King Records

You can learn about Cincinnati's most famous record label with dozens of events and special shows on this six-page list for King Records Month 2016. 

Print out the list and circle your favorites. These are mine:

September is King Records month as the former Cincinnati label turns 73 years old. Three dozen activities are planned. They are listed here and include everything from a traveling exhibit to a gospel lunch to a listening party.

King Records Month

Jul 25, 2016

WVXU helps celebrate King Records month throughout September with two special programs. Tune in Saturdays at 11:00 pm and Sundays at 7:00 pm.

Russell House

Updated 4/28/16: WVXU-FM will repeat a Lonnie Mack 70th birthday blues special at 11 p.m. Saturday as a tribute to the legendary guitarist who died April 21 near his Nashville home.

The one-hour special, produced by Lee Hay, was originally broadcast July 16, 2011.  Here's her description of the 2011 program:

Connie Wernet

Bonnie Lou, the last remaining star from Ruth Lyons’ TV show and Cincinnati’s Golden Age of Live TV, died Tuesday at age 91.

The country, rockabilly and pop music singer performed for 30 years on WLW’s iconic “Midwestern Hayride,” “Boone County Jamboree,” Lyons’ “50-50 Club” and the “Paul Dixon Show,” the crazy weekday morning host who inspired young David Letterman. 

After leaving TV when Dixon died in 1974, she continued to entertain for another 30 years at fairs, festivals, pageants and concerts. Her last major public performance here was at the 2006 Tall Stacks riverboat festival.

Cincinnati has now designated the former King Records complex in Evanston as a historic landmark.  City Council unanimously approved the issue Wednesday.  

The company which owns a portion of the King complex wants to demolish its section.  There is a lawsuit pending.  

The full Cincinnati Council is likely to vote Wednesday on an ordinance designating the former King Records complex in Evanston as a historic landmark.  

The Neighborhoods Committee approved the measure Monday unanimously.  

Wikipedia

Full disclosure here: If I still worked at the Enquirer, I’d be writing about Lee Hay and her latest effort to celebrate Cincinnati’s rich broadcasting and recording history.

Up next for Hay: Another five-week series about Cincinnati’s iconic King Records, to celebrate King Records month.

On “The Blues with Lee Hay” at 11 p.m. Saturday on WVXU-FM and WMUB-FM, she interviews music historian Brian Powers and Steve Halper, nephew of King Records founder Syd Nathan, about the history of the record label and the many musicians who recorded there.

Powers also talks about the many activities scheduled to honor King Records during the September celebration around the city. (See list here.)

Larry Nager

During the month of September, the legendary recording studio King Records will be celebrated across Cincinnati with various programs.  Beginning on Saturday evening, August 29th at 11pm here on WVXU/WMUB, the King Records salute gets underway with the first of five programs dedicated to the musicians who recorded at King Records on Brewster Avenue.

The five King Records specials on WVXU:

Update 08/21/15: The Cincinnati Planning Commission has unanimously approved a request to designate the King Records buildings as historic.

Acclaimed local jazz musician and King Records’ legend Philip Paul will be honored during the upcoming Cincy Blues Fest with the city proclaiming August 8 as Philip Paul Day.

  A group that wants to preserve the Cincinnati buildings where James Brown and other musicians recorded snagged a victory Monday. The city's Historic Conservation Board sided with supporters by approving the first step toward giving the King Records buildings in Evanston a historic designation.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will salute the legacy of King Records with a celebration in Washington Park on Sunday, May 31. Celebrating King Records will feature an evening of food, music and memories, capped with a staged concert reading of KJ Sanchez’'s play CINCINNATI KING.

A tribute to Syd Nathan

Apr 25, 2014

A tribute to Syd Nathan, founder of Cincinnati’s famed King Records, who was born in Cincinnati on April 27, 1904.

According to a touching article written by Cliff Radel for the Cincinnati Enquirer, Rusty York, who owned Jewel Studio in Mt. Healthy, passed away recently in Florida.  You'll find some great photographs on his page in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame

Cincinnati connection since the song was released on King Records:

"GET UP — I FEEL LIKE BEING LIKE A SEX MACHINE"
James Brown
(James Brown)
King (1970)
Single

Recorded in Nashville on  April 25, 1970 according to “The King Labels: A Discography, Volume 1” compiled by Michel Ruppli.  Bootsy Collins is listed as playing electric bass on the song.  The Grammy ceremony will be broadcast live on Jan. 26, 2014, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

September brings to Cincinnati the 70th Anniversary celebration of the historic King Records. Brian Powers from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County talks with Lee Hay about the events being scheduled during the month, both at the library and other locations around the area. (Lee Hay will rebroadcast her acclaimed 4-part King Records special each Saturday night in September on her Blues show at 11pm).

King Records: Cincinnati Legacy, is a five-part series hosted by Lee Hay and is produced to honor the label’s impact on Cincinnati and music.

The series includes interviews with former King musicians, music historians, and music fans. A roundtable discussion of King Records moderated by music journalist Larry Nager and including Otis Williams and the Charms (Jimmy Railey, J.J. Peterson, and Rufus Allen), session drummer Philip Paul and his wife Juanita, and vocalist Keith Little is also featured.

King Records: Cincinnati Legacy, Part I 

Pages