Revetta Sloan: All you Need to Know About Leonard Chess’ Wife

Revetta Sloan is the Wife of an American record company executive and the co-founder of Chess Records Leonard Chess. Revetta’s husband Leonard was influential in the development of electric blues, Chicago blues, and rock and roll.

Revetta Sloan: Profile Summary

Full name Revetta Sloan
Famous as The wife of Leonard Chess
Date Of Birth1919
Place of BirthIllinois, United States of America
Age at time of Birth64
Date of Birth1983
Place of DeathCalifornia
HusbandLeonard Chess
Abner Bernard Spector
Children3 Children – son Marshall, daughter Pam, and another son, Kevin Chess

Revetta Sloan was born in 1919 in Illinois, United States of America. The exact date and month of her birth are unknown. Revetta’s parents were Ben Sloan and Ida Sloan. She had one brother Burt Saul Sloan. Revetta and her family were Jews.

Revetta Sloan got married to married Leonard Chess, who was also Jewish; they had three children: son Marshall Chess, daughter Pam Chess, and another son, Kevin Chess.

On October 16, 1969, a few months after selling his namesake label to General Recorded Tape, Revetta’s husband Leonard Chess died of a heart attack.

She later got married again to Abner Bernard Spector. Revetta passed away in 1983, at age 64 in California, United States of America. 

All you need to Know about Revetta Sloan’s Husband Leonard Chess

Revetta Sloan husband Leonard Chess

In 1938, Revetta Sloan’s Husband, Leonard, and his brother Phil were active in the black nightclub scene on Chicago’s South Side, opening a string of jazz clubs that culminated in the Macomba Lounge. Leonard started involved with Aristocrat Records in 1947, gradually expanding his stake in the firm until he and Phil had total control. With performers like Muddy Waters, the Chess brothers steered the firm away from black pop, jazz, and other genres and toward down-home blues music.

Chess Records was renamed by the Chess brothers in 1950. The initial releases on the new label included Gene Ammons’ “My Foolish Heart,” Muddy Waters’ “Rollin’ Stone,” and Jimmy Rogers’ “That’s All Right.” Leonard Chess played bass drum on one of Muddy Waters’ sessions in 1951.

Revetta Sloan’s Husband approached Sun Records’ Sam Phillips for assistance in finding and recording new musicians from the South. Phillips provided recordings from Howlin’ Wolf, Rufus Thomas, and Doctor Ross, among others, to Chess. Howlin’ Wolf, in particular, became extremely famous, and Chess Records had to compete for him with other labels that had also received Wolf recordings from Phillips. Other notable performers, including Bo Diddley and Sonny Boy Williamson, also signed with Chess Records, while Willie Dixon and Robert Lockwood Jr. played key roles behind the scenes.

Chess Records’ commercial success grew in the 1950s with artists like Little Walter, The Moonglows, The Flamingos, and Chuck Berry, and in the 1960s with artists like Etta James, Fontella Bass, Koko Taylor, Little Milton, Laura Lee, and Tommy Tucker, as well as the subsidiary labels Checker, Argo, and Cadet. Chess’s music career extended out into various genres as the 1960s proceeded, including gospel, traditional jazz, spoken word, comedy, and more. Chess got into the broadcasting industry in the early 1960s as a co-owner of WVON-AM radio in Chicago and later purchased WSDM-FM.

Death and legacy

On October 16, 1969, a few months after selling his namesake label to General Recorded Tape, Revetta Sloan’s Husband, Leonard Chess died of a heart attack.

Music industry historian John Broven has written that “Leonard Chess was the dynamo behind Chess Records, the label that, along with Atlantic and Sun, has come to epitomize the independent record business. […] Leonard Chess set new standards for the industry in artist development, deal-making, networking, and marketing and promotion…”

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