Cheat You Fair: The Story of Maxwell Street
90 min. documentary
by Phil Ranstrom
Narrated by: Joe Mantegna
Maxwell Street was a refuge for the homeless after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
In its heyday, Maxwell Street was the third-highest shopping district in Chicago, the precursor to the modern day shopping mall.
It was organized as shopping district by Jewish immigrants who had arrived there escaping poverty and prejudice.
It was considered the "Ellis Island of the midwest", a welcoming place for any ethnicity where "the only color that mattered was green".
Maxwell Street was also the "New Orleans of the north", the home of the blues and a place where artists could get discovered playing for tips in the street.
In order to be heard in the large outdoor crowds, artists had to plug in their instruments in order to be heard. Out of necessity, a musical revolution was born in the streets.
Actor and former Chicagoan, Joe Mantegna, narrates "Cheat You Fair".
Bo Diddley came to Maxwell Street to play, to learn and get discovered. He was eventually picked up by Chess Records and ... the rest is history. Bo is considered "The Originator" of the electric blues, which led to rock & roll. This is Bo Diddley's last interview before he passed away.
Chicago Blues icon, Junior Wells. who grew up on Maxwell Street.
Chicago blues superstar, Buddy Guy.
99 years old Uncle Johnny Williams who remembers the transition from acoustic to electric blues on Maxwell Street.
Documentary television premiere poster.
"Cheat You Fair" DVD for sale at the film's website at: www.maxwellstreetdocumentary.com