King Records

In honor of the 75th anniversary of King Records this month, the last special I'm producing has a potpourri of topics from a look at the Tokyo Happy Coats and Playhouse in the Park's production of "Cincinnati King" to Darren Blase's efforts to showcase his King Records collection at Shake It Records, plus the preservation work being done to save the King Records studio on Brewster Avenue.  

This King Records Potpourri special will air on Saturday night, September 22nd, at 11pm and again Sunday evening, September 23rd, at 7pm.

Around Cincinnati celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Cincinnati's legendary record label King Records during September. This week's show is the second of two parts looking at James Brown Productions – conversations with and stories from those who worked with the Godfather of Soul during his King Records days.

This week's musical events include many local concerts as well as several events in honor of the 75th anniversary of King Records.  Tickets are going on sale Friday, September 14th for two December shows by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and also concerts by Cher in Louisville and Indianapolis.  

The GoFundMe campaign in support of a documentary about the great saxophonist Jimmy McGary will end Saturday, September 15th.  


Around Cincinnati celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Cincinnati's legendary record label King Records during September with two programs looking at James Brown Productions – conversations with and stories from those who worked with the Godfather of Soul during his King Records days.

James Brown Productions, Part 1

September starts off with a number of King Records-related events which continue throughout the month.  Concerts, panels, a twist dance at the Cincinnati Reds, a King tribute by Roomful of Blues are just some of the lineup.  There's a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a Jimmy McGary documentary, plus music lessons and lots of concerts in this week's Music Notes!

In honor of the 75th anniversary celebration of King Records in September, Lee Hay and Brian Powers have teamed up for another series of specials about some of the musicians who recorded at King Records.

The first special will feature "The King of Hillbilly Piano Players," Moon Mullican who recorded at King Records from 1946 until the late 1950's and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1951.

The special will air on WVXU/WMUB on Saturday evening, September 1st at 11pm; Sunday, September 2nd at 7pm; and Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd at 1pm.

Oscar Pepper, Moon Mullican's nephew, spoke with Brian Powers by phone from his home in Texas on February 25, 2018.  He shares memories of Moon's early life in Texas, the Grand Ole Opry, his songwriting career & royalties, and also Moon's funeral and gravesite.

King Records Month in Cincinnati kicks off Saturday, September 1st, at Listermann Brewing Company with their latest 4-pack of limited edition beer, “The King of Them All,” in honor of King Records.  “The King of Them All” is a salute to the day, 75 years ago in September, 1943, when Grandpa Jones and Merle Travis recorded the first songs for King Records. 

In honor of the 75th anniversary celebration of King Records in September, Lee Hay and Brian Powers have teamed up for another series of specials about some of the musicians who recorded at King Records.

The first special will feature "The King of Hillbilly Piano Players," Moon Mullican who recorded at King Records from 1946 until the late 1950's and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1951.

The special will air on WVXU/WMUB on Saturday evening, September 1st at 11pm; Sunday, September 2nd at 7pm; and Labor Day, Monday, September 3rd at 1pm.

Oscar Pepper, Moon Mullican's nephew, spoke with Brian Powers by phone from his home in Texas on February 25, 2018.  He shares memories of Moon's early life in Texas, the Grand Ole Opry, his songwriting career & royalties, and also Moon's funeral and gravesite.

Cincinnati is ready to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the legendary King Records with more than 40 events around the community. 

UniverSoul Circus
Courtesy / Boon Vong

If life has felt like a circus lately, well, this weekend is about to replace that craziness with a little fun. 

From local jazz concerts to Commander Cody at Ludlow Garage and the King Records gala celebration, there's plenty of music for your taste this week in the Cincinnati area.

Cincinnati's iconic King Records is celebrating its 75th Anniversary this year, and a special event is coming to Memorial Hall on August 25. 

Continuing the celebration of the King Records 75th Anniversary, Queen City Kings will recreate the King sound at the Celebrate the King gala at Memorial Hall on August 25.  

This summer, we're sharing specials about King Records that I've produced over the past 10 years or so leading up to the 75th anniversary celebration of King Records on August 25th.  Details of the event are still being worked out, so as soon as they become available, I'll post on this website.

On this King Records special on July 7th at 11pm, you'll hear about jump blues artist, Bull Moose Jackson, who ruled the R&B charts from the late 40s and early 50s. Bull Moose Jackson, best known for “Big Ten Inch,” had his first big hit in 1947 with “I Love You, Yes I Do,” which is widely accepted as the first R &B single to sell a million copies. Jackson had 12 hits from 1946 to 1952 on the R& B chart.

On this King Records rockabilly special, Saturday, June 30th at 11pm, the King of Covers, Delbert Barker, is featured.  Mr.

This Saturday night, June 23rd at 11pm, you'll hear a King Records special about three musicians who recorded country music there.  In 2008, I spoke with Orangie Ray Hubbard, Jr Spivey, and Herman Cress about their work at King Records.  Orangie Ray Hubbard came into the studio on 5/20/08 and returned a second time with Jr Spivey on 8/5/08.  I also had a  conversation with Herman Cress on 10/14/08.  Herman Cress played upright bass in Orangie Ray Hubbard's band with Jr Spivey on guitar.

During this one-hour special, you'll hear Orangie talk about his roots in Barbourville, KY, his life in Detroit, and his move back to Cincinnati and his musical career.   He discusses payola, Rusty York's studio, Syd Nathan, and Louis Innis.  Jr Spivey shares his memories of recording with another King Records musician, Hank Ballard, as well as recording with Orangie Ray Hubbard and playing with Lonnie Mack. Herman Cress also remembers Ray Pennington, Lucky Records, and playing with Orangie.  In addition to these interviews, you'll hear some of the songs recorded by Orangie Ray Hubbard at King Records and another by Herman Cress.

Beginning this Saturday night, June 16th at 11pm, on The Blues, we're going to repeat some of the many specials I've produced over the years since 2007 about King Records and the talented musicians who recorded there.  This King Records special begins with a 2010 phone conversation I had with Bill Beach who was born in Glencoe Kentucky in 1932.  

Walker Funeral Home / Provided

Waddell Falland, who recorded on King Records, passed away May 29, according to Walker Funeral Home. He along with Jimmy Railey were both members of The Solars, Bobby and the Expressions and The Famous Flames.  

king records
John Kiessewetter / WVXU

Efforts to save the former King Records studio building in Evanston are a step closer to becoming reality.

As Women's History Month wraps up, Lee Hay welcomes in Sue Plummer and Christine Anderson from Xavier University.   They are documenting the many women who were part of Cincinnati's legendary King Records and encourage listeners to email them any names or other information that will help.  Please email them directly:  Sue Plummer - plummers1@xavier.edu -  and Christine Anderson - andersoc@xavier.edu.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a love story for the ages. Recorded as part of last spring's Cincinnati visit of StoryCorps, legendary King Records drummer Philip Paul and his wife, Roberta, tell their story of a love that was worth the wait.

The King Records month long celebration in September is coming to a close, and tonight's one of the few remaining events this week.

Stan Hertzman, who's been a guest on Around Cincinnati in the past, will talk about King Records and the group Them.  Great stories from Cincinnati's historical past.

Stan will be at the Public Library's downtown branch tonight at 7pm.

Brian Powers

King Records Month: 5 Royales


Celebrating King Records Month: Hank Ballard & The Midnighters

In honor of Cincinnnati's celebration of King Records in September, I produced a special about Hank Ballard & the Midnighters which will air on Saturday, September 9th at 11pm and again Sunday, September 10th at 7pm.  Music historian Brian Powers spoke by telephone recently with the two remaining Midnighters, Billy Davis and Norman Thrasher.  They've both been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the Midnighters.

Cameron Cochran

Local steel guitarist Cameron Cochran will spend September celebrating King Records Month with a series of performances and a tribute to the iconic locally-produced TV show, Midwestern Hayride

September will again celebrate the history and legacy of Cincinnati's King Records

King Records continues to be recognized for its significance to Cincinnati through radio documentaries airing on WVXU and WMUB.  The series of radio documentaries which aired in September, 2016, for King Records month have won two awards, both in the radio documentary category, the Clarion Award from the Association of Women in Communications and Ohio’s Society of Professional Journalists.

Cincinnati City Council decided Wednesday to go to court to acquire the former King Records studio building in Evanston by eminent domain.

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