able to ask questions. The panel will be videotaped for documentation.  Special invitation is extended to area performers and industry professionals of this area to attend,  see old friends and participate!


 An after-party with networking and snacks will follow at 8:30 pm at the South Loop Club, One East Balbo St. (next to Buddy Guy’s) only a couple blocks from the panel venue.  



For additional information or guest speakers to promote the event contact: Jay B. Ross at 312-633-9000 any week day afternoon or email

Please share especially with professionals of this era

"Barrelhouse Bonni" McKeown, the author of "West Side Blues Blog," has played piano and written about blues music for over 15 years.  She has led classes for young and old on...