cadillac-records“People started realizing that if you can play the guitar and sing your ass off, you could be better than Superman. And that was a strong feeling for a black man in the ’50s”.

“Cadillac Records” (2008) explores the musical era from the early 1940s to the late 1960s, chronicling the life of the influential Chicago-based record-company executive Leonard Chess, and the musicians who recorded for Chess Records: Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon or Etta James.

Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody), a Polish immigrant of Jewish descent, becomes the founder of a record label (Chess Records), that opens the doors for black musicians to record music. It covers the ups and downs of the biggest blues, jazz and rock and roll stars of the world.

The film stars Adrien Brody as Leonard Chess, Cedric the Entertainer as Willie Dixon, Mos Def as Chuck Berry, Columbus Short as Little Walter, Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, Eamonn Walker as Howlin’ Wolf, and BeyoncĂ© Knowles as Etta James.

The movie is filled with good stories such as how the company got his nickname (“Cadillac Records”), how The Beach Boys stole Chuck Berry’s tune (Surfin’ USA) or how The Rolling Stones got their name after Muddy’s song.

“Cadillac Records” is the perfect timeline for the music of the ’50s and ’60s, presenting musical trends (race music, country music, blues, rock’n’roll, surf music), artists that conquered the charts and then got lost in the shadows or artists that got to shine forever.

The story is accompanied by the brilliant music of Chess Records – the strong sharp vibes of blues and the emotionally gentle songs of Etta.



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