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Willie Dixon’s Yambo Records

7711 S Racine Ave.

As a bassist, songwriter and talent scout, Willie Dixon was a crucial part of Chicago’s blues legacy. While he may be best known for his work at Chess Records, he was also a tireless entrepreneur and started his own company, Yambo, which he ran from the late 1960s into the mid 1970s. Dixon released his own socially conscious album, Peace?, on Yambo in 1971 but also released singles from such contemporaries as Koko Taylor, J.J. Taylor and McKinley Mitchell. One of Yambo’s singles, Lucky Peterson’s “1, 2, 3, 4,” became a hit when Peterson was five years old. The company was also a cornerstone of Dixon’s Blues Factory/Soul Productions, which also included the subsidiary companies Spoonful and Supreme. After closing the label, Dixon continued speaking out for blues artists’ royalties until his death in 1992 at the age of 76.

– A.C. 

Caption: Former location of Willie Dixon's Yambo Records.

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