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Theresa’s Lounge

4801 S Indiana Ave.

Theresa Needham was called frequently called “Miss T” by the regulars of the blues bar she ran for decades. Opening its doors in 1949, the room did not have a stage, which made the audiences feel closer to the artists. At a time of mass migration and ongoing segregation, this family atmosphere within the club was especially welcomed. During the 1950s and ’60s that small space featured such legends as Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, James Cotton and Junior Wells. Along with leading the house band, Wells recorded his 1974 album On Tap at Theresa’s. These artists spread the word of Theresa’s when they toured worldwide, so its tables and booths were filled with fans from around the world, as well as across Chicago. Despite its international renown, a property dispute forced the club to close in 1983 and it moved to a nearby location where it ran for three years. Needham died in 1992 but her contributions to the spread of the music played at her club became recognized in 2001 when she was elected into the Blues Foundation’s Hall Of Fame.

– A.C. 

Caption: Former location of Theresa's Lounge.

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