And This is Maxwell Street


The place

Maxwell and Peoria



Street map


Maxwell Street Market, Chicago c.1875-1994

The market had no formal boundaries. The most active area was Maxwell Street between Newberry Avenue and Union Avenue and on Halsted Street between West Roosevelt Road and West Liberty Street.

Blues, gospel, folk, and other musicians were active on Maxwell Street mostly between Halsted and Morgan, as well as on Newberry Avenue and Halsted Street at least as far south as 14th Street. According to performer Jimmie Lee Robinson, quoted in an article by D.Thomas Moon and Al Fijal that appeared in the February/March edition of Blues Review (entitled "Move over, Maxwell Street") blues performers roamed Halsted as far north as Madison (more than ten blocks north of Roosevelt Road, where there were many blues clubs).

According to the same source, gospel singers tended to stay on Newberry Avenue. Blues and gospel singers were also known to be active on Peoria between Maxwell Street and 14th Street. Some of the recordings on the rediscovered tapes are believed to have been recorded at Peoria and 14th Streets. Others are known to have been made near Morgan St. between 14th and 14th Place. It is clear from the tapes that the famous medley version of Annie Lee and Sweet Black Angel was recorded there (and that it rained on the day of the recording). The still photo above (from And This is Free ) shows the corner of Maxwell Street and Peoria.


The market in full bloom


The project

The music

The musicians


Help preserve Maxwell Street Market

For more about Maxwell Street and the blues
see these links...

Read more about the blues...a blues bibliography


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