CHECKER RECORDS                         Chicago
***************                         Illinois

Exist   : 1952-1971
Distr.  : US -
Lab code: LC 0155
Style   : blues / gospel / r+b / r+r / electric blues / funk / soul /
          doo wop / twist / Chicago blues /

Checker Records is an inactive record label that was started in 1952 as a subsidiary
of Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois. The label was founded by the Chess brothers,
Leonard and Phil, who ran the label until they sold it to General Recorded Tape (GRT)
in 1969, shortly before Leonard's death.
The label released recordings by mostly African American artists and groups.
Checker's releases cover a wide range of genres including blues (Little Walter,
Sonny Boy Williamson II), rhythm and blues (Sax Mallard, Jimmy McCracklin), doo-wop
(The Flamingos, The Moonglows), gospel (Aretha Franklin, Five Blind Boys of
Mississippi), rock and roll (Bo Diddley, Dale Hawkins), and soul (Gene Chandler).
The label was discontinued in 1971 following GRT's consolidation of the Chess catalogs.
As with Cadet and Chess, the label's catalog is now owned by Universal Music Group and
releases from the Checker catalog are released by Geffen Records and Chess.

Guide to label designs for 45s (date ranges are approximate) -- can be used to
identify and roughly date represses/reissues:
1952-1957:  Maroon "web top" logo (final one might be #876: Dale Hawkins - Baby,
            Baby / Mrs. Merguitory's Daughter but continued to be used on 78s
            into 1958)
1957-1966:  Maroon vertically-printed Checker on left side of labels (overlaps
            later designs by a few years, perhaps one pressing plant just kept
            on using this label stock. Final one seems to be Checker #1135: Koko
            Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle / Blues Heaven)
1963-1965:  Blue with checker game pieces logo (but was used at least twice in
            early-to-mid 1966: Koko Taylor - Wang Dang Doodle / Blues Heaven and
            Fontella Bass - I Can't Rest / I Surrender)
1965-1970:  Blue-to-white gradient with red/white/blue Checker logo