CEO/Producer Randy Chortkoff’s passion for music began at a very young age – his father was a jazz fan who used to bring Louis Armstrong and members of his band home for dinner and informal jam sessions, and young Randy soaked it all up.
As a teenager he became a regular at the legendary blues hot spot, the Ash Grove, in Los Angeles, and then made his way to San Francisco just in time for the Summer of Love, where he enjoyed the heyday of the groundbreaking music scene centered around Bill Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium and the Winterland Ballroom.
Beginning in the 1980s, Chortkoff was working with his own band, and honing his musical skills as a producer, which would eventually lead to his first project as an independent record producer, recording blues legend Billy Boy Arnold. These master tapes were leased by the world’s largest independent blues label, Alligator Records, and were released as Arnold’s highly acclaimed ‘comeback’ release “Back Where I Belong” in the early 1990s.
Over the next several years, Chortkoff produced his own sessions featuring a number of prominent blues artists, including the late King Ernest, powerhouse vocalist Finis Tasby, and many others, leasing them to major blues labels in the U.S. and in Europe. Finally deciding to reap the fruits of his own labors, Chortkoff created the Delta Groove Music label and has produced and released projects by a growing number of artists including Phillip Walker, Rod Piazza, the Mannish Boys, Kirk Fletcher, Mitch Kashmar, Hollywood Blue Flames, Elvin Bishop, Sugaray Rayford, Candye Kane, Big Pete and many others.
In 2007 Chortkoff branched out beyond the blues genre with the subsidiary label, Eclecto Groove Records, which is intended as a home and showcase for music that isn’t easily categorized or pigeon-holed as the blues, from genre-bending artists covering a wide spectrum of musical styles. The first release on Eclecto Groove was from the soulful young European star, Ana Popovic. Other releases by electrifying artists on the roster have included Nick Curran, Jason Ricci, Mike Zito and Kara Grainger, which have all helped poise Eclecto Groove Records for an exciting future.
Randy Chortkoff, founder, President and CEO of Delta Groove Music, passed away while awaiting a liver transplant on May 5, 2015 at 8:40am in Los Angeles, California. He was 65 years old. Randy leaves behind children Jessica, Taylor and Joshua, an extended family of Delta Groove musicians whose lives he touched, and a worldwide network of music lovers who both shared and benefitted from his passion for music.