Coleman/ Chatman- Jump Blues band leader, Decka/Chess Records 50's

The Boogie Woogie Queen, and my Aunt


The Coleman & Chatman families are so excited about finding our Aunt’s music all over the world and featured on  19 CD’s representing the “Jump Blues” era. She was an amazing musician playing 13 instruments and singing with the likes of  Ella F., Lena H., introducing “Big Mable and many more during the late 40’s and 50’s. We’ll be adding the submission to the 2008 Grammys for a Life Time Achievement Award. We’ll be resubmitting on behalf of this amazing artist. It was a treat to spend time with her while touring with a show band in the mid 70’s. I’ll never forget those all conversations about being on the road and amazed that not much had changed.   What is really great is that the next generation of Coleman’s and Chatman’s are continuing the musical endeavors.

2014, So excited about the ongoing efforts to clear the name of my amazing talented aunt “Christine Chatman”. I am inserting a letter to the two locals she was affiliated with and the response from the local #208 Chicago president:

To: Mr. Gary Matts, A.F.M. Local #208 / Mr. James N. Chesterson, A.F.M. Local # 25

From: Rich Coleman, AFM #625, N.A.R.A.S., A.S.C.A.P.

Subject: Christine Chatman, (my aunt) Local # 208, & Local #25 (1944)

Date: 6/30/14

Greetings, over the past seven (7) years my family has researched the musical history of Christine Chatman known as the “Boogie Woogie Queen”. In my early days of touring in the late 70’s, I would spend time with her in Jackson TN. and share with her the amazing stories of touring during the ’40-’50’s and recording on the DECCA label and others. She also talked about the struggles of being an African American female band leader, working with the various booking agents, and taking care of the musicians that she had performing with and for.

I’ve researched and have documents and nineteen (19) recordings from all over the world and the most recent article in the “Blues & Rhythm” 2010 magazine that she is featured on the cover and the most comprehensive article of her work and AFM Union membership I’ve found. I’ve attached the article for your review as well because it was so amazing. I notified the publishers out of the UK when I first came across the article and they still had a few of the publications in stock. After I got it in my hands to read the entire article it brought me to tears that she was never recognized for her accomplishments and her musical abilities.

I promised my mother Martha W. Chatman-Coleman, her sisters Kathleen, Erma, and my Uncle Charles prior to their passing that I would on-behalf of our families do all that I could to help restore Christine Chatman’s name and promote her amazing talent and musical accomplishments.

The Chatman & Coleman families second and third generation of children are filled with musical accomplishments and recordings and I’m seeking your support in lifting the band on her membership from Local #208 in 1944. After all of the materials that I’ve read and her personal conversations with me about what the booking agents who were in charge of all finances and that any error with paying fees, union dues, and other expenses to the club owners she had no control of and was not fully aware of the ramifications of not attending the hearings out of fear that she would not be able to work and she was sadden when it did impact her work.

Our conversations about being in the musicians union were important to me as a member of MI’s local # 56 (Grand Rapids MI) at the time, the band I was with was just starting to tour in Florida and I wanted to know what to expect in the union run clubs. I know that after all of the musicians she performed with and created such great music with, what happen during this time was so discouraging that she eventually step back from entertaining and devoted her time to my grandparents and the local church she was affiliated with in Jackson TN.

It is my goal to re-record her greatest hits with our family members performing the songs that she made so famous.

It is my humble honor to represent her and to seek this request to remove the 1944 band on her membership in Local # 208 and to give me the opportunity to submit this amazing African American female band leader “Christine Chatman” and her works for consideration into the AFM Musician’s Hall of Fame.

Respectfully submitted,

R. Coleman, AFM #625, N.A.R.A.S.


Dear Mr. Coleman,

Based on the scan of the document from the Local 208 archives, the last entry in Christine Chatman’s ledger indicates that she resigned her membership in Local 208 as a member in good standing on May 21, 1953.
Therefore, if she meets all other qualifications that may apply, it is my opinion, that she should be eligible for consideration for admission to the AFM Musicians Hall of Fame. Please let me know if you should need anything further.



Gary Matts
Chicago Federation of Musicians

7-10/14,,,,,How exciting to be able to nominate “Christine Chatman” to t he AFM Hall of Fame!