Victor Legacy Recording Studios

The Chicago Studios of the Victor Talking Machine Co. were established in 1927, but for about 6 years the company ran recording expeditions around Chicago at temporary locations. Some of these locations include the Webster Hotel and 1045 w. Monroe St.

Chicago was an important location for the Victor Co. because this was the first city in which recordings were made outside of the East Coast, and it has always been an important crossroads in the United States. After the N. Michigan Ave Recording Studio was set up in 1927, Victor began to record many popular, jazz, and blues records at this location. After Victor’s subsidiary label, Bluebird Records was established in 1932, many important artists made their recording debuts in Chicago. In fact, these recordings had their own trademark sound, known during the 1930s and 1940s as the “Bluebird Sound”, which was created by a dynamic crack team of studio musicians and added a new dimension to blues recordings. These studio musicians included Big Bill Broonzy on guitar, Roosevelt Sykes on piano, Washboard Sam, and Sonny Boy Williamson on harmonica. Before making his recording debut, Muddy Waters hung around with these musicians after moving to Chicago. The “Bluebird Sound” is the start of what is known today as Chicago Blues and was a huge influence on the development of R&B and Rock & Roll.

Click the tabs to explore our archival information about Victor’s legendary Chicago recording studios!

N. MICHIGAN AVE

VICTOR ‘N. Michigan Ave’ RECORDING STUDIO (CHICAGO, IL)

ADDRESS:

952 N Michigan Ave

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1927-1935

DEMOLISHED:

By fire in 1971

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

Victor first recorded artists outside of the east coast in Chicago, and this was The Victor Company’s first permanent Chicago location.

LAKE SHORE DRIVE

VICTOR ‘Lake Shore’ RECORDING STUDIO (CHICAGO, IL)

ADDRESS:

445 N Lake Shore Drive

YEARS OF OPERATION:

1935-1969

DEMOLISHED:

Unknown

SIGNIFICANCE TO MUSIC INDUSTRY:

Duke Ellington, various Motown recordings, The Monkees, Fats Waller and many others recording here.