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King of the Hill: Watch A 70th Anniversary Retrospective of Cincinnati's KING Records
King of the Hill: Watch A 70th Anniversary Retrospective of Cincinnati's KING Records

By JR on 6:23 AM

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Celebrate 70 years of soulful music, independence and social integration within music in a cool documentary which brings back staff of Cincinnati-based label KING Records. Learn about the origins of the label which went out of it's way to employ a diverse range of people as the story of owner Syd Nathan is told who began from humble beginnings to introducing superstars such as James Brown to the world.


"Did you know that “The Twist” was first recorded in Cincinnati? That Syd Nathan named King Records sister R&B label, Queen, after the “Queen City?” And that James Brown started his career in Cincinnati with King Records?
King Records history of achievements, contribution to popular culture, the music industry, and the city of Cincinnati are legendary. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's historical marker honors the company that was for Cincinnati “the King of them all.”

History of King Records

King Records changed the world, paving the way for rock and roll and helping shape country music, bluegrass, soul, funk, and electric blues.—Larry Nager, The King is Dead, Long Live the King, Cincinnati Magazine
Founded by Syd Nathan, King Records was one of the most influential independent labels of the 1940s and 1950s. By the end of the latter decade, it had become the nation's sixth largest record company, with more than 400 employees. Nathan's policy of employing whites and African Americans side-by-side in various capacities made King Records one of the first integrated industries in Cincinnati, and, perhaps, the first integrated record company in the country. This diversity was reflected in its marketing. King Records was unique among independent record companies in that it recorded and sold both country and R&B music, filling two different niche markets neglected by the major record companies."

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