TV BANDS: By at least one standard, these musicians are the country’s most popular bands. Does U2 play to five million fans five nights a week? These guys do. Now name them—we dare you.
THE BROTHERS CHESS: Chess Records broke new ground, musically and racially. How two Czech brothers met some Chicago Brothers, and made memorable music.
On the Record: Veterans Willie, Merle and Ray, Chris Smithe and Junior Wells share space with whippersnappers Alexis P. Suter, Ben Kweller and Norah Jones.
Collecting: Legend has it that Robert Johnson sold his soul at a Mississippi crossroads in return for guitar genius. He was murdered at 27, leaving behind two pictures and 29 songs. Perhaps a bad deal for him, but a good one for us
Also Appearing: If summer is for festivals, winter is for planning: SXSW, MIDEM and IAJE draw the pros, and Meat Loaf, Al Kooper, Brian Wilson and Johnny Cash bring out the remotes; Vivino & Co. play for those who braved the weather
Re.Issues: Stax Records turns 50, and reissues 50 of their greats, including Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MGs, Sam & Dave…enough soul to redeem even Robert Johnson. Also the Doobies, Dolly and Dwight, plus the Johns (Sebastian and Denver)