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Amplified and Electrified: The Chicago Blues

There’s no substitute for the Chicago Blues Festival, but for now, you can turn up your speakers and enjoy some tunes in our Google Arts & Culture exhibition Sweet Home Chicago. Some enormously talented guitarists have come out of the Chicago blues scene, such as Muddy Waters, Big Joe Williams, Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, and many more. For International Guitar Month, explore the work of photographer and music industry veteran Raeburn Flerlage, who captured the streets, clubs, homes, and studios where a community of musicians defined the Chicago blues sound. Delve into the Chicago Blues scene.

Buddy Guy at the Modern Chicago Blues Styles show at the University of Chicago, June 1, 1966. CHM, ICHi-134176; Raeburn Flerlage, photographer

Raeburn Flerlage had an exceptionally productive and varied career not only as a photographer, but as a record salesman and promoter, radio host, and lecturer. He photographed for several record labels, including Chess, Delmark, and Prestige, as well as publications, such as Down Beat, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Chicago Scene, and the Chicago Daily News. Today, his photographs and papers are part of the CHM collection. See more of Flerlage’s photography.

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