Monday, July 25, 2011

The Chess Sound: Malcom Chislom

So I'm sitting with my tattered copy of "Back Home," and I note that the engineer is Malcom Chisolm, and being ignorant but always hopeful to learn, I type his name into google...

Check out this resume:;_ylu=X3oDMTEydTZmaHR0BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA0Y4MjNfOTA-/SIG=1253t7vhf/EXP=1243534056/**http%3a//

Think about the music that man heard! And the sound he helped to create!  And his favorite?

The session at Universal that Chisholm recalled most fondly in his later years, though, occurred on May 21, 1955. That was the day when a dapper young hipster from St. Louis named Chuck Berry came into the studio with a county-style rocker dubbed Ida Red. There was already a song out by that name; Leonard Chess, after spotting a Maybelline cosmetic bottle sitting on a windowsill, suggested a name change (and, apparently, a slight modification in spelling). The result was one of the seminal recordings in rock ‘n’ roll history.

“[Berry] was an absolute original,” Chisholm told Steve King in 1991. “Only man I ever ran across who used the English language as a rhythm instrument. We had three hours, we had to do four tunes, we had a well-rehearsed band, and by golly we sold some records! That session probably cost Leonard Chess all of a thousand dollars, and I think we got four good sides on it [Maybelline, Wee Wee Hours, Thirty Days (To Come Back Home), and You Can't Catch Me]. I was Chuck Berry’s engineer from then on, except for once or twice when I was out of town. I always felt kind of good that Chuck was successful.”
I got the picture and the quote from this website, which has an article about Mr. Chisolm:  bluesheaven

(But, Mr. Chilsom-- it was ALL legitimate!) (And Thanks!)

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