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George Daniels

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Information about George Daniels

Profile image of George Daniels

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Record Store Owner

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Rainbow
Favorite Food:
Mixed Greens, Ham Hocks
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now.

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1946
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
BusinessMakers
Occupation(s):
Record Store Owner

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Rainbow
Favorite Food:
Mixed Greens, Ham Hocks
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
If I Only Knew Then What I Know Now.

Birthplace

Born:
12/18/1946
Birth Location:
New York
See how George Daniels is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Record store owner George Xavier Daniels was born on December 18, 1946 in the Bronx, New York to Elvina and George Daniels, who were restaurant owners. After his parents separated, Daniels was sent to live with relatives in Texas. Having a hard time adjusting to the racist South, Daniels did, however, seem to develop an affinity for southern music. When he moved to Chicago, Illinois to live with his father and half-brother before high school, he became attracted to Chicago’s blues and early rock scene. In high school, Daniels played the trumpet. He graduated from Luke Junior College in Chicago, which he attended to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War.

After working for a short time at a steel mill, Daniels took a job as a janitor at legendary Chess Records in Chicago. There, he met and heard artists like Muddy Waters, Etta James, The Dells and Ramsey Lewis among many others. At the same time, Daniels watched the independent music industry achieve some of its greatest successes. He then was hired at a black-owned record store wholesaler on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. In 1968, Daniels started managing one of the wholesale record stores, and in 1969, Daniels assumed ownership of the store, renaming it George’s Music Room.

For the first three years, Daniels was the only employee and worked sixteen hours a day. Overcoming bankruptcy and evictions, Daniels’s biggest problems have come from the modernization of the music industry. Daniels created and headed the National United Independent Retailers, an organization dedicated to preserving African American-owned independent retailers.

Daniels’ business has continually adapted. He has maintained his popularity in the community with artists’ store visits. These artists have included Mary J. Blige, LL Cool J, Al Green, R. Kelly, Alicia Keys, and The Temptations. George’s Music Room was singled out by Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley as a quintessential Chicago store and offered a space to open a branch at Midway Airport, which Daniels has operated successfully ever since.

Daniels was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2007.

See how George Daniels is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of George Daniels' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - George Daniels lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - George Daniels describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - George Daniels describes his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - George Daniels talks about his mother's first marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - George Daniels describes his family's educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - George Daniels describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - George Daniels describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - George Daniels describes his parents' relocation to New York City
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - George Daniels describes his parents' personalities and his likeness to them
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - George Daniels remembers the Daniels Restaurant in the Bronx, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - George Daniels lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - George Daniels describes the Flushing section of Queens, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - George Daniels remembers moving to Jackson Heights in Queens, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - George Daniels recalls moving to his maternal grandmother's home in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - George Daniels remembers E.O. Smith Junior High School in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - George Daniels remembers the Pleasantville neighborhood of Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - George Daniels describes race relations in Houston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - George Daniels remembers moving between his family members' homes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - George Daniels remembers moving to his brother's home in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - George Daniels reflects upon the impact of his frequent relocations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - George Daniels describes his schooling in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - George Daniels remembers his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - George Daniels recalls moving to the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - George Daniels recalls his early work experiences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - George Daniels reflects upon his schooling
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - George Daniels recalls his favorite childhood pastimes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - George Daniels remembers an early experience of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - George Daniels recalls his early interest in music
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - George Daniels describes his early aspirations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - George Daniels remembers working alongside his father in the restaurant industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - George Daniels recalls being hired at the United States Steel Corporation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - George Daniels remembers becoming a custodian at Chess Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - George Daniels remembers his influences at Chess Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - George Daniels talks about the changes in the broadcast industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - George Daniels describes his father's restaurant in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - George Daniels remembers the nightlife in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - George Daniels remembers the riots of 1968 in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - George Daniels remembers his mentor, Ernie Leaner
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - George Daniels recalls Ernie's One Stop Records in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - George Daniels describes the music culture in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - George Daniels talks about the black record stores in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - George Daniels describes his older brother
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - George Daniels remembers opening George's Music Room in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - George Daniels recalls lessons in business from his father
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - George Daniels recalls opening a record store in a white neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - George Daniels reflects upon the success of George's Music Room
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - George Daniels recalls founding the National United Independent Retailers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - George Daniels remembers opening a record store at the Chicago Midway International Airport
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - George Daniels describes the promotional events at George's Music Room
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - George Daniels remembers his promotion for Sir Mix-A-Lot's 'Baby Got Back'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - George Daniels describes his role in the community of North Lawndale in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - George Daniels talks about his favorite musical artists in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - George Daniels recalls his financial challenges at George's Music Room
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - George Daniels reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - George Daniels describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - George Daniels describes the Record Row district of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - George Daniels talks about the changes in the music industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - George Daniels shares his criticism of contemporary deejays
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - George Daniels describes his plans for George's Music Room
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - George Daniels reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - George Daniels describes his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - George Daniels describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - George Daniels describes his concerns for youth in the United States