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The Checkerboard

423 E 43rd St.

Blues guitarist Buddy Guy and L.C. Thurman established The Checkerboard Lounge in 1972 and the club became a hot spot for live blues that attracted everyone from neighborhood fans, university students to visiting international rock stars. This club also stood as one of the pivotal entertainment spots in the Bronzeville neighborhood in the decades that followed the Great Migration of African Americans to Chicago. One famous exchange occurred in 1981 when The Rolling Stones came here to jam with Muddy Waters. Guy sold his interest in the club in 1985, but his brother Phil Guy continued performing at the venue as did such other local blues artists as Vance Kelly and Lefty Dizz. The Checkerboard moved to Hyde Park in 2005 and closed ten years later following Thurman’s death. But Guy kept the spirit of The Checkerboard going with his own club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, in the South Loop.

– A.C. 

Caption: Former location of The Checkerboard.

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