King Records

Cory Sharber / WVXU

Cincinnati plans to develop a sculpture park that celebrates the legacy of Cincinnati's African American trailblazers using money from the $290 million in stimulus funds it is receiving from the federal government. Funds may also go toward restoring the King Records building in Evanston.

However, City Council still has to approve these allocations.

King Records: A Cincinnati Legacy

Jan 1, 2020

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 

I was saddened to get a call this morning from Jimmy Railey, one of James Brown's Famous Flames, whose daughter was killed this past weekend.  Donna Railey was killed crossing Reading Road this past Saturday, November 30th.  Visitation is from 10:00 am until 11:00 am, on  Saturday, December 14, 2019, at the Walker Funeral Home - Walnut Hills Chapel, 2625 Gilbert Avenue, Cincinnati  (45206).   The funeral service will immediately follow the visitation beginning at 11:00

Provided

As the celebration of King Records Month continues, Lee Hay has assembled a distinguished panel of organizers to discuss some upcoming events. Joining Lee are Sherry Glover Thompson, daughter of King Records legend Henry Glover; Darren Blase, co-owner of Shake It Records in Northside; and Christine Anderson, Associate Professor of History at Xavier University.

A free panel discussion, Syd Nathan & Henry Glover: Into the Light, is scheduled Sunday, 9/29 at 1:30pm in the Main Library downtown.  Panelists include moderator Christine Anderson, Darren Blase, Sherry Glover Thompson, and Steve Halper, Syd Nathan's nephew.

Shake It Records - 20 Years And Counting!

Feb 25, 2019
Elaine Diehl

The brothers Blase, Jim and Darren, dropped by WVXU's studio last week and talked with Elaine Diehl about their eclectic, nationally-recognized Northside record store that's celebrating its 20th anniversary the month of March.

During the interview, they talk about how the store was started and how different the record store experience is for a customer as compared to clicking on an i-phone or computer to buy music.  They mention that coming into the store opens up new possibilities for purchases folks might not have been aware of on a phone or computer which may narrow their searches.

As part of Black History Month, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's traveling exhibit King Records: Thirty Years That Changed American Music | 1943-1973 will be officially dedicated on Thursday, February 28 in Cleveland. 

Documenting the history and impact of Cincinnati's King Records continues with a new cinematic docu-series. 

Seymour Stein's Coming Back To Cincinnati!

Nov 18, 2018

Seymour Stein is coming to Cincinnati Saturday afternoon, December 1st at 3pm to the downtown Public Library for a presentation on his time with Syd Nathan, King Records, and Sire Records which he founded.  We were delighted when Stein found some time on November 14th to talk by phone with Brian Powers, King Records historian, about his time with Syd Nathan who became his mentor in the recording industry.  There was a discussion about the history of King Records, some of the artists who recorded there, and the importance of King compared to Chess & Sun Records.  Seymour Stein also shared how Sire Records got its name and that from Syd Nathan he learned that the song was the most important thing - the song comes first - advice he took with him to Sire Records.  Stein's new memoir is "Siren Song: My Life in Music," and he'll be signing copies of it at his library visit on December 1st.

Several years in the making, Playhouse in the Park is ready for the stage debut of their original musical production based on Cincinnati's iconic record label, King Records

King Records At 75: A King Records Potpourri

Sep 21, 2018

Around Cincinnati celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Cincinnati's legendary record label King Records during September. We're calling this weekend's show A King Records Potpourri, featuring these segments:

It's a King Records Potpourri This Weekend!

Sep 19, 2018
Roy Baugher

 

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.

The Who's Tommy, King Records, & Jimmy McGary

Sep 10, 2018

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. 

Commander Cody, Voodoo Threauxdown & More

Aug 20, 2018

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.  

Wynonie Harris & King Records

Jul 12, 2018

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.

King Records & Bull Moose Jackson

Jul 1, 2018

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.

King Records & Delbert Barker

Jun 28, 2018

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

King Records & Orangie Ray Hubbard

Jun 21, 2018

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.  

This week's show at 11pm, Saturday, April 28th, starts off with a little boogie woogie from our own Ricky Nye followed by Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers, the Jambalaya Cajun Band, and Zachary Richard.  The second set features the Honey Island Swamp Band, Galactic, Dr. John, and the great Louis Armstrong.  The Rebirth Brass Band starts off the third set followed by the legendary Professor Longhair, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the Pentones and finally Johnny Adams.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is running from April 27th to May 6th this year.  If you're a music fan and have never been, I'd strongly suggest you add a visit to your bucket list.

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