Cadillac Records (DVD)

Blues brother

Out of the melting pot of 1950s Chicago, a city being defined by the fight for racial equality, young free-thinker Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) saw the opportunity to make his fortune. Recognising that the Blues music filtering up from the Deep South deserved far more than the ‘Race Records’ tag given to it by those few DJs who would play the songs, Chess signed up Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright) – a young man only just coming to understand his talent – and started Chess Records. As the company grew, Chess went on to sign some serious musical legends, including Little Walter (Columbus Short), Howlin’ Wolf (Eamonn Walker), Etta James (Beyonce Knowles) and Chuck Berry (Mos Def). And, by promoting these artists on the strength of their talents, rather than the colour of their skin, Chess helped break down racial barriers and saw his singers achieve mainstream success by topping the American charts.

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