Windy City Blues (audiobook)

Read by Robin Miles
14.9 hrs • 12 CDs• 1 MP3 CD • Unabridged
Target Audience: Adult
Release Date: 02/28/17
Library CD Library Edition CD titles are packaged in an attractive, full-sized, durable vinyl case with full color art. Cloth Sleeves keep compact discs protected and in numerical order. 
- 02/28/17 9781470812850
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MP3 CD MP3-CDs: Come in a durable vinyl case similar to a dvd case. An index of contents and tracking information are included within the Mp3-CD format. MP3's can be played on any compatible CD player 
- 02/28/17 9781470812874
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Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American history.

But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked …

Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.

With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the civil rights movement, and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

Review Quotes

“The award–winning voice actor Robin Miles has a wonderful affinity for accents and character voices. This intimate look at the rise of Chicago’s electric blues and the Chess Record label in the late 1940s and ’50s gives her a perfect stage. Miles produces a myriad of character voices—from legendary bluesman Muddy Waters’ Mississippi growl to harmonica player Little Walter’s insistent tone to Leonard Chess’ Yiddish intonations. Miles also finds the easy warmth and pulsating sense of discovery that sweeps the interracial couple Leeba Groski and Red Dupree from the first chords of a love song to the front lines of the civil-rights movement. This is a big-hearted story that can only be told with the rhythm of the blues. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


“The rise of the Chicago Blues scene fairly shimmers with verve and intensity, and the large, diverse cast of characters is indelibly portrayed with the perfect pitch of a true artist.”

Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author

“Rosen skillfully weaves fact and fiction into her story of challenges, triumphs, music, and political change. A not-to-be-missed novel that hits all the right notes.”

RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick!)

“An up-tempo song of love, music, and the civil rights movement.”

Stephanie Dray, author of America’s First Daughter

“Riveting reading, often heartbreaking, with moments of pure elation.”

Shelley Noble, author of Whisper Beach

“With her compelling characters living right up front and center during the onset of the civil rights movement, Rosen has them help usher in revolutionary new chapters in both musical and social history.”


“Bursting with the vitality of the new blues scene in Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Andrew Gross, author of The One Man

“Rosen captures the birth of Chicago blues from its shabby inception to its raucous success…I was engrossed.”

Mary Morris, author of The Jazz Palace