King Records — In a Nutshell

What a revelation to find out that World Radio History‘s website not only allows access to a comprehension collection of music trade publications, including Billboard, Cash Box, and Record World, but also the ability to search all back issues simultaneously! What’s especially helpful is how the search results often show each magazine page rendered in miniature, while the search terms are shown in relation to the other text on the page, thus allowing you to see more readily which articles are actually germane to your search (and not simply “noise”).

This new reckoning of World Radio History’s vast holdings, consequently, impelled me to pull together a comprehensive bibliography of periodical literature that documents King Records during its years of operation – within the context of Cincinnati’s own substantial popular music and media (radio & TV) history – as well as the impact of King’s legacy in the decades following Syd Nathan’s passing in 1968. Utilizing journal and newspaper clippings from my own files, as well as bibliographic references from Steven C. Tracy‘s Going to Cincinnati (1993), Jon Hartley Fox‘s King of the Queen City (2009), and David Bottoms‘ sweeping Stacks of Wax – The Complete Story of the Record Labels of Cincinnati, Ohio (2020), not to mention information gathered on field trips to the Library of Congress’ Recorded Sound Research Center (plus a trial subscription to, and even gleanings from an early incarnation of this website), I have been able to encapsulate the King story through 75 years or so of news and journal literature.

Just from reading the titles of the articles and summary notes cited below, one can take in the magnitude of the King musical legacy — a remarkable span of commercial success for an independent operation that restlessly sought to exploit areas of the marketplace that were insufficiently served by the major labels. This detailed bibliography of over 1,000 items many in full text — will be updated over time and is a public service of Zero to 180:

King Records & Cincinnati Music History in the Periodical Literature

Updated:  April 4, 2021


“SRO [Standing Room Only] an hour before the show!”

Hank Penny’s Plantation Boys, featuring Roy Lanham (2nd from right below)


  • Cinci’s Mayor at Dixon’s Aireon [Electronic Phonograph] Show” – Cash Box – Mar. 25, 1946
  • Ad = DeLuxe Records presents Denver Darling – Record Retailing – April 1946
  • Cincy Recording Firm Bows” = E.T. Herzog Recording Company – Billboard – June 8, 1946
  • Ohio State to Bow with [Bill McCluskey’s] WLW Hayride” – Billboard – July 20, 1946
  • Reviews = Carlisle Bros & Jimmy Widener (King) + Deacon Lem Johnson (Queen) – Cash Box – Aug. 12, 1946
  • Reviews = ‘Missouri’ – Hank Penny (King) + ‘Lost Her Re-Bop’ – Annisteen Allen (Queen) – Cash Box – Aug. 12, 1946
  • Review = ‘Dream Train Engineer’ – Leon Rusk (King) – Cash Box – Sep. 23, 1946
  • NOTE = King & Queen ad with offensive racial stereotypes – Cash Box – Oct. 7, 1946
  • “Two Corporations Replace King Record Company” – Cincinnati Post – Oct. 8, 1946
  • “Strummin’ Geetar Is Music to Millions” by JF Cronin – Cincinnati Enquirer – Nov. 27, 1946


  • Sidney Nathan – ‘Hillbilly Is Our Business‘ (Coin Machine Industries Convention issue) – Cash Box – Jan. 27, 1947

Cash Box ad — July 21, 1947

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  • Review = ‘Do You Ever Worry’ by Boots Woodall & Radio Wranglers – Cash Box – Aug. 4, 1947
  • Ad = “King Proudly Presents Cowboy Copas Exclusive King Artist” – Cash BoxSep. 1, 1947
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  • “King Adds Branch Offices in NYC, Chicago & Charlotte” – Cash Box – Sep. 8, 1947
  • News = Bob Sherman appointed recording director for King Records – Cash Box – Sep. 15, 1947
  • Syd Nathan:  “Music Machine [jukebox] Operators Are Essential Cog in Disc Operation” – Cash BoxSep. 22, 1947
  • ‘Call Me Darling Once Again’ by Grandpa Jones – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 22, 1947
  • Syd Nathan quoted in article about ‘hillbilly’ music’s growing popularity – “How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm?“– Cash Box – Oct. 27, 1947
  • King Records Pacts Wynonie Harris” – Cash Box – Dec. 6, 1947
  • ‘Jamboree’ by Cowboy Copas – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Dec. 20, 1947
  • Reviews = ‘SF Blues’ by Ivory Joe Hunter + ‘Gold Mine in the Sky’ by Lord Essex – Cash Box – Dec. 20, 1947
  • King Records Sign Folk Artist Team” [Curly Fox & Texas Ruby] – Cash Box – Dec. 27, 1947
  • King ad = ‘sepia’ & ‘hillbilly’ – Cash Box – Dec. 27, 1947
  • ‘Good Rocking Tonight’ by Roy Brown = #2 in New Orleans – Cash Box – Dec. 27, 1947
  • ‘I Love You Yes I Do’ by Bull Moose Jackson = #1 in Harlem – Cash Box – Dec. 27, 1947
  • ‘Signed Sealed Delivered’ by Cowboy Copas – #1 hillbilly folk & western juke box tune – Cash Box – Dec. 27, 1947

Jukebox operators: . key vinyl market

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Billboard ad – Feb. 28, 1948

Radio Artists Records – affiliated with E.T. Herzog Studios

  • King Records to Extend Distribution Lines; Annual Stockholder’s Meet Points to Banner Year” – Cash Box – Feb. 28, 1948
  • “King Expands to 14 Distributors – Banner Year” – Cash Box – Feb. 28, 1948
  • King Diskery Adds Eight Distribution Arms – Sid Nathan Elected Prexy‘ – Billboard – Feb. 28, 1948
  • Ad = ‘All My Love Belongs to You’ by Bull Moose Jackson – Cash Box – Mar. 6, 1948
  • ‘I Love You Yes I Do’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 in Harlem – Cash Box – Mar. 6, 1948
  • ‘I Love You Yes I Do’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 in New Orleans – Cash Box – Mar. 6, 1948
  • ‘Phil Grogan Joins King to Expand Juke Box & Radio Effort’ – Cash Box – Mar. 13, 1948
  • News = Hank Penny makes TV debut on WLWT – Cash Box – Mar. 13, 1948
  • ‘I Love You Yes I Do’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 on LA’s Central Ave – Cash Box – Mar. 20, 1948
  • ‘All My Love Belongs to You’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 on Chicago’s South Side – Cash Box – Mar. 27, 1948
  • “King Adds 3 New Distributors – DC, Detroit & Atlanta” – Cash Box – Mar. 27, 1948
  • Review = ‘Good Rocking Tonight‘ by Wynonie Harris + ‘Whose Hat’ by Roy Brown – Cash BoxApr. 3, 1948
  • ‘All My Love Belongs to You’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 in Harlem – Cash Box – Apr. 10, 1948
  • Front-page story about Harry Carlson of Fraternity Records – Cincinnati Times-Star – Apr. 10, 1948
  • News = WCKY’s Nelson King cuts ‘Deck of Cards’ for King – strong early sales – Billboard – Apr. 17, 1948
  • ‘Good Rocking Tonight’ by Wynonie Harris – #1 in New Orleans – Cash Box – May 8, 1948
  • “King Records Pact Folk Singer Jimmie Osborne” – Cash Box – June 12, 1948
  • King’s Solid Disk Sales” – Cincinnati label establishing itself as both hillbilly and “race diskery” – Billboard – June 19, 1948
  • ‘Tennessee Moon’ by Cowboy Copas – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – July 3, 1948
  • ‘Tomorrow Night’ by Lonnie Johnson – #1 in Harlem – Cash Box – July 17, 1948
  • “King Offers [Jukebox] Operators 5% Return – Only Given Dealers in Past” – Billboard – Jul. 17, 1948
  • King Records Gives Music Ops 5% Return Privilege + Buys Ravens & Gant Masters [Also – “Petrillo Rejects Peace Plan”] – Cash Box – July 24, 1948
  • ‘Sweeter Than the Flowers’ by Moon Mullican – #3 folk-hillbilly jukebox hit – Cash Box – Aug. 7, 1948
  • ‘Can’t Go On Without You’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 in Harlem – Cash Box – Aug. 14, 1948
  • “[Cowboy Copas] Inks Pact with King, WSM” – Billboard – Aug. 21, 1948
  • ‘Don’t Fall in Love with Me’ – #1 in New Orleans – Cash Box – Aug. 28, 1948
  • King to Distribute Other Labels” + “King to Allow 100% Returns on Folk Disks” – Billboard – Sep. 11, 1948
  • ‘Can’t Go On Without You’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 in New Orleans – Cash Box – Sep. 11, 1948
  • Reviews = ‘Stardust’ by Lord Nelson & ‘Hogan’s Alley’ by Cecil Gant – Cash Box – Sep. 18, 1948
  • ‘What My Eyes See’ by Moon Mullican – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 25, 1948
  • “King Enters Pop Field” – Record Retailing – October 1948
  • “King Adds New Branch in Philadelphia” – Record Retailing – November 1948
  • Full-page King/DeLuxe Christmas-themed ad – Record Retailing – November 1948
  • King Diskery Sets Distribution for Canada” – Billboard – Nov. 13, 1948

Billboard ad — Nov. 27, 1948

  • ‘Sweeter Than the Flowers’ by Moon Mullican – #2 folk-hillbilly jukebox hit – Cash Box – Nov. 27, 1948
  • ‘DeLuxe Sets Up West Coast Office’ + ‘King Signs Wayne Raney of XERF’ – Cash Box – Dec. 25, 1948

Four of the Top 10 R&B Crescent City jukebox hits for Apr. 24, 1948: . King Records


  • Editorial:  “The Record Business – No Place for Prejudice” – Record Retailing – May 1949
  • Full-page King-DeLuxe ‘hillbilly’ & ‘sepia’ adRecord Retailing – May 1949
  • “Country Music Enjoys Greatest Popularity” – Paul Cohen, Decca Records – Record Retailing – May 1949
  • “New Look for 3 R’s:  Record Retailing by Radio” — Nelson King of Cinti’s WCKY – Record Retailing – May 1949
  • [King] Disk Fund to Kid Hospital” [‘Death of Kathy Fiscus’ by Jimmy Osbourne] – Billboard – May 21, 1949
  • ‘Over the Hill’ by Clyde Moody – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – May 21, 1949
  • Review = “Jean” b/w “Get Lost” by The Jubalaires – Billboard – May 28, 1949
  • “King Records Pact Harry Prime & Lucas Ork” – Cash Box – May 28, 1949
  • “Crosley Radio-TV Sales Up” – Record Retailing – June 1949
  • “King Hits New High” – 800,000 monthly sales – Record Retailing – June 1949
  • “King Signs Johnny Long & Vincent Lopez” – Record Retailing – June 1949
  • ‘Wrong to Love You Like I Do’ by Cowboy Copas – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – June 4, 1949
  • King Records Hypo Folk Festival in [Blackstone] VA” – Cash Box – June 18, 1949
  • ‘Little Girl Don’t Cry’ by Bull Moose Jackson #1 in LA + ‘Waiting in Vain’ by Ivory Joe #2 in Chicago – Cash Box – June 25, 1949
  • ‘Little Girl Don’t Cry’ by Bull Moose Jackson #1 in LA + ‘Waiting in Vain’ by Ivory Joe #2 in New Orleans – Cash Box – July 2, 1949
  • ‘The Longer We’re Together’ by Hawkshaw Hawkins – Bullseye of the Week + Paul Howard & Ark Cotton Pickers – Cash Box – July 9, 1949
  • ‘Little Girl Don’t Cry’ by Bull Moose Jackson – #1 on Chicago’s South Side – Cash Box – July 16, 1949
  • “Crosley Announces Portable TV” – Record Retailing –August 1949
  • “DeLuxe & Day [Miltone, Sacred & Foto labels] Master Exchange” – Record Retailing –August 1949
  • Review = ‘Blues Stay Away From Me’ by Delmore Brothers – Cash Box – Aug. 13, 1949
  • Review = “This Day Is Mine” b/w “St. Louis Lou” by The Jubalaires – Billboard – Aug. 13, 1949
  • ‘Package Tied in Blue’ by Johnny Rion – Bullseye of the Week + Texas Ruby & Curly Fox + Cope Brothers 78s – Cash Box – Aug. 27, 1949
  • “King and DeLuxe Split Confirmed by Syd Nathan” – Billboard – Sep. 3, 1949
  • ‘Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me’ by Wayne Raney – #2 folk-hillbilly hit – Cash Box – Oct. 8, 1949
  • ‘Love Sick Blues’ by Hank Williams (#1) + ‘Haul Off’ by Wayne Raney (#2) – Cash Box – Oct. 15, 1949
  • “Henry Stone Opens New Distribution Firm [in Miami]” – Cash Box – Oct. 22, 1949
  • ‘My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It’ by Hank Williams – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Nov. 12, 1949
  • ‘Guess Who’ by Ivory Joe Hunter – #1 in New Orleans  – Cash Box – Nov. 12, 1949
  • ‘Love Sick Blues’ by Hank Williams (#1) + ‘Haul Off’ by Wayne Raney (#2) – Cash Box – Nov. 12, 1949
  • News = WCKY’s Nelson King (top national DJ) named A&R advisor-producer for King – Billboard – Nov. 19, 1949
  • Full-page ad = ‘Midwestern Hayride’ & ‘WLW on Parade’ – What Listeners Want at 1950 Fairs [photos of Kenny Roberts, Ann Ryan, Pleasant Valley Boys, Bob Shreve & Louis Innis, et al]– Billboard – Nov. 26, 1949
  • ‘Love Sick Blues’ – 1949’s Hillbilly Record of the Year = Jukebox Operators of America Poll Winners – Cash Box – Dec. 3, 1949
  • ‘Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me’ by Wayne Raney (#2) + ‘Blues Stay Away’ by Delmore Bros (#3) hillbilly-folk jukebox hits – Cash Box – Dec. 10, 1949
  • Reviews = Johnny Rion (King) + Rex Allen with Jerry Byrd & the String Dusters recorded at Herzog Studios (Mercury) – Cash Box – Dec. 17, 1949

All three Hank Williams songs (below) recorded at E.T. Herzog Studios — Cincinnati

  • Ad = ‘Thanks from Hank’ – ‘Love Sick Blues1949’s #1 hillbilly recordCash BoxDec. 24, 1949
  • “Nathan-Braun DeLuxe Fuss Erupts in Court Litigation” – Billboard – Dec. 31, 1949
  • ‘Why Don’t You Haul Off and Love Me’ by Wayne Raney + ‘Blues Stay Away’ by Delmore Bros + ‘My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It’ by Hank Williams = Top 5 folk-hillbilly hits – Cash Box – Dec. 31, 1949


  • “The Man Who Is King [Syd Nathan]” – Saga – January, 1950

[NoteAccording to Jon Hartley Fox, this article presents information on Syd Nathan “that formed a basis for subsequent discussions of him in print”]

  • ‘Blues Stay Away From Me’ by Delmore Bros – (still) #3 folk-hillbilly jukebox hit – Cash Box – Jan. 7, 1950
  • “Paul Cohen Named Sales Manager Decca’s Country-Sepia Department” – Cash Box – Jan. 7, 1950
  • ‘Blues Stay Away From Me’ by Delmore Bros – #2 folk-hillbilly jukebox hit – Cash Box – Jan. 14, 1950
  • ‘I Love You Because’ by Clyde Moody – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Jan. 14, 1950
  • ‘Blues Stay Away From Me’ by Delmore Bros – #2 folk-hillbilly jukebox hit – Cash Box – Jan. 28, 1950
  • ‘I Love My Baby’s Pudding’ by Wynonie Harris – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Feb. 18, 1950
  • “King Now Operating 33 Factory Owned Branches” – Cash Box – Feb. 18, 1950
  • King Records Spikes Rumors on Chi(cago) Branch Closing” – Cash Box – Feb. 25 1950
  • “King Records Spike False Rumors About Closing Branches” – Record Retailing – March 1950
  • Syd Nathan quoted in “Record Industry Hails Music Operators of America Meet as Smash Success” – Cash Box – Mar. 15, 1950
  • ‘A Fool in Love’ by Bull Moose Jackson – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 25, 1950
  • King Set For Big Promotion in Pop Field” – Cash Box – Apr. 8, 1950
  • King Revamps; Back in Pops” – Billboard – Apr. 8, 1950
  • “King Adds Shorty Long, Mabel Scott & Wild Bill Moore to Roster” – Cash Box – Apr. 15, 1950
  • Syd Nathan on the run = LA sessions with Hank Penny; Moon Mullican sessions in Odessa, TX; Paul Howard session in Shreveport & Grandpa Jones-York Brothers sessions in CincinnatiCash Box – Apr. 22, 1950
  • “King Confusion” = Joe Thomas vs. Joe Thomas – Record Retailing – May 1950
  • ‘Say You Were Wrong’ by Clyde Moody – Bullseye of the Week + ‘Al Dexter Signs King Wax Pact’ + Zeb Turner 78 – Cash Box – June 3, 1950
  • ‘Southern Hospitality’ by Moon Mullican – Bullseye of the Week + Al Dexter & Hank Penny 78s – Cash Box – June 24, 1950
  • King signs Lucky Millinder to long-term pact + ad on facing page – Record Retailing –July 1950
  • ‘Well Oh Well’ by Tiny Bradshaw – #1 on LA’s Central Ave – Cash Box – July 1, 1950
  • ‘Good Morning Judge’ by Wynonie Harris – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – July 1, 1950
  • ‘Hard Luck Blues’ by Roy Brown – #1 in LA – Cash Box – July 8, 1950

Cash Box — July 15, 1950

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  • Ad = “King Goes Direct to Writers for New Songs” – Billboard – July 22, 1950
  • Reviews = Zeb Turner & Redd Stewart (King) + Red Kirk with Jerry Byrd & String Dusters @ Herzog Studios (Mercury) – Cash Box – July 29, 1950
  • “King Told to Pull Moon Mullican Disk” – Billboard – July 29, 1950
  • ‘Well Oh Well’ by Tiny Bradshaw – #1 in LA – Cash Box – Aug. 5, 1950
  • ‘I’ll Sail My Ship Alone’ by Moon Mullican – #2 folk-hillbilly hit – Cash Box – Aug. 12, 1950
  • Review = ‘Hi De Ho Boogie’ by Al Dexter – Cash Box – Aug. 19, 1950
  • ‘Well Oh Well’ by Tiny Bradshaw (#1) & ‘Hard Luck Blues by Roy Brown (#2) in Detroit – Cash Box – Aug. 19, 1950
  • ‘I’ll Sail My Ship Alone’ by Moon Mullican – #2 folk-hillbilly hit – Cash Box – Sep.  9, 1950
  • ‘Rock Mr Blues’ by Wynonie Harris – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Sep.  9, 1950
  • ‘Want to Love You Baby’ by Wynonie Harris – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Oct.  14, 1950
  • “King Signs Margaret Phelan” – King’s first ‘name’ signing – Cash Box – Nov. 4, 1950
  • “King Sets New Tag – Federal” + “King Buys Miracle Masters”– Billboard – Nov. 4, 1950
  • “King Sets New Label – Federal” – Cash Box – Nov. 18, 1950
  • ‘Breaking Up the House’ by Tiny Bradshaw – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Dec. 2, 1950
  • ‘Teardrops From My Eyes’ by Hawkshaw Hawkins – Bullseye of the Week + Bob Newman, Moon Mullican & Al Dexter 78s – Cash Box – Dec. 9, 1950
  • Ad introducing King’s new Federal label, under the leadership of Ralph BassCash BoxDec. 16, 1950
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  • “Federal Releases 1st Record” – Ralph Bass with Billy Ward & Dominoes – Cash Box – Dec. 16, 1950 [BLOOPER = incorrect photo]
  • Federal Releases 1st Record” – Ralph Bass with Billy Ward & DominoesCash BoxDec. 23, 1950
  • News = Ralph Bass – new A&R director of Federal – Cash Box – Dec. 23, 1950
  • “Brauns File DeLuxe Suit” – Billboard – Dec. 30, 1950


A whopping four King and two Federal releases reviewed in the April 19, 1952 edition


  • News from LA = Ralph Bass + Little Esther + ‘Prof Bald Head’ Byrd + Baby Shirley new item – Cash Box – Jan. 5, 1952
  • King Goes All Out on Promotion for New Teddy Phillips Disk” – Cash Box – Jan. 19, 1952
  • ‘Good Rockin’ Man’ by Roy Brown – #1 in LA – Cash Box – Feb. 2, 1952
  • “[Eli] Oberstein Will Quit King Post for Own Firms” – Billboard – Feb. 16, 1952
  • ‘Everybody’s Got a Girl But Me’ by Hawkshaw Hawkins – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Feb. 23, 1952
  • Review = ‘Train Kept a Rollin” (as a B-side) – Cash Box – Feb. 23, 1952
  • News = Syd Nathan & Henry Glover to head up King’s pop division at month’s end when Eli Oberstein departs to pursue his own commercial venture – Billboard – Mar. 1, 1952
  • Review = Delmore Bros & Grandpa Jones 78s – Cash Box – Mar. 1, 1952
  • News = King’s west coast office on Pico Blvd for Ralph Bass – Cash Box – Mar. 15, 1952
  • News = Sonny Thompson’s ‘Mellow Blues’ is breaking + ‘Mr. Playful Baby’s Gone’ by Wynonie Harris doing wellCash Box – Mar. 15, 1952
  • Reviews – ‘Nosey Joe’ by Moose Jackson + ‘Last Laugh’ by Roy Brown – Cash Box – Mar. 15, 1952
  • Oberstein Says New York LP War Aids Low Priced Manufacturers” – Cash Box – Mar. 15, 1952
  • Dewey Bergman Named King Pop A& R Head by Nathan” – Cash Box – Mar. 22, 1952
  • ‘Better Beware’ by Little Esther – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Apr. 12, 1952
  • ‘Keep on Churnin” by Wynonie Harris – Award o’ the Week [one of six King/Federal 78s reviewed] – Cash Box – Apr. 19, 1952
  • Syd Nathan, King Prexy, First to Agree to One Tone [Recording] Level Meeting” – Cash Box – Apr. 19, 1952
  • News = Earl Bostic post-near-fatal car accident en route to one-nighter – Cash BoxApr. 26, 1952 (pictured belowwith John Coltrane, in all likelihood)
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Happy 10th Anniversary, Cash Box from King Records — June 28, 1952

  • ‘Have Mercy Baby’ by The Dominoes – #1 in Harlem, Chicago’s South Side, New Orleans, Dallas & LA – Cash Box – June 28, 1952
  • Reviews = ‘Grant It Lord’ by Swan’s Silvertone Singers + ‘Lay It on the Line’ by Tiny Bradshaw – Cash Box – July 5, 1952
  • “Musical Platters … Made in Cincinnati” – Cincinnati Enquirer – July 6, 1952 [Sunday Magazine]
  • King Shuffles A&R Set Up” – Billboard – July 12, 1952
  • News = 1st recording session for Jimmy Witherspoon, signed by Ralph Bass, who also signed Big Jay McNeelyCash Box – July 12, 1952
  • Reviews = ‘My Ding a Ling’ by Dave Bartholomew (King) + Preston Love & The Four Internes (Federal) – Cash Box – July 12, 1952
  • Reviews = Delmore Bros, Jimmy Thomason & Bob Newman King 78s – Cash Box – July 26, 1952
  • “Unknown Warblers [i.e., Ruby Wright & Dick Noel] Sought in ‘Bible’ of Theatrical Trade Revealed in Cincinnati” – Cincinnati Times-Star – Aug. 20, 1952
  • Reviews = Four Internes (Federal) & Billy Hadnott (Federal) – Cash Box – Sep. 6, 1952
  • Syd Nathan Off to Europe [for Licensing Deals in Various Countries]” – Cash Box – Sep. 6, 1952
  • Syd Nathan to Europe for Looksee” – Billboard – Sep. 13, 1952
  • Reviews = Delmore Bros, Brown’s Ferry Four & Howdy Kemp King 78s – Cash Box – Sep. 20, 1952
  • Reviews = Spirit of Memphis Quartet + The Royals + Sarah McLawler + Kitty Mann King 78s – Cash Box – Sep. 20, 1952
  • Reviews = Jimmy Witherspoon (Federal) + Jimmy Rushing & Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson (King) 78s – Cash Box – Sep. 27, 1952
  • ‘I’d Be Satisfied’ by Billy Ward & Dominoes – Award o’ the Week + ‘Big Jay Shuffle’ by Big Jay McNeely – Cash Box – Oct. 18, 1952
  • “Syd Nathan Acquires Hot Lips Page Masters on European Trip” – Cash Box – Oct. 18, 1952
  • Syd Parlevouz With Hot Lips” – Billboard – Oct. 18, 1952
  • Reviews = Lula Reed (King), Spirit of Memphis Quartet (King) & Four Internes (Federal) – Cash Box – Nov. 8, 1952
  • Reviews = Delmore Bros, Jimmy Ballard & York Bros King 78s – Cash Box – Nov. 15, 1952
  • Syd Nathan Finds American Music Creates European Goodwill” – Cash Box – Nov. 15, 1952
  • Reviews = ‘Night’s Curtains’ by The Checkers – Award o’ the Week + Kitty Mann (King) & Little Esther (Federal) – Cash Box – Nov. 22, 1952
  • Review of 3 King 78s – Wayne Raney, Moon Mullican & Jimmie Osborne – Cash Box – Nov. 22, 1952
  • Full-page ad = WLW’s ‘Midwestern Hayride’ – a boost to your 1953 fair’s popularity – Billboard – Nov. 29, 1952
  • ‘Trying’ by Todd Rhodes = #1 in San FranciscoCash Box – Nov. 29, 1952
  • ‘Love Me Now’ by Cowboy Copas – Bullseye of the Week + Rabon Delmore dies – Cash Box – Dec. 20, 1952

17 years later, Lou Reed would release an album titled after, and inspired by, this song

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  • The Bellsby Billy Ward & DominoesAward o’ the WeekCash Box – Dec. 20, 1952
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  • Tiny Bradshaw’s ‘Soft’ – Award o’ the Week + Wynonie Harris, Big Jay McNeely & Lucky Millinder 78s – Cash Box – Jan. 10, 1953
  • ‘Tangled Heart’ by Hawkshaw Hawkins – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Jan. 17, 1953
  • Reviews = Hot Lips Page & Spirit of Memphis Quartet (King) + Ray Charles (Rockin’) + Spiritual Harmonizers (Glory) – Cash BoxJan. 24, 1953

One of Ray Charlesearliest recordings!

King’s Rockinsubsidiary label


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  • ‘Work With Me Annie’ by The Midnighters – #1 in NYC & New Orleans – Cash Box – June 19, 1954
  • ‘Spider Web’ by Tiny Bradshaw – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – June 26, 1954
  • ‘Mambolino’ by Earl Bostic – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – July 3, 1954
  • ‘Work With Me Annie’ by The Midnighters – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – July 3, 1954
  • ‘Work With Me Annie’ by The Midnighters = #1 in Chicago, SF & Newark – Cash Box – July 17, 1954
  • “Apollo and King in Hassle Over Right to ‘5’ Royales” – Cash Box – July 31, 1954
  • Reviews = Bill Robinson & the Quails single (DeLuxe) – a Best Bet + Linda Lopez & Her Mambo Orchestra (Federal)Cash Box – July 31, 1954
  • News = Marvin Novak, Miami King distributor, to join Syd Nathan on hillbilly talent searchBillboard – July 31, 1954
  • “Three Legal Actions Involve Music Trade” = Apollo vs King Records – Five Royales – Billboard – July 31, 1954
  • ‘Gonna Run It Down’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week + Brother Claude Ely – Cash Box – Aug. 14, 1954
  • ‘Annie Had a Baby’ by The Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Aug. 28, 1954
  • “King Portable Designed for College Trade” – Billboard – Aug. 28, 1954
  • Billy Ward & Dominoes + Midnighters – R&B Ramblings – Cash Box – Sep. 4, 1954
  • Midnighters rack up 3rd straight hit in ‘Annie’ series written by Glover & NathanCash Box – Sep. 4, 1954
  • ‘Annie’ trilogy by The Midnighters – Top 6 R&B – Cash Box – Sep. 18, 1954
  • ‘Annie’ trilogy by The Midnighters – Top 7 R&B – Cash Box – Oct. 2, 1954
  • ‘Annie’ trilogy by The Midnighters – Top 8 R&B – Cash Box – Oct. 16, 1954
  • News = Henry Stone, A&R for DeLuxe, who accompanied Syd Nathan & Marvin Novak on talent expedition, raving about ‘Hearts of Stone’ by The Charms (to be recut by Louis Innis for ‘hillbilly’ market)Billboard – Oct. 16, 1954
  • News = Pee Wee King’s show on WLW-TV doing well + ‘Midwestern Hayride’ celebrates 6 years on TV – Cash Box – Oct. 16, 1954
  • ‘Monkey Hips With Rice’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Oct. 23, 1954
  • ‘Annie’s Aunt Fannie’ by The Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Oct. 30, 1954
  • Midnighters release 4th single in ‘Annie’ seriesCash Box – Oct. 30, 1954
  • Syd Nathan – ‘Blue material not tolerated‘ – Cash Box – Nov. 6, 1954
  • News = negotiations to return ‘Midwestern Hayride’ to the NBC networkCash Box – Nov. 13, 1954
  • Nathan reports ‘Hearts of Stone’ sales spill over into popCash Box – Nov. 20, 1954
  • Grand Ole Opry Anniversary” by Syd Nathan – Cash Box – Nov. 20, 1954
  • Survey by King Records show that 45 rpm is fast becoming the preferred speed – Cash Box – Nov. 20, 1954
  • Henry Stone says ‘Money Money Money’ by King artist Johnny & Mack is ‘coming up fast’ – Cash Box – Nov. 20, 1954
  • ‘Hearts of Stone’ by The Charms – #3 R&B hit – Cash Box – Dec. 4, 1954
  • ‘Liebestraum’ by Earl Bostic – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Dec. 4, 1954
  • Henry Stone says ‘Hearts of Stone’ biggest record in US – hillbilly, pop + r&b – Cash Box – Dec. 11, 1954
  • News – Bob Shreve in TV show ‘Surprise’ to replace Paul Dixon’s afternoon show – Cash Box – Dec. 11, 1954
  • ‘Stingy Little Thing’ by Midnighters + ‘Mambo Sh-mambo’ by The Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Dec. 11, 1954
  • ‘Hearts of Stone’ by Red Foley – Bullseye of the Week – Cash Box – Dec. 18, 1954
  • ‘Hearts of Stone’ by The Charms – #1 in Atlanta, Nashville & Shoals, IN– Cash Box – Dec. 18, 1954
  • ‘Hearts of Stone’ by The Charms – #1 in New Orleans & Memphis – Cash Box – Dec. 18, 1954
  • Hearts of Stone‘ by The Charms#1 R&B hitCash Box – Dec. 25, 1954

Music — the perfect gift

  • News = WLW to replace Pee Wee King’s TV show with Eddie Cantor on films – Cash Box – Dec. 25, 1954


  • King signs Lucky Millinder + Thanks from Midnighters1954’s #1 R&B groupCash Box – Jan. 1, 1955
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  • ‘Hearts of Stone’ by The Charms – #1 R&B hitCash Box – Jan. 15, 1955
  • LA News = Ralph Bass in hot seat over risque R&B – Cash Box – Feb. 19, 1955
  • News = The Midwesterners, WLW’s top square dance troupe, fly to Hollywood to film ‘Second Greatest Sex’ – Cash Box – Feb. 19, 1955
  • News = ‘More people in show business hail from the Queen City than from any other American city’ – Cash Box – Mar. 5, 1955
  • King Records supplies Bill Doggett instrumental for Cincinnati ‘Name That Tune’ contest – Cash Box – Mar. 12, 1955
  • ‘Mohawk Squaw’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 19, 1955
  • News = Midwestern Hayride’s original host, Willie Thall, bows after 6 years – replaced by Hugh CherryCash Box – Mar. 26, 1955
  • “Louie Innis = New Country A&R Chief @ King” – Cash Box – Apr. 2, 1955
  • Syd Nathan & Henry Glover:   Work With Me Annie‘ – Best R&B Record of 1954Cash Box – Apr. 2, 1955
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Billboard ad — Sep. 17, 1955


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  • ‘Fever’ by Little Willie John – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – June 16, 1956
  • ‘Please Please Please’ by James Brown – breaking in Cleveland – Cash Box – June 16, 1956
  • Syd Nathan – ‘Two biggest consecutive business days in last five years‘ – Cash Box – June 16, 1956
  • ‘Fever’ by Little Willie John – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – June 23, 1956
  • ‘Please Please Please’ by James Brown – breaking in Atlanta – Cash Box – June 23, 1956
  • Fever‘ by Little Willie John#1 R&B hitCash Box – June 30, 1956
  • ‘Fever’ by Little Willie John – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – July 14, 1956
  • ‘Fever’ by Little Willie John – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – July 28, 1956
  • Reviews = Margie Day (DeLuxe) + Rudy Moore (Federal) + 5 Royales (King) – Cash Box – July 28, 1956
  • ‘Thanks from Little Willie John = Most Promising Vocalist’ – Cash Box – July 28, 1956
  • R&B Ramblings = Syd Nathan thrilled that first 20,000 copies of ‘Honky Tonk’ sold out lickety splitCash Box – July 28, 1956
  • ‘Half Hearted Love’ by Mac Curtis – Bullseye of the Week + ‘Cincinnati Cut-Ups’ column turns two – Cash Box – Aug. 4, 1956
  • Fever” vs “Honky Tonk” vs “Flying Saucer vs. Please Please PleaseCash Box – Aug. 18, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ (#2), ‘Flying Saucer’ (#3), ‘Fever’ (#4) R&B hits – Cash Box – Aug. 25, 1956
  • News = MGM artist Jimmie Williams recorded at new Herzog Studios in Rookwood BuildingCash Box – Aug. 25, 1956
  • Ad = ‘Honky Tonk’ vs ‘Fever’ – Cash Box – Sep. 1, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 R&B two weeks in a row – Cash Box – Sep. 1, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett battling ‘Fever’ by Little Willie John – Cash Box – Sep. 1, 1956
  • Ad = ‘Bigger, Bigger, Bigger – ‘Honky Tonk’ & ‘Fever” – Cash Box – Sep. 8, 1956
  • Ad = ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett on the way to #1 in the nation – Cash Box – Sep. 8, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – Sep. 8, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – Sep. 15, 1956
  • ‘Whirlwind’ by Otis Williams & Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 15, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere (a) – Cash Box – Sep. 22, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere (b) – Cash Box – Sep. 22, 1956
  • Honky Tonk‘ by Bill Doggett#1 R&B hitCash Box – Sep. 22, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 R&B hit– Cash Box – Sep. 29, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 R&B hit– Cash Box – Oct. 6, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere (a) – Cash Box – Oct. 13, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere (b) – Cash Box – Oct. 13, 1956
  • Otis Williams – R&B Ramblings – Cash Box – Oct. 20, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere (a) – Cash Box – Oct. 27, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere (b) – Cash Box – Oct. 27, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – #1 almost everywhere – Cash Box – Nov. 3, 1956
  • ‘Gypsy Lady’ by Otis Williams & Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Nov. 10, 1956
  • News = Country musicians to get axe at WLW along with ‘Midwestern Hayride’Cash Box – Nov. 17, 1956
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – Top 5 everywhere – Cash Box – Nov. 17, 1956
  • Cover photo = Bill Doggett, Clifford Scott, Billy Butler, Shep Shepherd & Syd NathanCash BoxNov. 24, 1956

Doggett’s follow-up single “Slow Walk”: #1 in Detroit (p. 35)

  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett – Top 5 everywhere – Cash Box – Dec. 1, 1956
  • Two King Branches Get Cadence Line” – Cash Box – Dec. 1, 1956
  • News = WLW does a ‘George Costanza‘ and quietly resumes ‘Midwestern Hayride’ (with Bill Thall to replace Clay Eager) – Cash Box – Dec. 15, 1956
  • Ad = ‘Fever‘ by Little Willie JohnBest R&B 45 of 1956Cash Box – Dec. 22, 1956
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  • ‘Pardon Me’ by Otis Williams & Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Jan. 5, 1957

Billboard ad – Jan. 12, 1957

  • Otis Williams (et al) ‘strong King releases this week’ – R&B Ramblings – Cash Box – Feb. 23, 1957
  • ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ by Otis Williams & Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 2, 1957
  • News = WLW’s Ruth Lyons profiled by Sat Evening Post as ‘one of the most successful TV personalities’ – Cash Box – Mar. 30, 1957
  • ‘Chloe’ by Bill Doggett – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Apr. 13, 1957
  • ‘Hurts To Be in Love’ by Annie Laurie – #1 in Detroit – Cash Box – Apr. 13, 1957
  • WLW to Start Local Color” = Crosley Broadcasting Corporation “will begin local colorcasting at WLW-T in June”
  • “All That Rockin’ and Not Much ‘Kingly’ Music” by Dick Schaefer – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 19, 1957
  • NY News = Syd Nathan back after having a strokeCash Box – May 25, 1957
  • ‘Ding Dong’ by Bill Doggett – Award o’ the WeekCash Box – June 1, 1957
  • Reviews = ‘Ding Dong’ by Bill Doggett – Award o’ the Week + ‘Think’ by 5 Royales + Don Gardner (DeLuxe) + The Gum Drops (King) + Kenny & Moe (DeLuxe) – Cash Box – June 1, 1957
  • Review = Washboard Bill single (King)Cash Box – June 29, 1957
  • ‘United’ by Otis Williams & Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – July 6, 1957
  • “Carl Lebow Named General Manager of Bethlehem” – Cash Box – July 20, 1957
  • “Midwestern Hayride (Hosted by Paul Dixon) Goes Network” – ABC – Cash Box – July 20, 1957
  • “King Boosts Prices of 78s” – Billboard – Aug. 5, 1957
  • Reviews = ‘Hammer Head’ by Bill Doggett – Award o’ the Week + ‘Rolling Home’ by Otis Williams (DeLuxe) + Ike Turner and Billy Ward & the Dominoes (Federal)Cash Box – Aug. 10, 1957
  • R&B Ramblings = 5 Royales, Tiny Topsy & Ralph Bass – Cash Box – Sep. 21, 1957
  • ‘Think’ by 5 Royales – Top 10 R&B hit – Cash Box – Oct. 5, 1957

King ad — Billboard — Oct. 28, 1957


  • ‘Oh Julie’ by Otis Williams & Charms – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Jan. 4, 1958
  • ‘Flying Home’ by Bill Doggett + ‘Talk to Me’ by Little Willie John – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Feb. 8, 1958
  • ‘King Appoints Two to San Francisco Branch’ – Cash Box – Apr. 12, 1958
  • ‘Talk to Me Talk to Me’ by Little Willie John – Top 3 – Cash Box – Apr. 19, 1958
  • ‘Blues for Handy’ by Bill Doggett – ‘Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Apr. 26, 1958
  • ‘The Feeling Is Real’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – May 3, 1958
  • Hal Neely New King G.M.” – Billboard – May 5, 1958
  • King Names Hal Neely General Manager” – Cash Box – May 10, 1958
  • News = Syd Nathan working deal with Carlton Haney to record LP by Richmond VA’s New Dominion Barn Dance talent in the Fall – Billboard – June 9, 1958
  • King on First Stereo Kick” – Billboard – June 23, 1958
  • King in Stereo Field” = Johnny Pate’s ‘Jazz Goes Ivy League’ 1st stereo release – Cash Box – June 28, 1958
  • “King Sets Up Summer Album Program” – Billboard – June 30, 1958
  • “Hal Neely New King [General Manager]” – Billboard—July 5, 1958
  • Photo = King Records window display in SF – Cash Box – July 5, 1958
  • King Pacts New Faces” [Bob Kames, Milty & Nat, Tommy Love, Johnny Darling] – Cash Box – July 12, 1958
  • ‘Double or Nothing’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – July 19, 1958
  • King Takes Over Bethlehem Distribution” – Cash Box – Aug. 2, 1958
  • King Signs More Talent” [Reggie & Jimmy + Swinging Phillies (via Andy Gibson, DeLuxe) -also- Faith Taylor and Kenneth Tibbs (via Ralph Bass, Federal)] – Cash Box – Aug. 23, 1958
  • King Signs News Talent” [Shorty Baker, Puddle Jumpers, Teddy Humphries & Wes Voight] – Cash Box – Oct. 11, 1958
  • “King & Bethlehem Reduce EPs to $1.29” – Cash Box – Oct. 18, 1958
  • ‘The Slummer the Slum’ by 5 Royales + ‘Goodnight’ by Earl Bostic – Award o’ the WeekCash Box – Oct. 18, 1958
  • News = Syd Nathan & Hal Neely in Los Angeles to record Earl Bostic + duo to also record Trini Lopez in DallasBillboard – Dec. 15, 1958

Cash Box — Feb. 8, 1958


  • Hal Neely says King has issued 1st two stereo singles = quoted in ‘Record MFRS to Release Plenty of Stereo Singles’ – Cash Box – Jan. 17, 1959
  • King Re-Pacts Roy BrownCash Box – Jan. 31, 1959
  • ‘Made For Me’ by Little Willie John & ‘I Want You So Bad’ by James Brown – Cash Box – Feb. 14, 1959
  • ‘The Twist’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – R&B Sure Shot – Cash Box – Feb. 14, 1959
  • ‘Answer Me’ by Titus Turner – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 21, 1959
  • ‘Kansas City’ by Midnighters + ‘Miracle of Love’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Apr. 4, 1959
  • Kansas City’ [vs. ‘K.C. Loving’] Keeps Trade Fever Rising [Syd Nathan’s copyright concerns]Billboard – Apr. 6, 1959
  • “8 New LPs for ‘organist’ Earl Bostic” – Cash Box – Apr. 25, 1959
  • Hank Ballard & Midnighters LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – May 30, 1959
  • ‘Sugaree’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – June 20, 1959
  • News = Long-time King production/promotion exec Howard Kessel resigns – Syd Nathan buys out Kessel’s 16% share – Billboard – July 6, 1959
  • Syd Nathan’s open letter to the record industry – ‘Save the Single‘ – Cash Box July 11, 1959
  • “Beverly Ann Gibson on King Records” – Montgomery Ala Tribune – July 24, 1959
  • King Gets (Cozy) Cole” – Cash Box – July 25, 1959
  • Review = Bob Newman’s classic truck-driving doubleheader – Cash Box – July 25, 1959
  • “King Disks Triples Its Custom Jobs” – Billboard – Aug. 24, 1959
  • ‘Cute Little Ways’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Aug. 29, 1959
  • ‘Dark Eyes’ by Earl Bostic – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 19, 1959
  • Cincinnati News = Seymour “Steinbeigle” [future Sire Records co-founder] “youthful New York platter expert” was “house guest last week of Syd Nathan”Billboard – Sep. 21, 1959
  • ‘Ain’t No Rocking No More’ by Roy Brown – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 26, 1959
  • Syd Nathan Signs [Rudy] West” – Cash Box – Oct. 3, 1959
  • [Henry Glover] Joins [Hy] Weiss” = formed new label, Glover Records – Cash Box – Oct. 10, 1959
  • [Otis] Blackwell Joins Glover” = Glover Records disk pact – Cash Box – Oct. 17, 1959
  • ‘My Sugar, Sugar’ by 5 Royales – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Oct. 24, 1959
  • ‘Once in a While’ by Earl Bostic – a Best Bet + ‘Zeen Beat’ by Gene Redd – Cash Box – Oct. 24, 1959
  • ‘Never Knew’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Nov. 7, 1959
  • “Recording Firm Admits Payoffs” – UPI – Nov. 20, 1959
  • “DJ Payoffs Revealed” – Cincinnati Times-Star – Nov. 20, 1959
  • “Cincinnati Firm Called In on Disc Jockey Payments” – Cincinnati Enquirer – Nov. 21, 1959
  • “Gave Disk Jockeys Checks” – UPI – Nov. 21, 1959
  • ‘Uh Oh’ by The Nutty Squirrels – R&B Sure Shot – Cash Box – Nov. 21, 1959
  • Syd Nathan quoted in “Ready to Make Like Canaries” – Billboard – Nov. 23, 1959
  • Dallas News = King artist Trini Lopez – Cash Box – Nov. 28, 1959
  • ‘Look at Little Sister’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Dec. 5, 1959
  • Gagging Up ‘The Taste’‘ – Syd Nathan sends Christmas card of a piano-playing Santa bearing the message ‘Play-ola Greetings’ – Billboard – Dec. 28, 1959


  • News = Starday’s Don Pierce in Cincinnati to confer with King’s Syd Nathan over shared commercial ventureBillboardJan. 11, 1960
  • Syd Nathan Blasts Off” [payola hearings] – Billboard – Jan. 25, 1960
  • News = Syd Nathan and Hal Neely to spend a month abroad negotiating leases with EMI [itinerary to include London, Milan, Zurich, Vienna, Hamburg & Music Festival @ San Remos, Italy]Billboard – Jan. 25, 1960
  • “Syd Nathan Scores [Stanley] Adams’ Charges” [Denies Receiving $100K BMI Subsidy] – Cash Box – Jan. 30, 1960
  • News = “Gladys Knochelman infos that topper Syd Nathan has switched Otis Williams to his King label” – Cash Box – Jan. 30, 1960
  • ‘Waiting’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Feb. 6, 1960
  • WLW’s Hayriders Honor Bonnie Lou” – Billboard – Feb. 15, 1960
  • ‘My Love Is’ by Little Willie John – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Feb. 20, 1960
  • ‘Finger Poppin’ Time’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Apr. 23, 1960
  • “Local Record Man Faces Quiz at Clark Payola Probe” – Cincinnati Post Times-Star – Apr. 26, 1960
  • ”Carlson Contract Favored Record Firm, Singer Says” – Cincinnati Post Times-Star – Apr. 28, 1960
  • “Carlson Gets Rebuke in Payola Inquiry” – Cincinnati Enquirer – Apr. 28, 1960
  • Dale Stevens’ column = “US Payola Hearing Unfair, Local Record Maker Says” – Cincinnati Post Times-Star – Apr. 29, 1960
  • Italy News = Hal Neely makes international deal with Betty CurtisCash Box – May 7, 1960
  • ‘Mountain Dew’ by Stanley Brothers – a Cash Box Bullseye– Cash Box – May 7, 1960
  • “King Records A&R Appointments – Teddy Charles & Billy Miles” – Cash Box – May 21, 1960
  • Syd Nathan quoted in “Pop Charts Sprout Grass Roots Although Air Formats Change” – Billboard – July 4, 1960
  • King Custom Work 43% of Volume” – 57 presses total – Cash Box – July 9, 1960
  • Cincinnati News + King Studio activity: BillboardJuly 11, 1960

Billboard editorial on ‘The R&B Scene‘ — same issue

  • King Launches Summer Pitch” – Billboard – July 11, 1960
  • King A&R Men, Branch Managers [4-Day] Confab” = Syd Nathan, Hal Neely, Billy Myles, Sonny Thompson, Andy Gibson, Gene Redd, Jack Pearl, Jim Wilson, Jim Namey & Richard Kline – Billboard – July 18, 1960
  • “King Summer Special – 1 free LP for 4 ordered” + 12 LP presses – Cash Box – July 16, 1960
  • Review = ‘Finger Poppin’ Time’ by Stanley Brothers – Cash Box – July 30, 1960
  • ‘This Old Heart’ by James Brown – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Aug. 13, 1960
  • King Reissues Hank Ballard ‘Twist’” – Cash Box – Aug. 13, 1960
  • King Debuts New LP Line” – Billboard – Aug. 15, 1960
  • King Announces New International Series” – Cash Box – Aug. 20, 1960
  • ‘Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 17, 1960
  • Cover photo = Hank Ballard & Syd NathanCash Box Sep. 24, 1960

“Finger Poppin’ Time” — Juke Box Top Ten (p. 30)

  • Coltrane on Coltrane” – Earl Bostic cited as an early influence – Downbeat – Sep. 29, 1960
  • Henry Glover to Roulette’s A&R Staff” – Cash Box – Oct. 1, 1960
  • Reviews = Five Keys (King) + El Pauling & the Royalton (Federal) – Cash Box – Oct. 8, 1960
  • “Local Firm Bows to FTC on Payola” – Cincinnati Post – Oct. 18, 1960
  • Review = ‘Crying Tears’ by Smokey Smothers – Cash Box – Nov. 5, 1960
  • “Unknown Fan Attacks Little Willie John” – Pittsburgh Courier – Nov. 12, 1960
  • “Buy Big in December, Urges Nathan” – Billboard – Nov. 14, 1960
  • Reviews = ‘Then You Know’ by Trini Lopez + ‘Bowling USA’ by The Blue Flames – Cash Box – Nov. 26, 1960
  • Roulette Answers [‘You Talk Too Much’] Hit” – produced by Henry Glover – Cash Box – Nov. 26, 1960
  • News = Syd Nathan’s draws 150 at annual Christmas party hosted at his homeBillboard – Dec. 26, 1960
  • Review = ‘Now Baby Don’t Do It’ by El Pauling & the Royalton – Cash Box – Dec. 31, 1960


  • Roulette Reactivates Gee – Henry Glover Heads A&R” – Cash Box – Apr. 22, 1961
  • ‘Spring Fever’ by Little Willie John – a Best Bet + ‘Brother in Law’ by Paul Peek (Fairlane) – Cash Box – May 6, 1961
  • News – Chuck Seitz named King studio engineer – Billboard – May 22, 1961

Billboard ad — May 22, 1961

  • Reviews = Otis Williams (‘Just Forget About Me’) & Five Keys 45s (‘Stop Your Crying’) – Cash Box – May 27, 1961
  • “King Offers Buy-1-Get-1 Plan” – Cash Box – June 3, 1961
  • New King Plan, Post for Increased Promo” – Cash Box – June 3, 1961
  • King Extends Deals” – Cash Box – July 8, 1961
  • “King Records Sets Guaranteed Singles-LPs Exchange Policy” – Billboard – July 10, 1961
  • Roulette’s Henry Glover writes ‘The Mule’ in answer to ‘The Pony’Cash Box – July 22, 1961
  • ‘You’re the Reason’ by Joe South (Fairlane) – a Best Bet – Cash Box – July 22, 1961
  • ‘San-Ho-Zay’ by Freddy King – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – July 29, 1961
  • Mickey & Sylvia 45 on new King-distributed Willow label – Cash Box – Aug. 5, 1961
  • ‘The Secret’ by Otis Williams – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Oct. 7, 1961
  • King Inks Rep Deal with England’s Ember” – Cash Box Oct. 21, 1961
  • ‘Masquerade’ by Joe South (Fairlane) – a Best Bet ” – Cash Box – Oct. 28, 1961
  • ‘Darling (I Miss You So)’ – B side of Mickey & Sylvia ‘Best Bet’ Willow 45 – Cash Box – Nov. 4, 1961
  • Ray Pennington & Sonny Thompson – 2 of 35 songwriters given BMI award– Cash Box – Nov. 4, 1961
  • Hank Ballard’s ‘Let’s Go Again’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – Dec. 16, 1961


  • Joey Dee soundtrack scored by Henry Glover – Cash Box – Jan. 6, 1962
  • ‘Fever (with Strings)’ by Little Willie John & ‘Dark Glasses’ by Billy Joe Royal (Fairlane) – Best Bets – Cash Box – Jan. 20, 1962
  • Syd Nathan & Henry Glover @ 10th Annual BMI Award DinnerCash Box – Feb. 3, 1962
  • Syd Nathan, King Record Chief Exec, Sounds Off on Touchy Disk Topics” – Billboard – Feb. 24, 1962
  • Review = ‘Do the President Twist’ by Lula Reed & Freddy King – Cash Box – Mar. 17, 1962
  • ‘Why Does Everything Happen to Me’ by James Brown – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 24, 1962
  • King Now Owns Bethlehem 100%” – Cash Box – June 16, 1962
  • Hank Ballard’s ‘Twistin’ Fools’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – July 14, 1962
  • King [& Bethlehem] Set New Bonus Plan” – Cash Box – Aug. 4, 1962
  • “King Records’ New Bonus Plan Offers Dealer 1st Edition Singles & Albums” – Billboard – Aug. 4, 1962
  • “Nathan Resigns Post at Beltone” – Cash Box – Aug. 18, 1962
  • “King Extends LP-Singles Deal” – Cash Box – Sep. 8, 1962
  • King Signs [Hawkshaw] Hawkins in Move to Expand Its C&W Catalog” – Billboard –Sep. 22, 1962
  • Hawkins Back on King in Country Build-Up” – Cash Box – Sep. 29, 1962
  • “Beltone Sues King for $3,000,000” – Cash Box – Oct. 6, 1962
  • “King Announces Fall Sound Festival” – discounts – Cash Box – Oct. 6, 1962
  • “King Cuts Prices 15% for October” – Billboard Oct. 6, 1962
  • “King offering 12.5% discount on King, Bethlehem & Audio Lab” – Cash Box – Nov. 3, 1962
  • “King Expands Premium, Promotion Disk Biz with Bob Weems at Helm” – Billboard – Nov. 24, 1962
  • Franny Jenson Scores a Coup” = Milwaukee youngster to record ‘Don’t Wait Till the Night Before Christmas’ on Bob Kames’ recommendation – Billboard – Nov. 24, 1962


  • “King’s Happy New Year to Dealers – 15% Off” – Billboard – Jan. 12, 1963
  • King Greets New Year With 15% Off Program; Nathan – ’62 Looks Good” – Cash Box – Jan. 12, 1963
  • ‘Like a Baby’ by James Brown – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Jan. 19, 1963
  • “King Celebrates 20th Anniv with Big Country Music Sale” – Cash Box – Mar. 9, 1963
  • ‘That Low Down Move’ by Hank Ballard & Midnighters – Award o’ the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 9, 1963
  • Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins & Patsy Cline die in plane tragedy – Cash Box – Mar. 16, 1963
  • PHOTO = Syd Nathan & Earl Bostic + Alfred E. Neuman – Billboard – Mar. 23, 1963
  • Reviews = ‘Out of Control’ by Lattie Moore (King) + Dave Dudley’s ‘Six Days on the Road’ – Cash Box – Apr. 20, 1963
  • ‘Memphis’ by Lonnie Mack + ‘I Found Out’ by Bobby Byrd- Best Bets – Cash Box – May 11, 1963
  • ‘One Hundred Years’ by Freddy King – a Best Bet – Cash Box – May 11, 1963
  • “Peak Handles Oriole & King [in New Zealand] – Billboard – May 25, 1963
  • Lonnie Mack = bio for DJs – Cash Box – June 15, 1963
  • ‘Memphis’ by Lonnie Mack – a Sure Shot – Cash Box – June 15, 1963
  • News = Hal Neely announces deal inked with ‘country lark’ Jean Dee, who is cutting her 1st release at KingCash Box – June 15, 1963
  • Ad = Royal Plastics, Inc. – “Let Royal Plastics take over your every recording and record manufacturing worry!” – Billboard – Aug. 3, 1963
  • ‘Roulette’s (Morris) Levy & (Henry) ‘Grover’ Buy Half Interest in United MusicCash Box – Aug. 17, 1963
  • ‘Wham’ by Lonnie Mack – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Aug. 17, 1963
  • Full-page ad for 1st Lonnie Mack LPCash Box Oct. 12, 1963

Virtually all of Lonnie Mack’s 1960s recordings were made at King Studios

  • Lonnie Mack’s ‘Wham of That Memphis Man’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – Oct. 19, 1963
  • Syd Nathan referenced in 1963’s highlights of a big year in “Country & Western” – Music Reporter – Nov. 2, 1963
  • ‘Where There’s a Will’ by Lonnie Mack – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Nov. 9, 1963
  • Bio of Lonnie Mack – a ‘leading artist of 1963Cash Box Dec. 28, 1963


  • California Sun’ written by Henry Glover – Cash Box – Jan. 11, 1964
  • “Fraternity Re-Services Lonnie Mack Vocal Deck” – Cash Box – Jan. 25, 1964
  • News = Chuck Seitz leaves King for RCA Victor NashvilleBillboard – Feb. 8, 1964
  • ‘Lonnie on the Move’ – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Feb. 15, 1964
  • ‘Easy Talk’ by Hank Marr – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Mar. 21, 1964
  • PHOTO = Entire cast of WLW’s Boone County JamboreeBillboard – Nov. 14, 1964
  • ‘I’ve Had It’ by Lonnie Mack – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Apr. 18, 1964
  • News = Mary Lou Smith, Syd Nathan’s long-time secretary and foreign publishing-licensing expert, died following heart attackBillboard – May 9, 1964
  • King’s ‘Royal Family’” – Hal Neely promoting spoof LP + ‘The Ska Is Coming’ – Music Business – May 23, 1964
  • B+ review for Prince Buster & the Ska Busters – Cash Box – May 23, 1964
  • ‘Sa-Ba-Hoola’ by Lonnie Mack + ‘Out of Sight’ by James Brown – Best Bets – Cash Box – July 25, 1964
  • ‘Out of Sight’ by James Brown = ‘Regional Breakout’ in Baltimore, St. Louis & NYC – Billboard – Aug. 8, 1964
  • Review = ‘Last Kiss’ by Wayne Cochran – Cash Box – Aug. 15, 1964
  • Morris Levy buys Doris Gee Music, previously jointly owned by Levy & Henry Glover – Cash Box – Aug. 22, 1964
  • The James Brown Case” [King vs. Mercury lawsuit] from Bob Rolontz’s ‘Man About Music’ column – Music Business – Aug. 22, 1964
  • Front-page ad = ‘Out of Sight’ by James Brown – Billboard – Sep. 5, 1964
  • Country Goes Color on Crosley TV Net” = new ‘Jamboree’ weekday show – Billboard – Sep. 5, 1964
  • ‘I Found a Love – Oh What a Love’ by Jo Ann (Campbell) and Troy (Seals) – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Oct. 24, 1964
  • “King Wins [James] Brown Suit” – Billboard – Oct. 24, 1964
  • [Hal] Neely Joins Starday” – Music Business – Oct. 24, 1964
  • ”Hal Neely Joins Starday” – Record World – Oct. 24, 1964
  • Hal Neely Named Gen. Mgr. of Starday” – Cash Box – Oct. 24, 1964
  • Neely Goes to Starday” – Billboard – Oct. 31, 1964
  • “Music City Recorders – Ray Pennington” – Nashville Tennessean – Nov. 1, 1964
  • Pamper [Music] Sets R&B Dept” = Ray Pennington to head new division [PHOTO] – Record World – Nov. 7, 1964
  • “King Sellling LPs, 45s Under Consignment Deal” – Cash Box – Nov. 21, 1964
  • “Consignment Policy at King” – Record World – Nov. 28, 1964
  • Canada News = regional buzz around ‘A Love Oh What a Love’ by Jo Ann (Campbell) & Troy (Seals) – Cash Box – Dec. 19, 1964
  • Mercury, Handelman Making Bid for King-Lois” – BillboardDec. 26, 1964

Recordings, publishing + King plant for a reported $1,250,000


  • “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” by James Brown = #1 R&B hit – Billboard – Aug. 14, 1965
  • Baldwin Buys [Burns Guitars] Firm” – Billboard – Oct. 23, 1965 [Baldwin also acquired Gretsch in 1967]
  • [Jim] Wilson Starday’s Veep of Marketing” – Record World – Nov. 20, 1965


I Got You” by James Brown#3 Billboard pop hit (1/1/66)

  • Henry Glover Returns to Roulette as VP” – Cash Box – Jan. 29, 1966
  • “James Brown Sets James Crawford Production Deal with A&M + Omen” – Cash Box – Jan. 29, 1966
  • Lonnie Mack (‘Are You Guilty’) & Norma Tanega (‘Walking My Cat Named Dog’) – Best Bets – Cash Box – Feb. 12, 1966
  • ‘Honest I Do’ by James Crawford (Omen production) – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Feb. 19, 1966
  • King Re-inks [Charlie Moore & Bill Napier]” – Record WorldApril 16, 1966
  • James Brown in Paris to promote ‘Brand New Bag’ – Cash Box – Apr. 30, 1966
  • James Brown on the cover of Cash BoxCash Box May 7, 1966

“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”: #1 on the ‘Radio Active Chart’ (p. 10)

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WLW‘s ‘Midwestern Hayride

Billboard World of Country Music Oct. 29, 1966

  • ‘Presenting the James Brown Show’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – Nov. 5, 1966
  • ‘Christmas Tears’ by Freddy King – a Christmas pick – Cash Box – Dec. 10, 1966
  • News = Syd Nathan has hired Bill ‘Bunky’ Sheppard – Record World – Dec. 24, 1966
  • Country Profile = Kenny Price (Boone Records) – Billboard Dec. 24, 1966

Baldwin advertisement – c. 1966



  • Marva Whitney’s ‘Unwind Yourself’ – one of ‘Best Bet’ 45s + ‘Pretty’ Purdie – Cash Box – Jan. 13, 1968
  • ‘Bringing Up the Guitar’ by The Dapps – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Feb. 3, 1968
  • Review = ‘That Woman’ by Charles Spurling – Cash Box – Feb. 3, 1968
  • ‘There Was a Time’ by James Brown = #2 R&B hit – Record World – Feb. 10, 1968
  • James Brown’s ‘Show of Tomorrow’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – Feb. 17, 1968
  • ‘Shout Bamalama’ by Otis Redding (King) – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Feb. 24, 1968
  • Full-page ad = Marva Whitney + “James Brown Production Pushes Marva, Bobby Byrd & Dapps” – Record World – Feb. 24, 1968
  • Obituary = Syd Nathan – American Israelite – Mar. 4, 1968
  • “Country Music King Dies of Heart Ailment” – Cincinnati Enquirer – Mar. 6, 1968
  • “Services Thursday for Sydney Nathan” – Cincinnati Post Times-Star – Mar. 6, 1968
  • James Brown in Africa Concert” – Record World – Mar. 9, 1968
  • ‘I Got the Feeling’ by James Brown – a Pick of the WeekCash Box – Mar. 9, 1968
  • Obituary = Syd Nathan – Billboard – Mar. 16, 1968
  • Obituary = Syd Nathan – Cash Box – Mar. 16, 1968
  • Obituary = Syd Nathan – Record World – Mar. 16, 1968
  • “James Crawford Appointed to Promo Post @ Duke-Peacock” – Cash Box – Mar. 16, 1968
  • ‘You’ve Got the Power’ by Vicki Anderson & James Brown – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 30, 1968
  • Baldwin “Pick on Us” guitar ad = exclusive distributor of Sho-Bud steel guitars Billboard – Apr. 6, 1968
  • “King to Stay Under Same Reign” – Billboard – Apr. 27, 1968
  • K & S [Recording] Studios Bow in Cincy” – Record World – May 25, 1968
  • ‘Things Got to Get Better’ by Marva Whitney – a ‘Best Bet’ – Cash Box – June 8, 1968
  • ‘There Was a Time’ by The Dapps Featuring Alfred Ellis – a Best Bet – Cash Box – June 15, 1968
  • Job Corps Receives Guitars From Baldwin” – Billboard – Aug. 3, 1968
  • “James Brown, Joey Bishop – ‘Man to Man'” + Marva Whitney & The Dapps – Record World – Aug. 17, 1968
  • ‘I’ll Work It Out’ by Marva Whitney – a ‘Best Bet’ – Cash Box – Aug. 24, 1968
  • ‘I’m Tired I’m Tired I’m Tired’ by Marva Whitney – a ‘Best Bet’ – Cash Box – Oct. 12, 1968
  • “Starday Buys King Records” – Nashville Tennessean – Oct. 19, 1968
  • “Tennessee Firm Buys King Records” – Cincinnati Post – Oct. 22, 1968
  • King Mgt., Operation to Pierce and Neely” – Billboard – Oct. 26, 1968
  • “James Brown’s Bag” by Ira Gitler – Downbeat – Oct. 31, 1968
  • “Starday Buys King – James Brown, Staff Stay” – Record World – Nov. 2, 1968
  • King Sold to Starday – James Brown Part of New Setup” – Cash Box – Nov. 2, 1968
  • “King Records Sold Again” – Cincinnati Post – Nov. 14, 1968
  • “Lin Acquires Two Recording Firms” – Shreveport Journal – Nov. 14, 1968
  • “’Lin Broadcasting Buys Starday-King for $5 Mil; Execs, Policy Retained” – Billboard – Nov. 23, 1968
  • ’68 Buying Spree Continues” = Lin Broadcasting buys Starday for est. $5 Million – Henry Glover, NY manager – Cash Box – Nov. 23, 1968
  • Lin Broadcasting Acquires Starday-King” – Record World – Nov. 23, 1968
  • Review = James Brown & Dapps Madison Square Garden (11-22-68) show – Cash Box – Dec. 7, 1968
  • “Ray Pennington Signs Monument Pacts as Artist & Producer” – new acts include Troy Seals – Cash Box – Dec. 14, 1968
  • Bios of James Brown & otherleading artists of 1968Cash Box – Dec. 28, 1968

Cash Box (Dec. 28, 1968)


  • March Is James Brown Month” [below] – Record World – Feb. 1, 1969
  • Starday’s Trust Fund Pays Employees $380,000” – Record World – Mar. 22, 1969
  • Starday-King announces payouts of $380,000 to 22 employees following sale to Lin Broadcasting – Cash Box – Mar. 29, 1969
  • King Holds Sales Meets” – James Brown staff & Hal Neely – Record World – Mar. 29, 1969
  • Starday-King 1st Qtr Net Hits $250,000” + Henry Glover named VPCash Box – May 17, 1969
  • ‘The Popcorn’ by James Brown – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – May 17, 1969
  • “Henson Cargill to Host [Avco’s] Midwestern Hayride” – Cash Box – May 31, 1969
  • ‘Mother Popcorn’ by James Brown – a pick of the week – Cash Box – June 7, 1969
  • ‘Where the Soul Trees Grow’ by Arthur Prysock – Choice Programming – Cash Box – June 21, 1969
  • ‘Just a Phone Call Will Do’ by Don Reno & Bill Harrell – a Best Bet – Cash Box – June 28, 1969
  • James Brown & Marva Whitney @ Newport Jazz Fest – Cash Box – July 19, 1969
  • “Los Angeles Honors James Brown for Civic & Philanthropic Work’ – Cash Box – July 19, 1969
  • “Avco to Air Midwestern Hayride Special” with new host Henson Cargill – Cash Box – Aug. 2, 1969
  • ‘Mother Popcorn’ by James Brown – #1 R&B hit – Cash Box – Aug. 9, 1969
  • James Brown’s ‘Lowdown Popcorn’ – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Aug. 16, 1969
  • ‘One Woman’ by Pat Lundy – ‘Choice Programming’ – Cash Box – Aug. 16, 1969
  • Henry Glover quoted in “Flipside = Blacks Sing Country Music” by Arnold Shaw – Billboard – Aug. 16, 1969
  • James Brown’s ‘Popcorn’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – Sep. 20, 1969
  • ‘I Made a Mistake’ by Marva Whitney – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 27, 1969
  • James Brown’s ‘Lowdown Popcorn’ – #30 R&B hit + “Black Panther LP Set for Release” – Cash Box – Oct. 4, 1969
  • James Brown’s ‘Let a Man Come In & Do the Popcorn’ – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Oct. 4, 1969
  • “New Wayne Cochran Firm for TV-Film Vehicles” – Cash Box – Oct. 11, 1969

Full-page adBillboard – Oct. 18, 1969

  • “Starday-King Gets It Together in Big Way” – Record World – Oct. 18, 1969
  • Independent Fledging Giants” [including Starday-King] – Billboard – Oct. 18, 1969 [photo below from World of Country Music supplement]

Starday-King sales executive, Tina Drake, with Hal Neely & Jim Wilson

  • Hal Neely Joins Starday” – Record World – Oct. 24, 1969
  • ‘Ain’t It Funky Now’ by James Brown – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Nov. 8, 1969
  • Starday-King flies 30 guests for Wayne Cochran @ Flamingo, Las VegasCash Box – Nov. 8, 1969


  • Marva Whitney (King) & James Duncan (Federal) 45s – ‘Choice Programming’ – Cash Box – Jan. 10, 1970
  • Starday-King Signs 4 Names for Emerging Adult Market” – Cash Box – Jan. 24, 1970
  • “8 From Starday-King” (including Redd Foxx + ‘Honky Tonk Popcorn’ by Bill Doggett) – Cash Box – Feb. 14, 1970
  • James Brown’s ‘Ain’t It Funky’ LP – a Pop Pick – Cash Box – Feb. 21, 1970
  • Marva Whitney (King) & Pat Lundy (DeLuxe) 45s – ‘Choice Programming’ – Cash Box – Feb. 21, 1970
  • News = Tokyo Happy Coats record tracks at Cincinnati’s King Studio – Cash Box – Feb. 28, 1970
  • News = Carolyn Blakey 45 for James Brown Productions – Cash Box – Mar. 7, 1970
  • ‘Prove It’ by Pat Lundy – ‘Choice Programming’ – Cash Box – Mar. 14, 1970
  • ‘Gonna Leave You Alone’ by James Duncan (Federal) – Choice Programming – Cash Box – Mar. 21, 1970
  • Polydor News = Warped’s Elliott Mazer & Kenny Buttrey produce latest by Troy Seals of the ‘funk-rock’ school – Cash Box – Mar. 21, 1970
  • “Starday-King Artist Roster Expands” – Tokyo Happy Coats – Record World – Mar. 28, 1970
  • “Starday-King Sets 29 LPs” – Cash Box – Mar. 28, 1970
  • “Starday, King Still Changing” – Billboard – April 25, 1970 (special Nashville supplement)
  • Starday-King Realigns NY Operations” – Henry Glover – Cash Box – May 23, 1970
  • “Starday-King Signs The Establishment” – Record World – May 23, 1970
  • Cincinnati news = King session with Carolyn Blakey (under contract to Dennis Wholey) – Billboard – May 23, 1970
  • “Wayne Cochran Complex to Aid Ghetto Youth” – Cash Box – June 6, 1970
  • News = Wayne Cochran filmed scene for ‘CC Riders’ movie with Joe Namath – Cash Box – June 13, 1970
  • News = Mayf Nutter to Record for Starday-King for two years under special arrangement with (Zappa’s) Straight RecordsBillboard – June 30, 1970
  • ‘I’m Your Special Fool’ by Pat Lundy – ‘Choice Programming’ – Cash Box – June 27, 1970
  • ‘Sex Machine’ by James Brown – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – July 11, 1970
  • Cincinnati News = Kenny Price to succeed Henson Cargill as ‘Midwestern Hayride’ host + Jim Tarbell reopens Ludlow Garage with Larry Goshorn & Albritton McClainBillboard – July 18, 1970
  • News = Chet Atkins to be guest on first episode of ‘Midwestern Hayride’ hosted by Kenny PriceCash Box – July 25, 1970
  • Review = Debut LP by Jellyroll (featuring Roger Troy)Record World – July 25, 1970
  • ‘Sex Machine’ by James Brown – #2 R&B hit – Cash Box – Aug. 8, 1970
  • Don Pierce Exits Starday” – Billboard – Aug. 8, 1970
  • “Jim Tarbell – He Still Has Rock In His Head” by Jim Knippenberg – Cincinnati Enquirer – Aug. 9, 1970
  • “Thinking About Bud Hobgood” by Dennis Wholey – Cincinnati Enquirer – Aug. 9, 1970
  • Buddy Scott [Resigns From Starday-King] Opens Indie Firm in NY” – Cash Box – Aug. 15, 1970
  • “Don Pierce Exits Starday-King” – Record World – Aug. 15, 1970
  • Don Pierce Exits Starday-King” – Cash Box – Aug. 15, 1970
  • Starday-King, Trend Setter” – Record World – Aug. 22, 1970
  • James Brown = 1970’s Top R&B Male Vocalist – Cash Box – Aug. 22, 1970
  • Sex Machine‘ by James Brown#1 R&B hitCash Box – Aug. 22, 1970
  • Photo = Arthur Prysock & Hal Neely – Nashville Tennessean – Sep. 8, 1970
  • “Midnight Show @ Playhouse in Park with the Midnighters” – Cincinnati Enquirer – Sep. 10, 1970
  • 1970:  A Key Year of Growth” by Hal Neely – Record World – Oct. 17, 1970


  • Tony & Carol Bow on King” – Record World – Feb. 6, 1971
  • “Carlson’s Fraternity” by Tom McElfresh – Cincinnati Enquirer – Feb. 7, 1971
  • “Bob Patton of James Brown Organization joins Starday-King” – Cash Box – Feb. 20, 1971
  • Music Hall concert salute to Harry Carlson of Fraternity” + Henry Glover flies tapes of Tony & Carol’s debut single to CincinnatiCash Box – Feb. 20, 1971
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  • “King of the Blues Pt. 2” by Steve Tracy – Blues Unlimited – January 1972
  • Hodges, James Smith & Crawford 45 (Mpingo) – a Hit of the WeekRecord World – Jan. 1, 1972
  • Leiber, Stoller, Bienstock buy material for their Hudson Bay song catalog – Cash Box – Jan. 22, 1972
  • “International Copyright to Hudson Bay” – Billboard – Jan. 22, 1972
  • News = “acceptance is at hand” for new Starday-King distributed label, MpingoBillboard – Jan. 22, 1972
  • “James Brown Moves Hdqtrs to Augusta GA Home Town” – Cash Box – Jan. 29, 1972
  • “King of the Blues Pt. 3” by Steve Tracy – Blues Unlimited – Feb- Mar 1972
  • Ad = King equipment for sale (pressing, printing, etc) – Billboard – Feb. 5, 1972
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  • ‘You’ll Lose a Good Thing’ by Little Royal (Tri Us) – Choice Programming – Cash Box – Nov. 11, 1972
  • ‘Me & My Baby’ by Lyn Collins – a Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Nov. 11, 1972
  • Starday Old King Gold R&B Set” – Cash Box – Nov. 18, 1972
  • “Starday-King 2nd Oldies Set Issued” – Billboard – Nov. 28, 1972
  • “Starday-King Promo for Hard Rock Group Boot on Agape Subsidiary” – Cash Box – Dec.  2, 1972
  • Starday-King Sets Gospel Release” – Record World – Dec. 2, 1972
  • Starday-King Bows Oldies, Gospel Series” – Cash Box – Dec. 9, 1972
  • “Bio LPs Plug Mandala [dist. by Starday-King]” – Billboard – Dec. 16, 1972
  • “Red Sovine Returns to Starday-King” – Cash Box – Dec. 23, 1972


  • Chappell ad = 10 Top 100 singles from 1972 are by James Brown artists – Cash Box – Jan. 20, 1973
  • “Atlantic Inks Troy Seals to Long-Term Exclusive Contract” – Cash Box – Jan. 20, 1973
  • Nashville Publishers:  Creative Forces” = King’s catalog “a strong one” with over 35,000 copyrights [“some 15,000 of them country”] – Billboard – Jan. 27, 1973
  • Polydor/King Continue Ties on Global Basis” – Cash Box – Feb. 3, 1973
  • “Merle Kilgore Heads Starday-King Pub Companies” – Cash Box – Feb. 10, 1973
  • King, Polydor Renew Pact” – Billboard – Feb. 17, 1973
  • James Brown’s ‘Black Caesar’ – a Pop Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Mar. 3, 1973
  • ‘Black Caesar’ by James Brown doing record-breaking box office – Cash Box – Mar. 10, 1973
  • ‘There’s a Honky Tonk Angel’ by Troy Seals – a Best Bet – Cash Box – Mar. 17, 1973
  • “Starday-King Expands Via Reconstruction” – Cash Box – Apr. 14, 1973
  • QCA Releases Lonnie MackRusty York LP” – Cash Box – Apr. 21, 1973
  • “Shepherd Heads Starday-King National Pop Promo” – Cash Box – May 12, 1973
  • Shepherd to King Promo Post” – Record World – May 19, 1973
  • “Polydor Sets 5 LP Release” + JB’s 2nd solo LP – Cash Box – July 7, 1973
  • “James Brown’s [‘Doing It To Death’ by Fred Wesley & the JB’s] Single Certified Gold” – Cash Box – Aug. 4, 1973
  • ‘Goodbye Sam’ by Shad O’Shea (on Plantation) – a Pick of the Week (“stunning allegory”) – Cash Box – Aug. 4, 1973
  • JB’s hilarious promotional stunt for ‘Slaughter’ LP – Cash Box – Aug. 18, 1973
  • Fred Wesley & the JB’s ‘If You Didn’t Get It the First Time, Back Up and Try Again’ 45 – Pick of the Week – Cash Box – Sep. 23, 1973
  • “Hal Neely on Starday-King (Tenuous) Relationship” – Cash Box – Sep. 29, 1973
  • “King-Starday Adds Progressive Label [Good Medicine]; Reshuffling Executives” – Billboard – Oct. 20, 1973



  • Key quote in “Sire Records Expands Through Its Lengthy Involvement with the British Music Scene” by Seymour Stein [“At one meeting [EMI’s Len Wood] and Syd Nathan were heatedly debating King’s attempt to secure an option on all EMI repertoire if it was passed on by Capitol.  Nathan did not succeed, but it was not until several years later that I realized how important this option could have been.” = see seed money for Sire] – Cash Box – Mar. 15, 1980
  • “James Brown’s ‘Live & Lowdown’ LP – Play It Once a Year’ – Louisville Courier-Journal – Nov. 16, 1980
  • The Charts Are Alive With the Sound of Dayton” by Nelson George – Record World – Mar. 21, 1981
  • “When King Was King” by Randy McNutt & Steve Rosen – Cincinnati Enquirer – July 5, 1981
  • “Mr. Love Talks About Mr. Blues:  Preston Love on Wynonie Harris” by Dan Kochakian – Whiskey, Women and … – March 1982
  • “A DeLuxe and Regal Feast:  DeLuxe Records 1944-1949 (pt. 1)” by Bill Daniels – Whiskey, Women and … – July 1982
  • ‘McLove Story’ by Shad O’Shea & the McHamburger Helpers – a Recommended 45Billboard – Aug. 28, 1982
  • The Saga of Lovin’ Dan:  A Study in the Iconography of Rhythm & Blues Music of the 1950s” by Mark J. Zucker –  Journal of Popular Culture – Fall 1982
  • “Queen Records” by Bill Daniels – Whiskey, Women and … – June 1983
  • BMI Adds 30 Songs to ‘Million-Air’ List” (including “Honky Tonk” by Billy Butler, Bill Doggett, Henry Glover, Clifford Scott & Shep Shepherd) – Billboard – Aug. 11, 1984
  • ‘Honky Tonk’ by Bill Doggett one of BMI ‘Million-Airs’ honored – Cash Box – Sep. 22, 1984
  • “Bob Shreve – Late Night TV King Dethroned” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – Sep. 13, 1985
  • “BIll Doggett & the Hit That Started in Lima OH” – Chicago Tribune – June 6, 1986
  • “James Brown Still Shining” – Louisville Courier-Journal – June 7, 1986
  • PHOTO = Producer Henry Glover receives award at NARAS annual luncheonBillboard – Nov. 15, 1986
  • “’The Twist’ Turns 30” by John Swenson – UPI – Nov. 23, 1988
  • “Troy Seals, Eddie Setser & Oak Ridge Boys” – Nashville Tennessean – June 25, 1989
  • “Paul Gayten” by Billy Vera – Whiskey, Women and … – Fall 1989


  • “Listening to History (Syd Nathan, et al)” – Boston Globe – Jan. 13, 1991
  • Obituary = Henry GloverBillboard – Apr. 20, 1991
  • “Syd Nathan – King of the Vinyl” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 5, 1991
  • “King’s Ruler Led His Vinyl Empire Into History Books” – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 6, 1991
  • Obituaries = Henry Glover & Leo Fender & Roger ‘Jellyroll’ Troy – Rolling Stone – May 16, 1991
  • “Bob Krasnow Mentions King Records” – Dayton OH Daily News – July 21, 1991
  • “Roots of Rock and Roll:  Henry Glover at King Records” by John W. Rumble – Journal of Country Music – vol. 14, no. 2 – 1992
  • Plenty of Inspiration for Indie Hopefuls [Oh Boy, Step One Share Secrets]”- Ray Pennington (Step One Records) says he learned the music business from indie pioneer, Syd Nathan – Billboard – May 30, 1992
  • “Little Willie John’s ‘Fever’ Rides Charts” – Staunton VA News – Aug. 28, 1992
  • The Majestic Sound of the Five Royales” by Eddie Huffman – Goldmine – Feb. 18, 1993
  • “Rhino [King series] Unearths Some R & B Royalty” by Joel Selvin – San Francisco Chronicle – Mar. 13, 1994
  • “Rhino Records Reissues King (Rodney Dangerfield of labels)” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – Apr. 19, 1994
  • Record Label Reissues a Treasured Collection of Rhythm-and-Blues” by Peter Watrous – NY Times – June 9, 1994
  • Film Songs Score Wins; [Henry] Glover Estate Files Suit” – Billboard – June 11, 1994
  • “King-Sized-Dreams” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – Nov. 6, 1994
  • “Royal Legacy – Five Cincinnati Labels Follow Lead of King” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – Nov. 7, 1994
  • Indie Spotlight = “Shad O’Shea – He Does Do It All” – Cash Box – Dec. 10, 1994
  • “Rock & Roll Hall Ignores Session Musicians (& Syd Nathan)” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Jan. 14, 1996
  • Music Just Part of New [R&B] Box Set on King Records” by Chris Morris – Billboard – Mar. 9, 1996
  • King R&B Box Set – Robert Hilburn reviewLos Angeles Times – June 14, 1996
  • “Rock Hall to Induct Local Men” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Sep. 20, 1996
  • “King Records’ Totals Add Up to City History” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – Oct. 14, 1996
  • “King Records Plant Touches Soul in City” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer – Oct. 21, 1996
  • Obituary = Bill Doggett by Chris Morris – Billboard – Nov. 30, 1996
  • Joel Selvin’s ‘Q&A with Charles Brown’ – San Francisco Examiner – Dec. 15, 1996
  • “King Records Rocks Into History” by Rick Kennedy – Cincinnati Magazine – January 1997
  • “King Exhibit @ Rock & Roll Hall” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Jan. 24, 1997
  • “The Precarious Position of the African-American Entrepreneur in Post-WWII American Pop Music by David Sanjek – American Music Journal – Winter 1997 (vol. 15, no. 4)
  • “The Man Who Was King” by Darren Blase – CityBeat – March 19, 1997
  • “Rock Hails a King” by Rick Bird – Cincinnati Post – May 2, 1997
  • “Bootsy Collins’ King-Sized Break” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 4, 1997
  • “King of Cincinnati Sound – Sydney Nathan Enters Rock and Roll Hall” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 4, 1997
  • “Syd Nathan to Get Spot in Rock Hall” – Columbus Dispatch – May 4, 1997
  • “Ohio Legend in Rock & Roll Hall” – Richmond IN Palladium-Item – May 4, 1997
  • “Bootsy @ Rock & Roll Hall” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 7, 1997
  • “Hall of Fame Inductions Emphasize Unity” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 7, 1997
  • “James Brown to Visit King Site” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – June 5, 1997
  • “King Visit Soul Shocks Brown” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – June 6, 1997
  • “James Brown Wants to Re-Open King” – Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune – June 6, 1997
  • “Rhythm-and-Jews:  The Story of the Blacks and Jews Who Worked Together to Create the Magic of R&B” by Mark Lisheron – CommonQuest:  The Magazine of Black-Jewish Relations – Summer 1997 (vol. 2, no. 1)
  • “R&R Hall Faces Money, Growth & Integrity Issues” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Aug. 31, 1997
  • Seymour Stein acknowledges Sire as a tribute to “Syd Nathan and King Records” in “The Album Network’s 120 Influential People” by Kevin Stapleford – Album Network – July 1, 1998
  • Review – ‘James Brown – Say It Live & Loud’ + Psychodots Official Bootleg – Cincinnati Enquirer – Oct. 2, 1998
  • Review – Randy McNutt’s ‘Little Labels, Big Sound’ – Cincinnati Enquirer – Apr. 11, 1999
  • Randy McNutt’s ‘Little Labels, Big Sound’ – book review – San Francisco Examiner – July 25, 1999
  • Skyline Chili’s 50th Anniversary Music Mix – Cincinnati Enquirer – Oct. 10, 1999


  • Ralph Stanley profile by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Jan. 25, 2001
  • “James Brown Replaces Isleys @ Taste Fest” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – May 25, 2001
  • James Brown @ Apollo II album – Larry Nager’s review – Cincinnati Enquirer – July 22, 2001
  • “Funk Legend Bootsy Chills in Rural Ohio Studio” – Windsor [Can.] Star – Aug. 28, 2001
  • “Bootsy Collins – Living Legend” – Southtown Star [Chicago] – Sep. 9, 2001
  • “Musicians Sought for King CD” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Oct. 17, 2001
  • “Dick Clark Mentions Syd Nathan” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer – Jan. 6, 2002
  • “Cammys to Feature King Tribute” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Jan. 20, 2002
  • “King of the Session Drummers (Philip Paul)” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Mar. 8, 2002
  • Mr. Brown: 20-pg James Brown profile by Philip Gourevitch – New Yorker – July 28, 2014
  • “Proposed Marker for King” by Cliff Radel – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Aug. 1, 2002
  • “Mayersons Philanthropy – Hidden Treasures Project” – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Aug. 29, 2002
  • “Famous Flames Reuniting”  by Hal Lamar – Atlanta Voice – Sep. 21, 2002
  • “King CD – A Worthy Tribute” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Oct. 13, 2002
  • “The Label That Would Be King” by Barry Mazor – No Depression – Jan/Feb 2003
  • “Cammy Awards – King History” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Mar. 9, 2003
  • “Otis Williams Charmed Life” by Larry Nager – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Apr. 10, 2003
  • “King’s Memory May Be Preserved in Museum” – Coshocton OH Tribune – Apr. 27, 2003
  • “Fans Want to Rescue King Building” – Lancaster OH Eagle-Gazette – May 4, 2003
  • James Brown Live @ Apollo LP – ‘Celebrating NYC’s Musical Heritage’ – New York Daily News – Apr. 5, 2004
  • Henry Glover – The Man Behind the Scenes” by Stephen Koch – Arkansas Times – Mar. 3, 2005
  • “Bootsy Collins Working on King Records Documentary” by CE Hanifin – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Apr. 15, 2005
  • “Thousand Tears Too Late” – Cincinnati Soul exhibit at Contemporary Arts Ctr. – Cincinnati Magazine – Oct. 1, 2005
  • “Students & Bootsy Help Shelter Get Back on Beat” by Jennifer Mrozowski – Cincinnati Enquirer  – Mar. 27, 2005
  • Shining a Light on Cincy Soul” = Kenny Smith profile by Brian Baker – City Beat – May 17, 2006
  • Obituary = James Brown by Gregory Korte – Cincinnati Enquirer – Dec. 26, 2006
  • Obituary = James Brown by Cliff White – The Guardian – Dec. 26, 2006
  • Obituary = James Brown by Jon Pareles – New York Times – Dec. 26, 2006
  • The Payback‘ – An Oral History (featuring Bootsy, et al) – Entertainment Weekly – c. 2006


NOTE: There are 4 King & 3 Federal releases listed in the Grammy Hall of Fame

+Good Rockin’ Tonight” by Wynonie Harris [King – 1948] — inducted 1994

+Blues Stay Away From Me” by Delmore Brothers [King – 1949] — inducted 2007

+Sixty Minute Man” by The Dominoes [Federal – 1951] — inducted 2015

+Please” by James Brown & Famous Flames [Federal – 1956] — inducted 2001

+Hideaway” by Freddy King [Federal – 1961] — inducted 1999

+Cold Sweat” by James Brown & Famous Flames [King – 1967] — inducted 2016

+I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine” by James Brown [King – 1970] — inducted 2014


King’s same-day capacityfrom recording to disk

Aiding and abetting all of those aspiring producers were countless new independent studios and pressing plants.. Small studios like Sam Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service (which advertised, ‘We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime’) charged a mere $2 for a single-sided acetate, or $3 for a double.. King executive Jim Wilson recalled, ‘Theoretically, you could walk into King Records in the morning, record, then walk out of there with a dee-jay copy in your hand to take to radio stations.”

American Record Companies and Producers 1888-1950

King’s Answer to “Monster Mash”

“After making the label an important artistic nest for major jazz artists like Nina Simone, Carmen McRae, Chris Connor and Mel Tormé,” notes Discogs in a summary overview of Bethlehem Records, its founder Gustav Wildi, in 1958, “gave the major label King Records half ownership as payment for distribution, and in 1962 Wildi sold King Records the second half of Bethlehem Records.”

With “Monster Mash” topping Billboard’s singles chart in late October 1962, Mann Drake‘s “Vampire’s Ball” — released on Bethlehem and rated as a “new single” in Billboard‘s November 17, 1962 edition — appears to be King’s attempt to cash in on the smash hit by BobbyBorisPickett and the Crypt Kickers:

“Vampire’s Ball”     Mann Drake     1962


Billboard designated the single three stars (“moderate sales potential”) in their November 17, 1962 edition, while that same week, Cash Box had no compunction about stating the obvious in their “graded” singles review:

Mann Drake (Bethlehem 3049)
(B) “Vampire’s Ball”  (2:34)
[Lois-Beck BMI — Zanino, Canton]
Side undoubtedly was inspired by the “Monster Mash” hit and, like the original, features [Bela] Lugosi & Boris Karloff imitations against a “mash” sound from the combo-chorus.

(B) “Horror Movie” (2:32)
[Lois-Beck BMI — Zanino, Golding]
Voice here is that of a hip-talking fella.  Back-up sound resembles that of the top portion.

The King recording session notes compiled by Michel Ruppli indicate the 45 to have been released October, 1962, both sides having been recorded elsewhere and “leased” to King. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Mann-Drake-45.jpg

“Vampire’s Ball” would be remembered in decades hence as having been deemed worthy of inclusion in the following various artists compilations:

Both 45Cat and Discogs indicate this sole 45 to be Mann Drake’s entire recorded output — is this stage name (i.e., “Mandrake“), therefore, simply sleight-of-hand?  Al Zanino, who co-wrote both sides of this 45, seems to be the key that unlocks the mystery behind the artist’s identity, so says Discogs:

A songwriter, band promoter and manager, Al Zanino co-owned his own record label in Reading, PA, Al-Stan.  He released a popular horror record in the 1950s, “The Vampire Speaks” and also released “The Vampire’s Lair.”  Additionally, he sang on his own under the stage name “Tony Albert”.

Vintage copies of the original “Vampire’s Ball”/”Horror Movie” 45 have fetched decent money at auction in the past ten years.  

Five years earlier, Zanino had recorded a horror 45 for the local market in Reading, PA — one that would be reissued on the single’s 50th anniversary in a limited edition of 500:

“The original was recorded back in 1957 by Al Zanino and Cliff Juranis of Reading, PA. Only a few copies of the original pressing survive. This pressing features a new picture sleeve designed by John Fundyga along with artist Rick Ulrich. The back features a copy of a rejection letter written by Roland/Zacherle on his original 1957 letterhead. Al Zanino sent a copy of the 45 to Roland when he hosted his Chiller Theater show back in 1957 in Philly. His letter was recreated from the original copy on the back of the sleeve. The letter has some funny comments written by Roland himself! The record label was painstakingly made to look like the original [on Al-Stan, presumably].”

The Dapps at King Records

Music writer/historian, Randy McNutt, in King Records of Cincinnati, points out the irony of “How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven’t Cut Your Process Yet)” – a Hank Ballard single “obviously aimed at the R&B market” – being voiced by mostly white musicians:

[James] Brown discovered [The Dapps] in Cincinnati’s Inner Circle nightclub and used the band on his and other performers’ recordings.  At various times the band included guitarist Troy Seals, who became a major Nashville songwriter; Tim Hedding, organ; Eddie Setser, guitar; Tim Drummond, bass; Les Asch, saxophone, and [William] Beau Dollar [Bowman], drums.

McNutt also notes the band’s shared history with Jo Ann Campbell prior to the formation of The Dapps, in The Cincinnati Sound:

Petite vocalist Jo Ann Campbell made her mark as a 1950s recording artist who appeared on disc jockey Alan Freed’s live rock-and-roll shows.  She recorded an answer song called “I’m the Girl on Wolverton Mountain.”  By 1964, however, she had married Troy Seals, a Fairfield, Ohio, bass player [born in Bighill, KY] who had toured with Lonnie Mack and other Cincinnati acts.  Campbell and Seals moved to Cincinnati, formed their own white soul band called The Cincinnati Kids, and started performing at the Inner Circle near the University of Cincinnati.  The band was one of the hottest acts in town.  When Campbell became pregnant, she dropped out, and the band evolved into the Dapps.

Image courtesy of Dave Parkinson —

[L to R] Dave Parkinson; Eddie Setser; Jo Ann Campbell; Troy Seals;
Tina, the “designated” go-go dancer; Tim HedDing; Doug Huffman


Don TigerMartin, one of The Great Drummers of R&B, Funk & Soul and an early member of The J.B.’s, shared his memories of The Dapps in 1996 with drummer, educator and historian, Jim Payne:

Sometimes we come and watch the Dapps, an all-white band.  You remember the white guy who used to be like James [Brown] — Wayne Cochran?  Well, he used to come to town all the time and everybody would go and see him.  His band was real tough [Jaco Pastorius played bass for Cochran – Jim Payne notes].  Well, the Dapps had a better white band than him.  They were so cold they were ridiculous!  ‘Beau Dollar’ played drums and sang lead, and they had another drummer named Ron Grayson, who was bad.  Ron could play right-handed or left-handed.  Tim Drummond, the bass player, was also in the Dapps.

Prior to becoming The Dapps, the group had already released two 45s under the name, Beau Dollar and the Coins.  The band’s second single features a classic arrangement of “Soul Serenade” that is, in fact, a track produced by Lonnie Mack for Fraternity Records, with Chuck Sullivan on lead guitar, Wayne Bullock on Hammond B-3, and Bill Jones on bass   According to Stuart Colman‘s liner notes from the Ace UK anthology, Lonnie Mack — From Nashville to Memphis:

“Sax supremo King Curtis could hardly have imagined the kind of track record that his immortal ‘Soul Serenade’ would one day generate.  Not long after its public debut, this mellifluous instrumental became part of the Lonnie Mack repertoire where it sat alongside such well-loved favourites as Don and Juan’s ‘What’s Your Name‘ and Bobby Parker’s ‘Watch Your Step‘.  The personnel of Lonnie’s road band at this point included guitarists Troy Seals and Eddie Setser, who’d previously worked together backing Johnny Tillotson and Tommy Roe, along with a remarkably solid drummer named Bill Hargis ‘Beau’ Bowman Jnr.  However, with a line-up that was in a constant state of flux the trio departed for pastures new, leaving the Lonnie Mack legend to take a significant turn during 1965 towards a musical enterprise known as Soul Incorporated.”

As Randy McNutt recalls in a piece from 2011 entitled “Who Knows Beau Dollar:

“Beau was the really funky one.  I remember hearing Beau Dollar and the Coins at a forgotten club in Middletown, about twelve miles north of Hamilton [Beau’s hometown].  Back then he had curly brown hair–sort of a white man’s afro–and sang some terrific blue-eyed soul.  He came up with his name as a play on Bo for Bowman; he paired it with dollar because of the natural connection:  a beau dollar, an old Southern term for silver dollar.  By the mid-1960s, Beau Dollar and the Coins had become one of the area’s more popular white soul bands, with a devoted following that enjoyed dancing.  Beau sometimes wore a fancy vest befitting his name–a beau, or a dandy. He seemed poised for the local radio charts

In those days, you could find white soul bands, many of them with good horn sections, in clubs throughout southwest Ohio–places called the Half-Way Inn (halfway between Hamilton and Middletown [and owned by the parents of guitarist, Sonny Moorman]), the Tiki Club in Hamilton County, and the Hawaiian Gardens in Cincinnati.”

Brian Powers‘ first-rate interview [42-minute mark] with saxophonist Dave Parkinson  (of Canton, Illinois) for Cincinnati’s WVXU answers so many questions about how Beau Dollar and The Dapps first converged:

“We were a popular band in the Cincinnati area called The Cincinnati Kids, and we were the house band at The Inner Circle, which is now Bogart’s.


“Troy Seals and Jo Ann Campell headed up the band, and I played saxophone, and Les Asch was the other saxophone player, and Eddie Setser — we called him “Fat Eddie” — was the guitarist.  Tim Hedding [sometimes spelled with one D] played keyboards, and Tim Drummond played bass with us for a time, although Troy Seals doubled on bass and sang a good amount of that time.  We had Ronnie Grayson play drums with us, and we had two or three different drummers.  Doug Huffman, who lives in Indianapolis now, played drums with us when I first joined the band.  I don’t recall any other drummers.  A good friend of ours was Beau Dollar, but Beau was more of an entity to himself, and he never actually played with the band.  He didn’t necessarily record with us at King that I remember, but I know he did some recording with James [Brown].  Beau was a big part of the music scene around the Cincinnati area.  He was a really good funky drummer and a great singer.

“I think James just started coming around The Inner Circle.  Of course, that was a big thrill for all of us, and he started to sit in occasionally with the band.  That was about the time “Cold Sweat” and “There Was a Time” — it was about that era, ’67-’68, I guess — and James became interested in the group.  That was a kind of delicate time racially, and I think James thought it might behoove him to become involved with white groups similar to ours.  We did a lot of soul and we did pop covers, too, but the rhythm and blues and soul was pretty much our forte.

[On how The Cincinnati Kids became The Dapps] “That would have been after we became disassociated with Troy and Jo Ann, and actually, James tagged the name The Believers on us, that was our first name with James.  We eventually turned into The Dapps.”

For this same 2018 WVXU broadcast, Brian Powers also interviewed Eddie Setser,  who wryly remarked, “It was hard to believe we got $45 for, like, a three-hour session.”  Setser informed Powers that their first studio collaboration, “I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me),” was originally inspired by a riff from a jazz artist, possibly Kenny Burrell, but altered substantially enough by James Brown as to be unrecognizable. When asked to describe James Brown’s creative process, Setser told Powers:

“When he starts doing things, these arrangements are put together, he always does the drums first, then the bass.  He gets the groove going, then he’ll do the guitars and then, you know, the horns will do their thing. The keyboard works in there somewhere.  You get the groove going and you just keep playing it, you know what I’m sayin’?

One local music venue where the group enjoyed playing, located in the basement of Cincinnati’s Hotel Metropole, was called The Trip when The Dapps played there, says Setser, who added that later it became a club – Tommy Helms’ Dugout – named for the Reds’ second baseman (and later one of the first area discos, with “girls in cages” and all the frippery).

In this hotel’s basement once dwelled a club called The Trip

Zero to 180 spoke with both Les Asch and Dave Parkinson in May/June/July of 2020.  During our first phone conversation,  Dave Parkinson expressed his own confusion over the irony that “The Dapps” ended up being known as James Brown’s white backing band when, in fact, the original concept was to have a show band that featured black members of JB’s renowned live orchestra.

Parkinson auditioned for the group in late 1965 (possibly early 1966) at the Holly Oak in Indianapolis — a storied venue that once hosted Fats Domino, Little Richard, Wayne Cochran, Wayne Newton, Kenny Rogers, and Dolly Parton, according to the fine folks at East Side Tire & Wheel.

This building – confirms East Side Tire & Wheel – was once the Holly Oak

Thanks to companion for the helpful tip!

At the time of Parkinson’s audition, the group was named for its two lead artists, Jo Ann Campbell and Troy Seals who – as “Jo Ann and Troy” – recorded a pair of singles for Atlantic in 1964-65.  With regard to the band’s membership at the time of his audition, Parkinson, who played tenor sax and “a little alto,” recalls Seals and Roger Troy  sharing bass duties, with Eddie Setser on guitar, Tim Hedding on keyboards, and Doug Huffman on drums.

Soon after the audition, the group played a 10-week engagement at The Beachcomber in Seaside Heights, New Jersey “having more fun than anyone has a right,” according to Parkinson, who indicated that Ronnie Grayson also went along for the ride.

The Beachcomber — saved by sprinklers in massive 2013 boardwalk blaze

The band subsequently anchored itself in the Cincinnati area, playing the three big music clubs at the time:  The Inner Circle, Guys and Dolls, and The Roundup Club, the latter two venues located in nearby Northern Kentucky.  Les Asch joined the band during this period and recalled that the group — billed as Troy Seals and the Cincinnati Kids — had a regular Wednesday-through-Sunday engagement at The Inner Circle, with Jo Ann Campbell joining the group on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Guys and Dolls (formerly Grayson’s Inn) + Erlanger’s Roundup Club

Asch remembers Troy Seals bringing in another drummer, Tommy Matthews, when Ronnie Grayson (who would later play on Delaney Bramlett’s 1972 debut album with Tim Hedding) was recovering from injuries sustained in an auto accident.  During this recovery period, Seals would insist that Grayson remain a contributing band member.  Grayson, it turns out, had some trumpet experience, and thus was recruited for the horn section, where he played under the stage name, Ronnie Geisman.

After Grayson had healed, Tommy Matthews was then let go by Seals, prompting some of the band members — Eddie Setser, Tim Hedding, Les Asch and Dave Parkinson — to defect from the group temporarily to link up with Lonnie Mack, who was present at the Inner Circle when Matthews got his pink slip, according to Asch.

The Cincinnati Kids, with Lonnie Mack now at the helm (and Eddie Setser on bass), continued at the Inner Circle for another five to six weeks, says Asch, before Mack informed the group of an engagement in Florida at a place called Johnny’s Hideaway.  The gig proved a bust after only a couple weeks, however, when a liquor violation shut the club down.  Tim Hedding, fortunately, would field a phone call from Troy Seals, who informed the musicians of a work opportunity at a Hamilton, Ohio music venue named The Halfway House.  After locating a U-Haul trailer for Les Asch’s 1966 Plymouth Fury, the group then reformed in Cincinnati.

Tim Drummond (of Canton, Illinois) – Dave Parkinson’s original connection to the band – had almost certainly joined by this point.  According to Parkinson, “Tim joined us for a few months prior to when he left to go with the James Brown band” — sometime in 1967, by his estimation.  James Brown’s guest appearances with the band at The Inner Circle led to invitations to record at King Studios for other artists produced by Brown, such as Bobby Byrd, Marva Whitney, and James Crawford.

The Dapps backing James Brown @ The Trip
[L to R] Les Asch, Dave Parkinson; Panny Sarakatsannis; James Brown; Eddie Setser

Dave Thompson – in his Funk listening companion – states in the entry for “Beau Dollar & The Dapps” that James Brown “took the group into the studio that same year [1965] to cut the two-part ‘It’s a Gas‘ single, intended for release on King under the name the James Brown Dancers.”  However, “Brown’s then ongoing dispute with the label saw the single go unissued, but Brown kept tabs on the Dapps.”  By the way, you can now hear both sides of this unreleased 45 (originally slotted for February 1967), though the odd thing is, when you scrutinize Alan Leeds‘ musician credits for “It’s a Gas” on James Brown: The Singles, Volume 4 (1966-1967), none of the players are from The Dapps.

Q:  When do Troy Seals and the Cincinnati Kids (i.e., The Dapps) make their first appearance in Ruppli’s King Records sessionography?

A:  The session for James Brown’s “Why Did You Take Your Love Away From Me,” the lone track recorded at Cincinnati’s King Studios on April 27, 1967:

Special Note:  Les Asch (who plays baritone, tenor and/or alto saxophone) and Dave Parkinson (who plays primarily tenor) both agree that some of the horn credits below might have been unwittingly switched in the Ruppli session notes – a red asterisk (*), therefore, is used to indicate such instances.

> AUDIO LINK for “Why Did You Take Your Love Away
by James Brown [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown & Bud Hobgood


James Brown:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Piano
David Parkinson:  Tenor & Baritone Sax*
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
Ronnie Geisman:  Trumpet

“Why Did You Take Your Love Away” would end up on 1968’s, I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me album, whose rear cover reveals Brown’s endorsement deal with the Vox musical instrument company (whose guitars Eddie Setser did not enjoy as much as his Fender Telecaster and Gibson ES-335).

Rear cover — I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me


These twelve tracks were sold in Europe under a different title, This Is James Brown, (albeit with “Fat Eddie” as the final track rather than “Funky Soul #1), while in France and Israel, this same set was issued as Mr. Soul. (and in Argentina as El Rey Del Soul – “The King of Soul”).

US album cover       vs.        UK album cover

Germany — 1968                                       France — 1968

The Dapps returned to King Studios on August 8, 1967 to serve as Bobby Byrd‘s  backing band on “Funky Soul #1,” a song that calls out praises to key musical destinations — NYC, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, The Bay Area, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Detroit:

> AUDIO LINK for “Funky Soul #1 (Pts. 1 & 2)” by Bobby Byrd

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & James Crawford


Bobby Byrd:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Keyboard
David Parkinson:  Saxes*
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
Ronnie Geisman:  Trumpet

US 45 — 1968                                      Iran EP (c. 1968)

Ruppli’s session notes (below) indicate that this King master recording [K12439 “Funky Soul (Vol. 1)” = red star] was used as the backing track for James Brown‘s own recording of “Funky Soul #1” onto which Brown overdubbed organ at a King recording session [marked with a red circle] that took place exactly two weeks later on August 22, 1967.  Billboard‘s September 23, 1967 edition predicted Bobby Byrd’s version would “reach the R&B singles chart,” while the November 25, 1967 edition predicted Brown’s organ version would “reach the Hot 100 chart.”

Red star = “Funky Soul #1” master recording

This organ instrumental serves, fittingly, as the final track on 1968 LP I Can’t Stand When You Touch Me, as well as the B-side for “The Soul of JB” — although note that the 45 label credits “James Brown and the Famous Flames.”

Also notice in the King session notes posted above that James Crawford, one of the song’s authors, recorded “I’ll Work It Out” at King Studios on August 8, 1967 — the same date as the Bobby Byrd “Funky Soul #1 session — with “possibly same [personnel] as on K12439” [green circle].   Seems pretty reasonable to assume that The Dapps backed both vocalists that night.

> AUDIO LINK for “I’ll Work It Out
James Crawford backed by The Dapps?

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & James Crawford

Billboard predicted in its October 23, 1967 issue that “I’ll Work It Out” would “reach the R&B Singles chart.”  Cash Box‘s review in their November 4, 1967 edition:  “James Crawford could grab a nice piece of airplay with this feelingful, slow-paced, James Brown-produced moaner.  Give it a spin.  Flip: ‘Fat Eddie‘”  Record World gave it a “four-star single” with this review in the November 11, 1967 issue:  “Nitty gritty wild one here [‘Fat Eddie’].  James sings the slow ballad with all the soul he can muster [I’ll Work It Out].”

US — 1967                                    France — 1968

Marva Whitney would also have a go at “I’ll Work It Out” which found release in 1968 as a King 45 — is it possible that The Dapps provided musical backing on this recording?

> AUDIO LINK for “I’ll Work It Out” by Marva Whitney

The Dapps backed James Brown on the next (undated) session listed in Ruppli’s notes (wrongly attributed to “prob. band without James Brown“) that yielded “The Soul of J.B.” plus one ‘unknown title’ left in the can.

> AUDIO LINK for “The Soul of J.B.
by James Brown [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & Gladys Knochelman

According to Discogs

James Brown:  Organist, Arranger & Producer
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Piano
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Alto Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

US — Nov. 1967

James Brown – The Singles, Volume 5 (1967-1969) affirms that the same Dapps lineup above were the musical unit that laid down the sounds for “Just Plain Funk,” recorded August 30, 1967 and used as the B-side for “I Guess I’ll Have to Cry, Cry, Cry” — a single that saw release in both Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe] and South Africa.

> AUDIO LINK for “Just Plain Funk
by James Brown [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & Troy Seals


Bobby Byrd [?]:  Organ
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Piano
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Alto Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

Italy — 1968                                             South Africa — 1968

One week after the “Just Plain Funk” session, Hank Ballard laid down a pair of tracks with unnamed musicians at the King Studios on September 7-8, 1967 that would be released as a King 45 — “Which Way Should I Turn” b/w “Funky Soul Train.”  Given that the A-side was written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood, Beau Dollar & Troy Seals, could it be possible that The Dapps backed Hank Ballard on these two tracks?

You might think that The Dapps served as the backing band on the James Crawford recording session at King Studios on September 14, 1967 that produced a song entitled “Fat Eddie” — undoubtedly named for guitarist “Fat” Eddie Setser.  However, you would be mistaken.

Ruppli’s session notes say that The Brownettes recorded a pair of songs on October 17, 1967 at King Studios — and nothing more.  Thanks to Nothing But Funk Volume 3, however, we can rejoice** in knowing the names of both the singers and players of instruments (as noted below):

> AUDIO LINK for “Never Find a Love Like Mine” by The Brownettes

> AUDIO LINK for “Baby Don’t You Know” by The Brownettes

Both sides written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & Troy Seals


Grace Ruffin, Martha Harvin & Sandra Bears:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
Ronnie Geisman:  Trumpet

** Beware of the musician credits from the Nothing But Funk (bootleg) series, cautions Soul on Top (in the comment attached to this piece), as there are integrity issues.  Additionally, with regard to the Brownettes consisting of Grace Ruffin, Martha Harvin & Sandra Bears, notes Soul on Top, “this is doubtful, as the exact same track was released the following year by The De Vons, a trio of young singers from NYC also with the JB production logo.”

Is it a coincidence that the vinyl seller who has received the highest bid yet on Ebay ($82) for the Brownettes King 45 is also the one who added “Dapps” to the title of the auction?  Interesting to note that the 45 seller is from Japan.

Ruppli’s session notes state that Vicki Anderson recorded two songs at King Studios on October 23, 1967 with unnamed musical support.  1998’s double-disc celebration, James Brown’s Original Funky Divas, fortunately, named names, so we now know that The Dapps were Anderson’s backing band on these two tracks (as detailed below).  The A-side, interestingly, had already been recorded six days prior by The Brownettes, while the Lowman Pauling-penned B-side was originally recorded by The5Royales:

> AUDIO LINK for “Baby Don’t You Know
by Vicki Anderson [with The Dapps]

> AUDIO LINK for “The Feeling Is Real
by Vicki Anderson [with The Dapps]


Vicki Anderson:  Vocals
William ‘Beau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
David Parkinson:  Saxophone
Les Asch:  Saxophone

One week later on October 30, 1967, a lean contingent of The Dapps returned to King Studios to back James Brown on “I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)”:

> AUDIO LINK for “I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me) Pts. 1 & 2
by James Brown and the Famous Flames

Written by James Brown


James Brown:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ

Spain — Feb. 1968

Dave Parkinson points out that Tim Drummond enjoys the distinction of being the one band member called out by name (at the 2:50 mark) on this recording.

Troy Seals and the horn section then joined Brown on “Baby Baby Baby Baby,” recorded at that same session and included on 1968’s I Can’t Stand Myself LP:

> AUDIO LINK for “Baby Baby Baby Baby
by James Brown and the Famous Flames

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & James Crawford


James Brown:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Ronnie Geisman:  Trumpet

By year’s end, The Dapps would finally get a recording session under their own name at King Studios on December 12, 1967.  But wait a minute, it’s not what you think — “The Dapps Featuring Alfred Ellis,” in this case, means Clyde Stubblefield (drums), Bernard Odum (bass), Jimmy Nolen & Alfonzo Kellum (guitars), Alfred ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis (tenor sax & arranger), and Maceo Parker (tenor sax), according to Alan Leeds’ liner notes for James Brown – The Singles Vol. 5 (1967-1969).  These musicians recorded two instrumental tracks at that session, “Bringing Up the Guitar” and “Gittin’ a Little Hipper.”

The Dapps first 7-inch release

A-Side by James Brown
B-Side by James Brown and Bud Hobgood

Cash Box‘s review from their February 3, 1968 issue:

Dapps (King 6147)

“Bringing Up the Guitar” (3:00)
[Dynatone, BMI-Brown] James Brown
penned instrumental that carries a zest
which could score with r&b audiences.
Very fine staccato track with plenty of
dance appeal.  Flip: “Gittin’ A Little Hipper”
(2:59) [Golo, BMI-Brown, Hobgood]

March 5, 1968 was an especially productive day at King Studios, according to Ruppli:

Incl. Alfred Ellis                                               Cincinnati, March 5, 1968

K12588   The Rabbit Got the Gun                   King 6169
K12589   I’ll Give You Odds                             unissued

Vicki Anderson (vo) with prob. same band      Same date

K12590   I’ll Work It Out                                   King 6221, 6251; Brownstone 4204

Bobby Byrd (vo) with prob. same band            Same date

K12591   My Concerto                                      King 6165, LP1118

James Brown (vo, org) Bobby Byrd or Timothy Hedding (p) Eddie Setser (g) Tim Drummond (el b) William Bowman (dm).          Cincinnati, March 5, 1968

K12592   Shhhhhhhh (For a Little While)          King 6164, LP1031
K12593   Here I Go                                                          —            —

James Brown (vo, p) Eddie Setser (g) Tim Drummond (el b) William Bowman (dm).  Same date.

K12594   Maybe I’ll Understand (pt. 1)              King LP1031, LP1047
K12595   Maybe I’ll Understand (pt. 2)                        —               —

Notice the musician credits listed for “Shhhhhhhh (For a Little While)” and “Here I Go” (released as a King 45 that “bubbled under” the Hot 100, you might recollect) — both songs also included on 1968 LP I Got the Feelin’:

> AUDIO LINK for “Shhhhhhhh (For a Little While)
by James Brown and the Famous Flames

Written by James Brown and Bud Hobgood

According to Discogs

James Brown:  Organ
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Piano

Brazil — 1968

But then check out the musician credits for “Here I Go” as supplied by Alan Leeds in James Brown – The Singles Vol. 5 (1967-1969), and notice the inclusion of two horn players:

> AUDIO LINK for “Here I Go
by James Brown and the Famous Flames

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & Ron Lenhoff

According to Discogs

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Piano
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax
Ronnie Geisman:  Trumpet

Ruppli’s session notes above indicate that three members of The Dapps backed James Brown on “Maybe I’ll Understand (Pts. 1 & 2)” at this same March 5, 1968 session:

> AUDIO LINK for “Maybe I’ll Understand
by James Brown

Written by James Brown and Bud Hobgood

According to Ruppli’s session notes —

James Brown:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
[Tim Hedding:  Piano]*

These Discogs credits* credit Tim Hedding for piano on “Maybe I’ll Understand” (though not on Ruppli’s notes above).

But take one last critical look at the Ruppli session notes for March 5, 1968 and notice that the Bobby Byrd track (“My Concerto”), as well as the Vicki Anderson recording (“I’ll Work It Out”) both indicate “with probably same band” as the one listed at the very beginning of the list — The Dappswithout actually naming any of the musicians who played on “Rabbit Got the Gun” and “I’ll Give You Odds,” vexingly enough, other than Alfred Ellis.

> AUDIO LINK for “My Concerto
by Bobby Byrd [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown, Fred Wesley & Bobby Byrd

> AUDIO LINK for “I’ll Work It Out
by Vicki Anderson [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & James Crawford

> AUDIO LINK for “Rabbit Got the Gun
by The Dapps Featuring Alfred Ellis

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & Reggie Lavong

The Dapps second 45

“There Was a Time” — you might recall — came close to cracking Billboard‘s Hot 100.  Cash Box‘s review in their June 15, 1968 edition [musician credits further down]:

“James Brown produced this has-to-be-heard instrumental reworking of his while back hit.  Albert [sic] Ellis’ hard driving sax stirs this side to a frenzy sure to make it a disko favorite.  Should produce good sales.  Flip: ‘The Rabbit Got The Gun‘.”

As was also recently noted, future Neil Young and Bob Dylan bassist, Tim Drummond, played the famous funk lines on  “Licking Stick Licking Stick” — one of five James Brown sides recorded at Cincinnati’s King Studios on April 16, 1968, along with two others by different vocalists:

Ruppli’s King session notes [pg. 397]

K12597  Licking Stick, Licking Stick (Pt. 1)
K12598  Little Fellow [instrumental]
K12599  Go On Now [instrumental]
K12600  Fat Soul [instrumental]
K12601  Licking Stick, Licking Stick (Pt. 2) = James Brown [April 16, 1968]

K12602  You’re Still Out of Sight [unissued] = Bobby Byrd [April 16, 1968?]
K12603/123604  no information (rejected titles)
K12605  You’re Still Out of Sight = Leon Austin “with probably same band”  [April 16, 1968]

James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Vocals & Organ
John Sparks:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Jimmy Nolen:  Guitar
Maceo Parker:  Tenor Sax
Alfred Ellis:  Alto Sax
St. Clair Pinckney:  Baritone Sax

April 29, 1968 also ended up being a particularly productive day of recording at King Studios, as indicated by Ruppli‘s session notes:

(actually The Dapps)

K12606    I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow
.               (Than I Was Yesterday)                              King 6201
K 12607   A Woman, A Lover, A Friend                             —

Marva Whitney (vo) with prob. James Brown band   Cincinnati, April 29, 1968

K12608   Things Got to Get Better                             King 6168

Prob. same band                                                        Same date

K12609   Soul With Different Notes                            King LP1034

Incl. Alfred Ellis                                                            Same date

K12610   In the Middle                                                 King 6205
K12611   There Was a Time  (instr.)                             King 6169

I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Yesterday)” b/w “A Woman, A Lover, A Friend” is the third King 45 to be credited to “The Dapps” — Ruppli’s notes above from an undated session do not name any musicians, however.  Guesses anyone?

A-Side by Stanley Poindexter, Jackie Members & Robert Poindexter
B-Side by Sidney Wyche

Tim Drummond is the sole Dapps member to perform on Marva Whitney’s “Things Got to Get Better,” in addition to funk instrumental, “In the Middle” and a horn-heavy take on “There Was a Time.”  :

Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Jimmy Nolen:  Guitar
Alfonzo Kellum:  Guitar
James Brown:  Piano
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Tenor Sax
St. Clair Pinckney:  Baritone Sax
Waymon Reed:  Trumpet
Fred Wesley:  Trombone
Levi Rasbury:  Valve Trombone

Ruppli’s session notes above say that the musicians used for Marva Whitney’s “Things Got to Get Better” is “probably the same band” who backed James Brown on “Soul With Different Notes” — used as the eight-minute opening track for 1968’s James Brown Plays Nothing But Soul.  Zero to 180 just noticed that the B-side “What Kind of Man” (co-written by Troy Seals) is not listed in the Ruppli sessionography, though the presumption is that its recording took place at the same April 29, 1968 session.

Worthy of mention:  Two of The Dapps — Les Asch & Dave Parkinson — participated in a June 27, 1968 New York City recording session that produced six songs that were included on Thinking About Little Willie John And a Few Nice Things, plus one that ended up (“Let Them Talk”) on Say It Loud I’m Black And I’m Proud [click on song titles below for streaming audio].


James Brown:  Vocals
Bernard Purdie:  Drums
Al Lucas:  Bass
Wallace Richardson:  Guitar
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Organ & Piano
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
John Grimes:  Trumpet
Waymon Reed:  Trumpet
Sammy Lowe:  Music Director

» “A Cottage for Sale” «
» “Suffering With the Blues” «
» “Home at Last” «
» “Talk to Me, Talk to Me” «
» “Heartbreak (It’s Hurtin’ Me)” «
» “Bill Bailey” «
» “Let Them Talk” «

Back in Cincinnati at King Studios the following night, June 28, 1968, Hank Ballard laid down two songs that were released as a King 45.  Ruppli’s session notes do not list any musicians, but thanks to Nothing But Funk Volume 4, we now know** who provided musical support on “I’m Back to Stay” — a track you won’t find on Ballard’s 1968 album, You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down:

> AUDIO LINK for “I’m Back To Stay
by Hank Ballard [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown, Hank Ballard, Reggie Lavong & Lucky Cordell

According to Discogs

Hank Ballard:  Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
Pee Wee Ellis:  Alto Saxophone

** Beware of the musician credits from the Nothing But Funk (bootleg) series, cautions Soul on Top (in the comment attached to this piece), as there are integrity issues.

Likewise, thanks to **Nothing But Funk Volume 2, we can see who’s behind the big horn sound on the flip side, “Come on Wit’ It” — although, I am a bit surprised to see such a vastly different lineup, with only one member of The Dapps overlapping between the two bands recorded the same night at King Studios:

> AUDIO LINK for “Come On Wit’ It
by Hank Ballard

Written by James Brown, Hank Ballard & Bud Hobgood

According to Discogs

Hank Ballard:  Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Alphonso Kellum:  Guitar
Jimmy Nolen:  Guitar
James Brown:  Piano
Maceo Parker:  Tenor Sax
St. Clair Pinckney:  Baritone Sax
Waymon Reed:  Trombone
Fred Wesley:  Trombone
Levi Rasbury:  Valve Trombone

“Come on Wit’ It” was predicted by Billboard “to reach the R&B Singles chart” in their July 20, 1968 editionCash Box‘s singles review from their July 27, 1968 edition:  “Hank Ballard, absent from the hit scene for quite some time, makes his comeback bid with this pulsating, highly danceable outing which is vaguely autobiographical.  Good juke box & disko item.  Flip: ‘Come On Wit’ It’.”

Sometime in July of 1968 (best guess), The Dapps recorded two songs (likely at King Studios) that remain unissued, according to Ruppli’s session notes — “Who Knows” and “I Can’t Stand Myself.”

Record World — Aug. 17, 1968

Photo included in “James Brown,Joey Bishop Show – ‘Man to Man'”

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On September 6, 1968, James Brown recorded an organ instrumental with The Dapps at King Studios entitled “Shades of Brown” (a.k.a., “A Note or Two”):

> AUDIO LINK for “Shades of Brown
by James Brown [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown

According to Discogs

James Brown:  Organ
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
[unknown]:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Tenor Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*

B-side in Japan (left) and Germany (right)

On September 11, 1968, according to Ruppli, Hank Ballard was joined by The Dapps at King Studios to record two songs that got released as a King 45 plus an early attempt at “Thrill on the Hill” (that remains unissued) — thanks to Nothing But Funk Volume 4 for providing **musician credits:

> AUDIO LINK for “How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven’t Cut Your Process Yet)”
by Hank Ballard Along With “The Dapps”

Written by James Brown, Hank Ballard & Bud Hobgood

According to Discogs

Hank Ballard:  Vocals
John ‘JaboStarks:  Drums
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Charles Summers:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
David Parkinson:  Saxophone
Les Asch:  Saxophone
Ken Tibbetts:  Trumpet
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

** Beware of the musician credits from the Nothing But Funk (bootleg) series, cautions Soul on Top (in the comment attached to this piece), as there are integrity issues.

“How You Gonna Get Respect” peaked at #15 on Billboard‘s R&B Singles chart on December 14, 1968.

> AUDIO LINK for “Teardrops on Your Letter
by Hank Ballard Along With “The Dapps”

Written by Henry Glover

Same Hank Ballard recording session = Per Discogs

Hank Ballard:  Vocals
John ‘JaboStarks:  Drums
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Charles Summers:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
David Parkinson:  Saxophone
Les Asch:  Saxophone
Ken Tibbetts:  Trumpet
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

1968 single — France

Inferring from Ruppli’s session notes, October 1968 is approximately when The Dapps (thanks to these musician credits supplied by Alan Leeds) backed James Brown on three recordings for the Thinking About Little Willie John LP — “I’ll Lose My Mind” plus “What Kind of Man” (co-written by Eddie Setser and Troy Seals) and “You Gave My Heart a Song to Sing.”

> AUDIO LINK for “I’ll Lose My Mind
by [The Dapps Along With Bobby Byrd]

Written by James Brown, Bobby Byrd & Bud Hobgood

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
Tim Hedding:  Piano
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Alto Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

> AUDIO LINK for “What Kind of Man
by [The Dapps Along With Bobby Byrd]

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood, Eddie Setser & Troy Seals

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
Tim Hedding:  Piano
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Alto Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

> AUDIO LINK for “You Gave My Heart A Song To Sing
by [The Dapps Along With Bobby Byrd]

Written by James Brown, Bobby Byrd & Bud Hobgood

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Troy Seals:  Guitar
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
Tim Hedding:  Piano
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Alto Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Ron Geisman:  Trumpet

The Dapps returned to King Studios on October 23, 1968 to back The Soul Believers on a pair of tracks that comprised a King 45 — “I’m With You” and “I Don’t Want Nobody’s Troubles”:

> AUDIO LINK for “I Don’t Want Nobody’s Troubles
by The Soul Believers With The Dapps

Written by Orlonzo Bennett

According to Discogs

The Soul Believers: Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Tim Drummond:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
David Parkinson:  Saxophone
Les Asch:  Saxophone
Ken Tibbetts:  Trumpet

Expect to shell out three figures for a vintage copy of this 45 (someone just recently forked over $540).

B-side written by Lowman Pauling — one of ‘5’ Royales’ final King A-sides

Ruppli’s notes indicate that The Dapps recorded a version of “White Christmas” (presumably at King Studios) c. mid-November 1968 that remains ‘unissued.’

Les Asch and Dave Parkinson both recall The Dapps supporting James Brown at Madison Square Garden, a concert we know to have taken place November 22, 1968, thanks to Asch’s mother, who purchased this program on the night of the performance:

Image courtesy of Les Asch —

Menu for May 8, 1968 White House State Dinner attended by James Brown
(included in Madison Square Garden concert program)

[Thank you, Maralah Rose-Asch]


James Brown Scores Knockout With Soul Music at the Garden” was the title of Robert Shelton’s review in the November 23, 1968 edition of the New York Times.  Dave Parkinson remembers Count Basie and Slappy White (et al.) being on the bill that night.

It was during this same New York City visit that Hank Ballard & the Dapps appeared on the November 27, 1968 episode of The Merv Griffin Show, along with James Brown  (plus Lily Tomlin early in her career).

The Dapps on The Merv Griffin Show [clockwise from rear]:

Ken Tibbetts (valve trombone); [unnamed] “English” trumpeter; Bob Thorn (trumpet)
Jerry Love (drums); Eddie Setser (guitar); Les Asch (tenor sax)
Dave Parkinson (tenor sax); Howie McGurty (baritone sax)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dapps-on-Merv-Griffin-Show-Nov-1968-a-edited-1.jpg

[Dapps Photos courtesy of Dave Parkinson]

Indianapolis News TV listing for December 4, 1968

Parkinson also recalls The Dapps accompanying James Brown as guests at The Apollo Theater, where they were acknowledged from the stage by Joe Tex and Little Johnny Taylor.

The Dapps – along with The Sisters of Righteous (sisters Geneva “Gigi” Kinard and Denise Kinard together with cousin Roberta DuBois) – would next back James Brown at a King recording session that took place December 2, 1968 and yielded two songs, “Sometime” and “I’m Shook,” plus one track – “Bobby Kaie” – that was ultimately ‘rejected.’

> AUDIO LINK for “Sometime
by James Brown [with The Dapps & The Sisters of Righteous]

Written by James Brown and Bud Hobgood

According to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
GenevaGigiKinard:  Backing Vocals
Denise Kinard: Backing Vocals
Roberta Dubois: Backing Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Bob Thorn:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax
Ronald Lewis:  Baritone Sax

B-side of this German 45 — released Nov. 1969

> AUDIO LINK for “I’m Shook
by James Brown [with The Dapps & The Sisters of Righteous]

Written by James Brown

According to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
GenevaGigiKinard:  Backing Vocals
Denise Kinard: Backing Vocals
Roberta Dubois: Backing Vocals
WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Bob Thorn:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax
Ronald Lewis:  Baritone Sax

My eyebrows go up as I read these notes on Discogs related to the “I’m Shook” 45:

“[45] Never got a full distribution.  Most copies were probably pulled back for unknown reasons and a few quantities of this exist.  Both tracks [“I’m Shook” b/w “Little Groove Maker Me“] feature on It’s A Mother.  ‘I’m Shook’ is a different recording than featured on the album.”

Ruppli’s sparse notes also indicate an undated session (early December 1968?) in which Hank Ballard was supported by unnamed members of The Dapps on two recordings, “You’re So Sexy” and “Thrill on the Hill.”  Just before the guitar break on “You’re So Sexy” (around the 1:20 mark), Hank calls out “Fat Eddie, play your thing” — so at least we know that Eddie Setser was part of the backing ensemble.

> AUDIO LINK for “You’re So Sexy
by Hank Ballard Along With The Dapps

Written by James Brown, Hank Ballard & Bud Hobgood

Ruppli then follows with two entries for December 10, 1968 at King Studios — (a) the first session has Hank Ballard recording “How You Gonna Get Respect” with unnamed musicians plus two ‘unknown titles’ — all three tracks unissued; (b) the second entry is for The Dapps, with one attempt at a track named “Later for the Saver” that remains in the vaults.

Feb 1969 concert poster — image courtesy of

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Who Knows” — recorded by The Dapps c. July 1968 though kept in the can — finally got a release by King, although attributed solely to Beau Dollar, as the B-side of his second and final King single, “(I Wanna Go) Where the Soul Trees Grow”:

> AUDIO LINK for “Who Knows
by Beau Dollar [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown, Bud Hobgood & William ‘Beau Dollar’ Bowman

According to Discogs

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Bobby Byrd:  Tamborine
Charles Summers:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tm Hedding:  Organ
David Parkinson:  Saxophone
Les Asch:  Saxophone
Kenny Tibbetts:  Trumpet

How curious to discover that in 1992 Pure Records, a French boutique label, decided to pair Beau Dollar’s “Who Knows” with a funk track by Lee Majors (“The Bull Is Coming“) for a twelve-inch “maxi-single.”

According to Ruppli’s session notes, Beau Dollar, along with unnamed musicians, recorded 21 songs over the course of three days [January 20-22, 1970] most likely at King Studios — 12 selected for King LP 1099 (to be titled Beau Dollar), plus 9 other tracks that remain ‘unissued’ to this day.  The funny thing, however, is how utterly impossible it is to retrieve an image of the album cover on the Internet.  Ruppli refers to King LP 1099 as an actual release, yet Discogs has no entry (yet) for this King LP.  The King LP discography at Both Sides Now Publications references it by catalog number and album title but no cover image, curiously, nor song titles (the latter which you will find listed at

There are a few other ‘unissued’ Beau Dollar recordings from 1969 (“My Concerto”; “Looking For Someone to Love”; “But It’s Alright”; “I Gotta Get Away From You”) in addition to the outtakes from Beau Dollar’s alleged LP (“Funky Street”; “Everybody’s Talkin'”; “Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye”; “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy”) that remain in the vault.

Fast forward to 1971 — 45Cat’s RogerFoster points out that “Just Won’t Do Right” by Lyn Collins “is actually a duet with James Brown and according to the booklet notes by Alan Leeds in the 2009 CD compilation James Brown – The Singles Volume Seven: 1970-1972 this was to be released with Mr. Brown being the headline act on King 6373 but only promos were made.”  Ruppli gives no indication as to when Collins made this recording at King Studios with The Dapps:

> AUDIO LINK for “Just Won’t Do Right
by Lyn Collins [with The Dapps]

Written by James Brown

According to Discogs

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
Julius Reliford:  Congas
Dave Harrison:  Bass
Eddie Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Organ
AlfredPee WeeEllis:  Alto Sax
Les Asch:  Tenor Sax*
David Parkinson:  Baritone Sax*
Howard McGurty: Trumpet
Ken Tibbetts: Trumpet

“Just Won’t Do Right” was picked by Record World as one of its “Hits of the Week” in the January 8, 1972 issue and praised thusly:  “James Brown both wrote and produced this impressive debut disc.  Powerful r&b ballad of the kind that crosses-over pop so often these days.”

“Just Won’t Do Right” was the B-side to “Wheels of Life” when released in France with a charming sleeve designed by noted graphic designer, Jean-Claude Trambouze, who also did complementary designs for a dozen other James Brown productions out of the King studios.


Dapps Chart Trivia

Joel Whitburn Presents Across the Charts: The 1960s has an entry for “The Dapps Featuring Alfred Ellis” that identifies two 45s:

(1) “There Was a Time” (King 6169), which bubbled under Billboard’s Hot 100 at #103, and (2) “How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven’t Cut Your Process Yet),” (King 6196) which peaked at #15 on Billboard‘s R&B chart.

By 1970, The Dapps had disaffiliated itself with the James Brown organization.  According to Les Asch, the first fissure occurred early on when Brown’s studio manager, Bud Hobgood, attempted to get the group under contract, only to find out that Troy Seals and Jo Ann Campbell were already signed to Atlantic Records.  Ultimately, The Dapps ended up working for James Brown without any contractual arrangement.  As Dave Parkinson confessed to Bob Miller in 1991:

“If I’d stuck with Troy [Seals] I would be quite well off today.  But Troy was a lot more patient than the band, we had stars in our eyes and when we got an offer to join James Brown’s production company, it was a mass defection.”

During the James Brown years, recalls Les Asch, Beau Dollar was first accorded bandleader duties within The Dapps, followed by Dave Parkinson and then Asch.  At one Dapps rehearsal held at The Inner Circle, Asch made the “mistake” of admitting (perhaps in the egalitarian spirit of the times) that, as bandleader, he was being paid double.  When band members balked, Asch met with Mr. Brown to inform him that this differentiated pay scale was “killing morale.”  Brown, however, was not only unsympathetic but profoundly disappointed that Asch would make such a tactical error as the band’s musical director.  At that point, relations between The Dapps and the James Brown organization would cease.

When asked by Brian Powers why The Dapps broke up, Eddie Setser had this to say:

“[Bud Hobgood] kept saying we were gonna be making all this money, big money.  Thought we were doing pretty good, but he put us on a retainer, and the guys didn’t like it.  Hank Ballard came and told us, he said, “You ain’t gonna be making any money. He says, “You’re all gonna be paid the same thing” … the thing just kind of blew up.”

The Dapps, however, carried on with that name for somewhere between six months to a year, reckons Asch, with The Golden Lion, a short jaunt up Interstate 75 in Dayton, essentially serving as base of operations.  Dave Parkinson informed Brian Powers in that same interview for WVXU how The Dapps first joined forces with Roger “Jellyroll” Troy (née McGaha):

“After The Dapps had become disassociated with James [Brown], we were the house band at a place called [The Golden Lion in Dayton, Ohio], and we were there about a year under the leadership of a guy named ‘Jellyroll,’ Roger Troy.”

2014 issue of Oct. 27, 1969 live performance by the Stan Kenton Orchestra

Trumpeter BobMaynardVandivort (who spoke to me over the phone recently) auditioned for The Dapps during this period at The Golden Lion.   Leader (along with Jerry Gehl) of The Hi-Fi Band and later, Maynard & the Countdowns, who opened for Lonnie Mack at The Hawaiian Gardens and played many of the area’s sock hops, roller rinks, and teen clubs in the early 1960s, Vandivort’s experience would be marked by the Vietnam War.  Three of the Countdowns, including drummer Dave Listerman, received their draft notices soon after winning a “Battle of the Bands” contest, while Vandivort (who did Air Force ROTC at the University of Cincinnati) himself would get called up on March 23, 1966.  Vandivort — who studied under Frank Brown (later lead trumpet for James Brown) and Bill Berry (who played with Duke Ellington) — served at Fort Knox in the 158th Army Band, a unit whose function was to recruit volunteers, and a job that kept the musicians on the road six months out of the year.  Owning an automobile during his three years of active duty made Vandivort a valuable commodity, as he often shuttled fellow musicians to James Brown gigs in Indianapolis and Louisville (while “lookalikes” would be used as stand-ins for the AWOL soldiers).  Bud Hobgood and Vandivort, coincidentally, were once neighbors at Charlestown Square in Cincinnati’s western area (one-time home for Les Asch, too).

James Brown was initially furious at the continued use of the Dapps name and sent Charles Bobbitt to order the band to desist.  Asch recalls that, thanks to the largesse of the Dayton club owners, an attorney was hired to defend the band.  The court would make a determination that the musicians — having been seen in a public capacity as The Dapps (i.e., Merv Griffin Show appearance, Madison Square Garden concert, and the visit to the Apollo) — therefore, had “inherent properties” with respect to the band name, according to Asch.

Despite the legal victory, the band continued only briefly as The Dapps, as the Dayton scene began to sour for the band, and the musicians were heading in various directions.  Asch remembers a late-night stealth mission to liberate Roger Troy from his current engagement with The Fendermen (a stint at the Holly Oak, no less) that involved the unforgettable image of a jettisoned laundry bag landing within inches of the car, followed by Troy’s exhortation to the band, “C’mon boys, let’s skirtsy!”

Once liberated, the group of musicians then headed to Boston for a three-week stint playing five hours a night, seven days a week at a place called (I’m not making this up) K-K-K-Katy’s.

K-K-K-Katy” was a popular WWI-era “stammering” song

During this period (c. late 1969), the group — which numbered ten musicians — made some demo recordings at a Boston-area sound studio, with one of the stand-out tracks being the band’s arrangement of Jimmy Webb’s “By the Time I Get to Phoenix.”

Following the Boston engagement, the band would return to Dayton and find itself ensconced at The Golden Lion’s main competitor — The Diamond Club, owned by Jennie Krynzel.

Images courtesy of Diamond Club Facebook group

Meanwhile, drummer/manager Stu Perry told his friend Richard Podolor (engineer behind albums by Three Dog Night and Iron Butterfly (et al.), along with Bill Cooper) that he knew “this group from the midwest” and gave him a copy of the Boston demos.  Particularly impressed by the band’s arrangement of “Phoenix,” Podolor in turn sent these recordings to Jay Lasker, president of Kapp Records, who then set about arranging a showcase for the band at one of the music venues on Sunset Strip.

The band would subsequently relocate to the West Coast to take advantage of this new major-label opportunity — although the ten-member ensemble would not survive the cross-country trek.  For one thing, Stu Perry’s involvement meant that Jerry Thompson was no longer the drummer.  Also bowing out of the venture were saxophonist Howie McGurty and bassist Ken Tibbetts, who also played trombone.  [Tibbetts’ response would be to gather Thompson and McGurty and organize a funky new horn-heavy outfit called Melting Pot, whose 1970 debut album on Ampex was produced and engineered by Johnny Sandlin].

Band residence during the Jellyroll sessions — according to Les Asch

The Jellyroll-led outfit that played for Jay Lasker at a private after-hours showcase, sadly, only numbered seven musicians.  Asch recalls Lasker being distinctly underwhelmed by the band’s overall sound, which was noticeably thinner than the larger ensemble recorded in Boston.  Nevertheless, Kapp would commit to a full-length album that featured an elaborate design in a gatefold cover.  A $50,000 advance, according to Asch, went to the group’s attorney, who “doled out money in dribs and drabs.”

Jellyroll‘s debut album was released in 1971 on MCA-owned Kapp (and reissued in 2015 in South Korea).  Discogs notes that a test pressing of the album was actually done in 1970, with the group’s debut 45 “Strange” b/w “Help Me Over” issued September 1970 in the US, according to 45Cat (although curious to note that two completely different tracks were selected for the 45 release in Turkey).  Tim Hedding wrote one of the album’s tracks (“Quick Trip“), Eddie Setser got co-writing credit on another (“Standing on the Inside“), and the band itself is listed as the author on half the songs.

Gatefold LP cover art

Roger Troy:  Bass & Lead Vocals
Stu Perry:  Drums & Percussion
Cosme Joseph Deaguero:  Congas
Ed Setser:  Guitar
Tim Hedding:  Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Les Asch:  Alto, Tenor & Baritone Saxophones
Dave Parkinson:  Tenor Saxophone
Bob Thorn:  Trumpet

45 – Mexico                                             45 – Turkey

There was no accompanying tour, sadly, to promote Jellyroll’s debut album.  Roger Troy and five of his bandmates — Tim Hedding, Eddie Setser, Les Asch, Dave Parkinson, and Stu Perry — soon found themselves back in Cincinnati, this time based at a club named Reflections, located at Calhoun and Vine in the University of Cincinnati area.  But alas, after just a couple weeks, Stu Perry (following an argument with Roger Troy)  snuck into Reflections one night and removed all of his percussion gear without informing the band.  The owner of the club, according to Les Asch, was livid when notified by the band that they could not fulfill their engagement.  This would prove to be the group’s last gasp.

History, however, demands that I make mention of Roger Troy’s participation in a local recording session for Wayne Perry — at the behest of his producer, Randy McNutt — that ended up generating a buzz in English clubs when reissued in 2020 nearly fifty years later as a limited edition 45 that sold out in three months!  McNutt recounts the tangled tale on his music history blog, Home of the Hits:

We cut “Pain” in the summer of 1972 at Rusty York’s Jewel Recording in suburban Cincinnati, where we did much of our local work.  Now this part is important–vital–to understanding this story:  We cut two versions of the song.  Both shared the same rhythm track, so they sound nearly identical.  Wayne sang the first version; Wayne and a guy from Alaska sang the second as a duet.  Their voices sounded a lot alike, and they sang the choruses together and exchanged on the verses.  Shortly after recording the duet version of “Pain,” the narrative began to get muddied.  We had two vocal versions that used the same rhythm track.

The track cooked from the start.  This was due to the musicians.  They included Roger “Jellyroll” Troy, a singer-bassist who led the group Jellyroll on Kapp Records. Roll, as we called him, had come home on vacation, and Wayne asked him to play on the session.  On drums was Jerry Love, a popular blues-rock drummer in Cincinnati.  He did a lot of sessions over at King Records.  He was a favorite of guitarist Lonnie Mack, the father of Cincinnati’s blue-eyed soul movement.  The B-3 organist was a kid (only 17) named Terry Hoskins, who lived in our home city, Hamilton, Ohio, about 25 miles northwest of Cincinnati.  We just let him wail on that song.  We had to get his father’s permission to take him to the studio with us.  On guitar we hired Gary Boston, a freelance session man at King and a local band veteran.  Like so many of these guys, Gary also did some work at King’s studio and at times worked on sessions with James Brown.  (Today, I use Gary on new recordings.)  The horn guys were Les Asch, Craig Shenafeld, and Terry Burnside.  They also played on some James Brown sessions over at King.  On the day we cut the rhythm track, we were all standing in the little studio, talking about the song, and suddenly a guy we didn’t know walked in and asked, “Hey, who owns the cool Firebird sitting out front?”  Jellyroll said proudly, “Why, I do!”  The guy said, “Well, it just got repossessed.”

The original 45 was issued on McNutt’s own Beast imprint, which was distributed by Shad O’Shea‘s Counterpart label.  Though the single did not see much action beyond the tri-state area initially, both mixes of “Pain” were included on 2012 compilation,  Souled Out: Queen City Soul-Rockers Of The 1970s.  At one point, a songwriter friend informed McNutt about the growing buzz on YouTube, where the 7-inch was first uploaded in 2010.  Nik Weston of London’s Mukatsuku Records then contacted McNutt in 2018 about reissuing the two “Pain” mixes as a 45 (that remains “out of stock“).

> AUDIO LINK for “Pain” by Wayne Perry

Post-Jellyroll:  In a Nutshell

Roger “Jellyroll” Troy (who played on Shades of Joy’s Music of El Topo LP from 1970 with Jerry Love) would join The Electric Flag for their final album, The Band Kept Playing, before going on to collaborate with Mike Bloomfield, Howard Wales, Jerry Garcia, Mick Taylor, and the Goshorn Brothers, among others.  Troy Seals, under the mentorship of Conway Twitty, went on to enjoy a successful songwriting career in Nashville, where he was inducted in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1988.  Seals, in turn, provided similar strategic guidance for Eddie Setser, who also became one of the Nashville’s top songwriters (before leaving us this past January).  Tim Hedding (who played organ on Delaney Bramlett’s 1973 album, Mobius Strip) became part of Gregg Allman’s band for 1987’s “comeback” album, I’m No Angel and its follow-up album, When the Bullets Fly.  Howard McGurty, holder of numerous industry patents and inventor of the first Phantom Sound speaker system, is founder of a Mason, Ohio-based company that has provided sound systems for such clients as Bruce Springsteen and the Cincinnati Symphony.  Dave Parkinson, who returned to Central Illinois in 1971 to tend to his mother’s health, has been a leading light in Peoria’s jazz scene, as well as founding member of funk-fusion group, Kriss Kross, a local favorite.  Les Asch continued to play locally after The Dapps disbanded at places such as The Roundup Club before deciding to pursue work opportunities outside the music industry.

In 2013, Egon of Now-Again Records penned a paean to Beau Dollar for Red Bull Academy that spelled out his contributions to the field of funk drumming using precise music terminology:

“‘I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me,’ recorded in October 1967, is a different beast altogether. Its groove surely owes a debt to Stubblefield’s ‘Cold Sweat’ rhythm, but gone are his swinging eighth note hi-hats, replaced by William Hargis ‘Beau Dollar’ Bowman’s lockstep quarter notes, bashed onto a slightly askew hi-hat.  Bowman avoids the ‘one’ – the first beat of a measure, all important to James Brown’s establishment of funk – in the second half of each two bar phrase and builds up to the one’s return with 16th note bass drum interplay, and what rhythm researcher Alan Slutsky called ‘two accented snare drum attacks.’  Brown ‘gave’ Stubblefield four uninterrupted bars in ‘Cold Sweat’ and the drummer was able to showboat.  In contrast, Bowman’s metronomic groove doesn’t change when Brown explains to his band that he wants ‘everyone to lay out but the drummer.’  Brown, notifying Bowman of his task the same way that he would soon instruct Stubblefield on ‘Funky Drummer,’ seemed to know when he needed to keep a drummer under a tense bridle.

Had Bowman only recorded ‘Can’t Stand Myself,’ his place amongst Brown’s elite cadre of funk drummers would have been earned, and his enduring presence assured.  While no one can say definitively who invented the style, Jim Payne, author of Give The Drummers Some, calls Bowman’s groove ‘the Quarter Note High Hat style – quarters on the high hat and everything else beneath it: a difficult thing to do, by the way.’  Its influence grew.  To follow the timeline from 1967 onwards is complicated, but to my ears it goes something like this:  Bowman hears Stubblefield’s ‘Cold Sweat’ and ponies up a response when Brown crashes his band’s – the all-white The Dapps – recording session for an improvised vocal performance.”

Dave Parkinson Remembers
My Association with James Brown, Bud Hobgood
And All the People at King Studios

It all started at a place called The Inner Circle in Clifton up by the University of Cincinnati.  I was playing tenor sax with a band called the Cincinnati Kids led by Troy Seals and Jo Ann Campbell.  Tim Drummond from Canton, IL near where I grew up was playing bass.  Tim later joined James’ traveling group.  He recorded on many of James’ hits, including “I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me” and many more.  James started frequenting the Inner Circle and sitting in with us.  Most memorable was “Cold Sweat” and “There Was a Time.”  James gradually wooed Tim, Les Asch, Tim Hedding, and “Fat Eddie” away from Troy and Jo Ann and we signed to James Brown Productions.  We recorded behind Bobby Byrd, Marva Whitney, Hank Ballard and many others.

“Good God!  A Thousand Dollars” was coined by James’ brilliant manager, Bud Hobgood.

This is the time we met and befriended Bud Hobgood.  He always had a $1,000 bill in his wallet, which he would show us once in awhile.  Bud was a long, tall shrewd country boy who advised James and kept him in line.  I think to this day, that if Bud was still alive, James would be too.  When we recorded with James or watched him set up tunes with his band, he would go to each member; horns, percussion, bass, guitar, conga and tell or sing to them their parts.  It invariably came out perfect and amazingly funky.

I was in the studio when he did “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” with those children and it brought tears to my eyes.

I recorded “Honky Tonk” and the band recorded “The Rabbit Got the Gun” and we covered instrumentally a lot of James’ hits.

At first James called the band the “Believers.”  I remember one night he got us all together and kind of sized us up as to what role we played in the band.  When he came to me, he gave me the biggest compliment I’ve ever had.  He said, “Dave, you the musician”  I can’t describe how good that made me feel.  For a time, he made me the band leader and we went to New York to the main offices of Cash Box magazine and he introduced me to the CEO.  It wasn’t long after that Billboard picked James up and the rest is history.  During that stay in New York we played Madison Square Garden with Count Basie, Slappy White, and many others.  The next evening we all went by limo with James to the Apollo Theater and saw Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and a host of other great talent.  We then went to Lloyd Price’s club and someone tear gassed the place.  James then took us to Long Island where his father stayed and fed us some incredibly hot chili.  The next day, we did the Merv Griffin Show, along with Lily Tomlin.  The following day, James took me to A & R Studios, where I played with his band.  I remember walking in and Bernard Purdie had an easel set up that said “Purdie, Purdie.”  He was on the session.

After returning home, James put us on the road to Atlanta with Hank Ballard.  Had too much fun with Hank!  He looked at me one night in my apartment in Cincinnati and said, “You’re a Scorpio, right?”  He was dead on.

Then James took us to Cleveland to see Marvin Gaye in an intimate nightclub setting.  It was indescribable!

Then we were off to L.A. to do the Donald O’Connor pilot show [1968], which flopped.  Remember, Bud Hobgood was in the wings, keeping a lid on everybody.

After that, things began to taper off.  I could have gone to the Ivory Coast and Vietnam, but marital problems were getting in the way.

Getting back to Troy Seals, I had the privilege of sitting in on a meeting in Troy and Jo Ann’s apartment in Hamilton, Ohio between Troy and Conway Twitty.  After that meeting, Troy and Jo Ann moved to Nashville where Troy’s career went to the stratosphere.  Troy became one of the biggest writers and producers, writing songs like “I’ve Got a Rock and Roll Heart” [Eric Clapton], “Honky Tonk Angel” [Conway Twitty] and many more.  He took “Fat Eddie” Setser with him and they collaborated on “Seven Spanish Angels” [Ray Charles & Willie Nelson] and numerous others.  “Fat Eddie” was the guitar player for the Cincinnati Kids.  He was a very gifted writer in his own right.  I collaborated with Troy on a song called “But I Do,” which was picked up by The Oak Ridge Boys who put it on their Room Service album.

Back in 1970 I had a meeting with Mac Heywood.  Not being too well versed in business and the Hollywood scene, nothing came of it; but shortly thereafter, I started seeing the Heywoods all over television.  Quiz shows and the like.  The meeting with Mac took place at The Roundup Club in Erlanger, Ky., just across the river from Cincinnati.

When I first came to the Cincinnati area, I became fast friends with guys like Lonnie Mack, Beau Dollar, Roger “JellyRoll” Troy, Ronnie Grayson, Jerry Love and later on Glen Hughes of The Casinos.  Just about every time I went to L.A., I’d run into Gene walking around Hollywood.

The members of The Believers were:  Panny Saracason on bass, Les Asch on tenor with me, Tim Hedding on B-3, and “Fat Eddie” on guitar.

I cannot stress enough the role Bud Hobgood played in James Brown Productions.  He was the bedrock that kept James grounded.  As I stated earlier, if Bud was still alive, so would James be.

We went to Nashville where John R. and Hoss Man Allen of WLAC produced us on several tunes.

I’m about out of things to say, but my friend Bob “Maynard” Vandivort can add a lot and maybe fill in some blanks.

4 Out of 5 Physicians Agree:
Zero to 180 best viewed on a big screen – not smart phone

The Upsetters at King Records

I am only just now discovering that Little Richard‘s musical influence had a direct impact on King Records, first when his live backing band, The Upsetters, became Little Willie John’s support group after Richard renounced rock ‘n’ roll in 1957, and then again soon after when the Upsetters backed James Brown for a time.

On December 2, 1958, Little Willie John did a session for King in New Orleans — at Cosimo Recording Studios, no doubt — in which The Upsetters served as his backing band.  Four songs were recorded that day:

> AUDIO LINK for “Do You Love Me

> AUDIO LINK for “The New Thing

> AUDIO LINK for “It Only Hurts a Little While

> AUDIO LINK for “Write Me a Letter

Musician credits according to Ruppli’s session notes —

Little Willie John:  Vocals
Emile Russell:  Drums
Olsie Robinson:  Bass
Milton Hopkins:  Guitar
Wilbert Lee Smith:  Piano & Guitar
Jimmy Booker:  Piano
Grady Gaines:  Tenor Sax
Clifford Burks:  Tenor Sax
Melvin Lastic:  Trumpet

2016 Spanish EP —

Fun to point out that exactly one year later, on December 2, 1959, Emile Russell served as the drummer on a Hank Ballard and the Midnighters recording session at King Studios that netted four songs, including “The Coffee Grind” and “I Love You, I Love You So-o-o.”  Would you be surprised to know that Emile Russell was also the drummer at Little Willie John‘s June 3, 1959 session in New York City that produced “Leave Me Kitten Alone,” along with “Let Them Talk,” “Right There” & “Let Nobody Love You“?

Grady Gaines, by the way, is also connected to King through his brother, Roy Gaines, who released two 45s for King subsidiary label, DeLuxe in 1957 – “Annabelle” b/w “Night Beat” plus “Isabella” b/w “Gainesville” – the latter tune being one of his signature guitar statements.

Important to note that Little Richard battled mightily with Specialty Records owner Art Rupe to be allowed to record with The Upsetters, who Richard favored over the studio session players.  As Robert Palmer wrote for the New York Times in 1990:

“The early Upsetters sessions present a band that lacked studio polish, but made up for it with a remarkable ensemble cohesion and rhythmic creativity.  The Upsetters’ drummer, Charles Connor, has been credited by no less an authority than James Brown with sparking the rhythmic transition from fifties rock & roll to sixties funk.”

New Orleans’ Ponderosa Stomp — who pronounced The Upsetters to be “quite possibly the greatest touring rock and roll band on the planet during the mid-1950s” — wrote a lengthy tribute in 2017 to drummer Chuck Connor, who elaborated on the origins of the band:

“A guy by the name of Wilbert Smith—his professional name was Lee Diamond—we looked alike and everything.  I was a little taller than him.  We were struggling musicians around Nashville,” says Charles.  ‘I was starving, man.  I was kicked out of the hotel room, and I was behind in my rent.  Little Richard heard us and brought us back to Macon, Georgia because he wanted New Orleans musicians.  Richard had to get my drums out of the pawn shop.  He paid for all of that, and he brought us to Macon, Georgia, and that’s when we formed Little Richard and the Upsetters.”

Just a couple weeks after Little Willie John’s session with The Upsetters, James Brown and the Famous Flames recorded a session in Los Angeles on December 16, 1958 with “Lee Diamond” on tenor sax and Chuck Connor on drums that yielded four songs:

> AUDIO LINK for “Got to Cry

> AUDIO LINK for “It Was You

> AUDIO LINK for “I Want You So Bad

> AUDIO LINK for “It Hurts to Tell You

Musician credits according to Ruppli’s session notes —

James Brown:  Vocals
John Terry, Bill Hollings & [unidentified]:  Backing Vocals
Chuck Connor or Nat Kendrick:  Drums
Bernard Odum:  Bass
Bobby Roach:  Guitar
AlvinFatsGonder:  Piano & Organ
Lee Diamond:  Tenor Sax
J.C. Davis:  Tenor Sax

All four songs included on 1959 King LP,  Try Me

Most of these same musicians reconvened on January 20, 1959 at a recording facility in New York City to record two more songs with James and the Famous Flames:

> AUDIO LINK for “Don’t Let It Happen to Me

> AUDIO LINK for “Bewildered

Musician credits according to Ruppli’s session notes —

James Brown:  Vocals
John Terry, Bill Hollings & [unidentified]:  Backing Vocals
Chuck Connor:  Drums
Bernard Odum:  Bass
Bobby Roach:  Guitar
AlvinFatsGonder:  Piano & Organ
Lee Diamond:  Tenor Sax
J.C. Davis:  Tenor Sax
[Unidentified]:  Trumpet

Saxophonist J.C. Davis (“with prob. same band”) recorded two numbers as bandleader at that same NYC recording session:

> AUDIO LINK for “Doodle Bug

> AUDIO LINK for “Bucket Head

1959 single attributed to James Davis

Lee Diamond, as it turns out, had already crossed paths with King Records before — as Wilbert Smith, part of the horn section for James Brown and the Famous Flames’ 1956 breakout hit, “Please Please Please“!  Smith has two co-songwriting credits on “Hold My Baby’s Hand” and “Chonnie-On-Chon” — notice the vocal resemblance to Little Richard on the latter track — both from 1956.

Chuck Connor explains the impact of his New Orleans musical upbringing on the development of James Brown’s music:

“We would work the clubs around Macon, Georgia, like the VFW clubs, the Elks clubs, and places like that.  And I’m playing behind James Brown.  The drummer always sits in the back.  We didn’t have no riser in these little small clubs in those days.  We only had drum risers in the big theaters.  So I’d be playing behind James and I’d do a little second-line thing, a syncopation on my bass drum.  But I was doing that to attract the girls’ attention.

“James Brown would say, ‘Hey, that’s funky! That’s funky!’

‘I’d say, ‘I’m doing the second-line!’

‘I like that! I like that!’

“And he discovered that I put the funk to the rhythm.  Because a lot of drummers weren’t using the bass drum that much.  But a lot of New Orleans drummers used their bass drum a lot.  I got that from the second line.  So that’s why he said, ‘Charles was the first to put the funk into the rhythm.’

Susan Whitall writes in her biography of Little Willie John — Fever:  A Fast Life, Mysterious Death, and the Birth of Soul:

“When Willie and the Upsetters became a team and hit the road, Richard insists there were no hard feelings.  He was proud that the Upsetters, at one time or another, backed up the heaviest hitters in rhythm and blues.  ‘Sam Cooke also had them for awhile and Sam Cooke’s brother L.C. as well,’ Richard recalled.  ‘Little Willie John and James Brown traveled with my band as me, once I was famous.’  The Godfather of Soul screaming ‘Wop bop a doo wop’ – it’s not such a stretch.  ‘We had some dates booked and my manager wanted to fulfill the dates, so they had James go out and be me,’ Richard explained.”

Chuck Connor confirms that James Brown really did do shows billed as Little Richard:

“Lee Diamond started playing with James Brown, but when Richard came out (to L.A.) to do the screen test for the movie [The Girl Can’t Help It], he left 15 dates behind.  So Clint Brantley, the booking agent, he didn’t want to lose the deposits on those dates.  So guess who played those dates for him?  James Brown!  And it was Little Richard’s picture on the placards.  But James Brown played Little Richard’s dates.  People would complain and say, ‘He don’t look like him!’  James is short.  ‘He don’t look like Little Richard to me, but he sounds good!’  But he fulfilled all those dates, and then when Richard came back from the West Coast, James wanted me to go on the road with him too.  I said, ‘Well, James, I’m going to tell you—I don’t mind, but I can’t disappoint Richard because Richard was the one that helped me when I didn’t have nothing, paying my hotel rent, and he bought me shoes, and he fed me and everything.’  So that would have been a guilt trip, so that’s why I didn’t go with James Brown.  He wanted to take me on the road too.  But I remained with Richard.”

James Brown himself recounted the experience of being billed as Little Richard in his autobiography, James Brown:  The Godfather of Soul:

“Not too long after I got to Macon, some people started hitting on Richard about recording for them instead of Peacock.  Eventually Bumps Blackwell got him for Art Rupe’s Specialty label out of Los Angeles.  After ‘Tutti Frutti’ broke, Richard left Macon for California, left everybody without saying a word—[Little Richard manager, Cliff] Brantley, the Dominions, the Upsetters, and a lot of bookings.  Mr. Brantley asked me to fulfill Richard’s dates.  He put me together with the Upsetters and the Dominions and sent me out as Little Richard.  Meantime, Byrd and the fellas were doing the Famous Flames bookings.  I was getting paid as Richard while Bobby was getting paid as me.  I guess I did about fifteen of Richard’s dates.  I’d come out and do ‘Tutti Frutti’ and all those things, and then I’d do some Midnighters’ stuff, some Roy Brown, and even ‘Please Please Please.’  I guess the audience thought I was really Richard.  then, near the end of the show, I’d say, ‘I’m not Little Richard.  My name is James.’  After a few shows like that, Fats [Gonder, organist/emcee], who also went on the tour, started announcing me as Little James.  I didn’t that stay too long, either.”

Historian (and James Brown manager), Alan Leeds, offers another perspective in There Was a Time:  James Brown, The Chitlin Circuit, and Me:

“In 1955, when Little Richard went to Hollywood to sign with Specialty Records, he left behind a band and some unfulfilled bookings.  A young James Brown, who shared managers with the Georgia peach, reluctantly agreed to pose as Richard for a couple weeks.  According to Johnny Terry, one of Brown’s original Famous Flames, it came to an end one night in Nashville when somebody—a fan, or maybe the local promoter—recognized that James was not Little Richard.  After a hasty retreat in which gunshots were reportedly fired, Brown decided it might be better for his well-being to concentrate on his own career.”

Life Imitates Art: 
The 1000-Mile Trek As “The Upsetters

Later in his autobiography when The Famous Flames got word that King Records was ready to record its new act, James Brown recalled a comic aspect to the grueling drive from Tampa to Cincinnati:

“We were working down in Tampa when Clint [Brantley] called to tell us that King wanted us in Cincinnati to record right away.  We hadn’t heard from anyone there since Ralph Bass signed us the morning after he’d seen us at Sawyer’s Lake.  Since then we’d been working clubs around Tampa and Jacksonville, and we were beginning to wonder if he’d really liked us

We drove the four hundred miles from Tampa to Macon, stopped and picked up some money there, and continued for another six hundred miles to Cincinnati in a station wagon that had The Upsetters painted on the side.  Clint had let Little Richard use the car before, and now we were jammed into it with all our clothes and instruments.  We rode all night, stopping only for gas.  It was the first time out of the South for any of us, and when we got to the outskirts of Cincinnati somebody came out from King and let us to the hotel, a place caled the Manse.  It was a fleabag, but it was better than anything we’d stayed in before.”


First Four-Bar Rock ‘n’ Roll Drum Intro?
Rock’s Roots Bear Fruit 

Until Little Richard’s passing, I was similarly clueless about the well-known “secret” that Chuck Connor‘s drum intro on “Keep a Knockin'” (recorded at a small radio station in Washington, DC close to the Howard Theater) served as the source of inspiration for John Bonham‘s famous intro on Led Zeppelin‘s “Rock and Roll” — listen for yourself:

Keep a Knockin’” by Little Richard

Rock and Roll” by Led Zeppelin

Chuck Connor claims in that same Ponderosa Stomp piece that “Keep a Knockin'” was the first four-bar drum intro on a rock and roll record:

“Richard was saying, ‘I want the guitar to play the four-bar intro.’  So the guitar player, he tried it.  Then Richard tried it.  He said, ‘I don’t like that.’  Then he let the saxophone play the four-bar intro.  I said, ‘Wait a minute, Richard.  Let me do something.  Let me do a four-bar intro because this has never been played on a rock and roll record!’  It had never been played on a rock and roll record.  So I came up with a ‘tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat-tat…’  Richard gave me a thousand dollars for that idea, and that was a lot of money in those days.”

King 45s That “Bubbled Under”

My ambitiousness got the best of me with the posting of the two-part history piece, “Quirky 45s That Bubbled Under (1959-1976).”  If you go to Zero to 180’s home page now (as of April 2020), you might be frustrated that it takes so goshdarn long to finish loading all the content (i.e., 200+ audio clips spread out amongst the two parts).   This latest piece — a tribute to all the 45s released by King and its subsidiary labels that “bubbled under” the Billboard Hot 100 chart — features “only” 50 (ish) audio clips.  However, coming on the heels of the previous two-parter, all that additional “weight” only compounds the problem, unfortunately.

Thanks once again to, who generously provides chart information about these uncharted songs that peaked just beyond the reach of Billboard‘s Hot 100.  As with the previous post, this piece is chronologically arranged and begins in 1959, the year Billboard began keeping records of these near-hits.  Given the amount of historical detail below, I have highlighted some of the big takeaway points and discoveries that came out of this research:

Summary Highlights

  • Lowman Pauling, whose work with The ‘5’ Royales as both a songwriter and guitarist was under-recognized for its influence on the emerging soul music (not to mention Jamaican ska), would later be championed by King (James Brown, Vicki Anderson, Hal Hardy) and non-King artists (Shirelles, Mamas & the Papas, Detroit Wheels).
  • Whodunit around the authorship of “Cute Little Ways” — was the song written by Hank Ballard or Henry Glover?
  • Speaking of whodunit, why exactly did “Please Please Please” by James Brown and the Famous Flames come close to entering Billboard’s Hot 100 four years after its original release?  Two theories offered.
  • Syd Nathan was not afraid to dust off an older King recording, “modernize” the sound and/or spiff up the artist name, if that’s what it took to sell records, as in the case of “Every Beat of My Heart” by Henry Booth (or is it?) and the Midnighters (the song by Johnny Otis that would launch the career of Gladys Knight and the Pips).
  • Hard to believe that “Please Come Home For Christmas” never officially entered the Hot 100 given how often Billboard deemed it a “Christmas Best Bet” throughout the 1960s, as well as the song’s enduring popularity, as evidenced by all the many cover versions.  Fun to find out that Charles Brown’s original recording is held in especially high regard “along the route from Houston to New Orleans.”
  • How ‘Mad Men’-esque to learn that King’s promotional efforts for “Seagrams” (a “Tequila”-inspired instrumental ) by the Vice-roys included “half pint of Seagram’s VO whiskey and a package of Viceroy cigarettes” to select personnel at radio stations around the country.
  • Lonesome 7-7203” by Hawkshaw Hawkins was written for Jean Shepard by Justin Tubb, who points out that the song was originally conceived from a female perspective.
  • More evidence of the Cincinnati OHKingston, JA connection via Hank Marr’s organ instrumentals.
  • A shift in cultural consciousness can be seen manifesting itself with Billboard renaming its “R&B” chart as “Soul” Singles beginning in the August 23, 1969 edition (as pointed out in the Marva Whitney section below).
  • Even if King’s entire roster consisted solely of James Brown, hard to overstate the global impact of this one artist alone — be sure to look for the “Hey America” World Tour of 45 picture sleeves plus a news item about King’s “largest promotional/merchandizing budget”  used for the “ James Brown Month Of Soul” campaign in March 1969.
  • In a bonus section of Fraternity 45s that “bubbled under” the Hot 100, we learn from Harry Carlson himself — one of the most beloved figures in the music industry — what a struggle it was to go ten years between hits (i.e., from 1957’s “So Rare” by Jimmy Dorsey to 1967’s “Then You Can Tell Him Goodbye” by The Casinos).
  • King Trivia!

Q:  Name of subsidiary label that was financed by Mickey Stevenson and distributed by Starday-King, announced via a full-page ad in Record World‘s  December 11, 1971 issue?
A:  Mpingo — three Mpingo 45 releases in all before Starday-King ceased operations.

NoteClick on song title links below to hear streaming audio of songs.

AUDIO LINK for “I Know It’s Hard But It’s Fair” by The ‘5’ Royales

peaked at #103 on June 8, 1959 [King]

  • The Lowman Pauling-penned “I Know It’s Hard But Fair” also serves as the kickoff track of 1959 King LP, The Five Royales — an album that some are willing to pay several hundred dollars to acquire.
  • Sundazed saw fit to reissue the original mono LP on vinyl in 2015 and had this to say:

Suddenly in the news thanks to their recent induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, the ‘5’ Royales also recorded for King.  Sundazed’s 180-gram reissue of their self-named 1959 King LP (which butchered the spelling of their ‘5’ moniker on its cover) is a romping overview of some of the R&B vocal quintet’s then-recent singles.  The gospel-drenched lead vocals of Johnny Tanner (or sometimes, his brother Eugene) presaged the rise of soul music, but it’s the blistering guitar of chief songwriter Lowman Pauling, a primary influence on Steve Cropper, that grabs most of the glory now.” 

King LP 678 = It’s gonna cost you

AUDIO LINK for “Let Nobody Love You” [B-side] by Little Willie John

peaked at #108 on July 13, 1959 [King]

  • This B-side of “Leave My Kitten Alone” [covered by The Beatles but unissued until 1995’s Anthology I] was co-written by Rudy Toombs and Henry Glover.
  • Both sides were reviewed in Billboard’s June 22, 1959 edition:  “The artist has two potent entries that could get him back on the charts.  He gives ‘Kitten’ a feelingful belt over strong New Orleans type ork backing.  ‘Let Nobody’ is a ballad with beat, and he’s given a fem chorus assist.  Either can score.”
  • “Let Nobody Love You” also reached the #29 position on Cash Box‘s Rhythm & Blues Top 50 chart for the week ending September 26, 1959.
  • Johnny’s Record House in New Orleans reported in the October 31, 1959 issue of Cash Box that “Let Nobody Love You” was a top ten seller.
  • One British music enthusiast shelled out £68 in 2004 for the UK single release.

UK 45 — 1959

AUDIO LINK for “Cute Little Ways” by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters

peaked at #106 on September 7, 1959 [King]

  • Billboard‘s review in the August 24, 1959 edition:  “Hank Ballard sells an uptempo blues with a lot of spirit, over a strong backing.  Could get coins.”
  • “Cute Little Ways” also reached the #24 position on the “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart, Cash Box‘s equivalent of Billboard‘s “Bubbling Under” releases.
  • Detroit’s Horn Records reported in the October 3, 1959 issue of Cash Box that “Cute Little Ways” was a hot 45, as did Wilkes-Barre’s Joe Tomato of WBAX.
  • Important to note that when issued in Denmark, the 45 label indicates the song to have been written by Henry Glover (who wrote the flip side, “House With No Windows“) — not Hank Ballard, as it says on all other King releases.  The truth?*

[*As noted in the comment below, nothing amiss with the songwriting credits on the Danish single release — please disregard]

See?  it says “Henry Glover” on the Danish 45 release

AUDIO LINK for “I’m With You” by The ‘5’ Royales

peaked at #107 on June 27, 1960 [King]

  • Billboard‘s March 14, 1960 edition includes this review:  “A slow and strongly gospel flavored chant by the group.  Lead offers a good shouting sound.  Spinnable.”
  • Cash Box listed “I’m With You” as #6 on its “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending June 25, 1960 while still holding strong at the #10 position on the same chart for the week ending August 6, 1960.
  • 45Cat stalwart mickey rat offers up this praise:  “Great gospel tinged proto-soul from hugely influential group.  This one has a riffing ‘ska’ beat, another example of the kind of R&B that influenced Jamaican artists.  Flip [“Don’t Give More Than You Can Take“] is a fast rocker featuring Lowman Pauling’s distinctive guitar.”
  • Noted roots rock author, Peter Guralnick points out on his blog:  “The ‘5’ Royales were always at the heart of the discography of my book, Sweet Soul Music.  As one of their album titles proclaimed, their music represented “the roots of soul.”  Further down the page, Guralnick adds, “By 1960, even with such transformative songs as ‘I’m With You’ and ‘Wonder When You’re Coming Home,’ the ‘5’ Royales were slipping off the charts, and it was the Shirelles and James Brown who were recasting Lowman’s music.”
  • Robert Christgau – “Dean of American Rock Critics” – takes Collectables [*Ed Ward, actually – see comment below] to task for not including “I’m With You” on their Very Best of the ‘5’ Royales anthology, even though, oddly, the song is listed on this 2004 CD release!

1968 Sam & Dave French B-side

AUDIO LINK for “If You’re Lonely” by Annie Laurie

peaked at #104 on July 25, 1960 [DeLuxe]

  • Written by jazz trumpeter/bandleader, Harry James, along with Zanesville-born trumpeter and King music director, Andy Gibson, “If You’re Lonely” also peaked at #17 on Billboard‘s R&B chart on July 18, 1960.
  • “If You’re Lonely” was pegged as an R&B “Best Buy” in the July 18, 1960 edition of Billboard.
  • Thanks to 45Cat’s jukebox george, who informs us that the July 30, 1960 edition of Cash Box lists “If You’re Lonely” #23 (out of 25) on their “Looking Ahead” singles chart for the “possibility to break into the Top 100.”
  • Jon Hartley Fox writes in King of the Queen City:  The Story of King Records — “‘If You’re Lonely’ made the [R&B] Top Twenty in 1960, but that was the only other hit from her second stint on DeLuxe.  Laurie reportedly retired from secular music not long after that and devoted her magnificent voice solely to church work.”

AUDIO LINK for “Shim Sham Shuffle” by Ricky Lyons

peaked at #104 on October 17, 1960 [Federal]

  • Co-written by Ricky Lyons and Rudy Toombs, 45Cat’s jukebox george points to evidence (i.e., lower matrix number — *although this is a misnomer [see comment below]) that “Shim Sham Shuffle” might be one of those B-side breakout hits that “attracted attention” to a much greater degree than the intended A-side.
  • However, Billboard‘s selection of “Shim Sham Shuffle” as one of the “Spotlight Winners of the Week” in their October 3, 1960 edition leads me to question accusations of the song’s B-side status — this review puts the matter to bed:  “The younger chanter comes thru with an exciting vocal here of a rocking item based on ‘The Eagle Rock.’  Flip is ‘Have No Fear.’
  • Cash Box picked “Shim Sham Shuffle” as one of its “Best Bets” for the week ending October 15, 1960:  “The ‘latest’ dance is conveyed with solid rock-blues vigor by the singer and combo.  Deck’s got sound and humor.”
  • Spectropop playfully observes that Ricky Lyons’ vocal “adds a Bob Wills-style whoop to the R&B lexicon.”
  • “Shim Sham Shuffle” was also released as a King single by Johnny Brandon in 1956 — although, a quick listen to the earlier release reveals the existence of two completely different tunes that merely share a song title.
  • 45 reissued on King in 1965 — Discogs contributor, bob.dalrymple.7 notes the two releases by the same parent company and makes the distinction between “one with bells [i.e., vibraphone] at the end and one without,” adding that the “King release doesn’t have the bell ending [likely played by Gene Redd].”

AUDIO LINK for “Please Please Please” by James Brown

peaked at #105 on October 21, 1960 [Federal]

  • Having a devil of a time trying to determine why this #6 R&B hit from 1956 almost hit the Billboard Hot 100 four years later, as I can only find two single releases by King – 1956 and 1964 – with neither of them 1960 (or its environs) — theories, anyone?
  • Possible theory #1:  Might The5Royales’s version released in 1960 (on the Home of the Blues label) explain the resurgence of the original version by Brown and the Famous Flames?
  • Possible theory #2:  Is King’s 1959 “Please Please Please” EP release the more likely explanation for the song’s appearance on the Billboard “Bubbling Under” chart?

1959 “Extended Play” King 45

  • Billboard reviewed “Please Please Please” in their October 31, 1960 edition:  “Brown intones a pounding chant with the Flames lending a good gospel flavor to the backing.  A lot of spirit here.”
  • Billboard‘s January 3,1957 edition pegged “Please” as one of 1956’s Top Rhythm & Blues Records with regard to “best seller in stores” (#17), “most played in jukeboxes (#48), and “most played by disc jockeys (#20).
  • What delicious irony that Syd Nathan (who initially and loudly dismissed “Please” as a “piece of [dung]”) made the decision to add live crowd sounds to the original studio recording for release in 1964 (during a contract dispute with Brown), no doubt to capitalize on the runaway success of 1963’s Live at the Apollo (another Brown recording of some renown that Nathan famously fought at first).
  • 45Cat’s teabiscuit, however, boldly asserts — counter to received wisdom — that  “by 1960, not 1964, the overdubbed ‘live’ version of the A side was issued.”

B-side of 1960 Japanese single release

AUDIO LINK for “Hold It‘ by James Brown Band

peaked at #112 on February 13, 1961 [King]

  • Alan Leeds’ “James Brown Drummers Discography” (included in Jim Payne’s The Great Drummers of R&B, Funk & Soul) notes that Brown himself served as the drummer on this track.
  • Billboard‘s review in their December 31, 1960 edition:  “A wild instrumental version of the Bill Doggett oldie, complete with screams, that could get some action if exposed.  The screamer also comes through with a slight vocal now and then.”
  • Billboard‘s February 13, 1961 edition notes another James Brown single — “Bewildered” (a ‘Regional Breakout’ hit in Philadelphia) — in an ever higher position (#103) than “Hold It” on the same “Bubbling Under the Hot 100” chart.
  • “Hold It” is the lead-off track for the 1961 King instrumental LP, Night Train.

AUDIO LINK for “Sweethearts on Parade” by Etta Jones

peaked at #115 on April 3, 1961 {King]

  • Written by Carmen Lombardo and Charles Newman, “Sweethearts on Parade” appeared on the “Bubbling Under” chart, along with another Etta Jones 45 (although recorded for Prestige), “Canadian Sunset,” for two consecutive weeks — March 27 and April 3, 1961.
  • Not to be confused with Matt Ward’s “Sweethearts on Parade.”

AUDIO LINK for “Every Beat of My Heart” by Henry Booth & The Midnighters

peaked at #113 on May 15, 1961 [DeLuxe]

“Note that the lead singer with the beautiful smooth sound isn’t Henry Booth, but Charles Sutton.  Because of the success of Gladys Knight and the Pips’ remake of ‘Every Beat Of My Heart’ in 1961, King’s DeLuxe subsidiary reissued it, with the label crediting ‘Henry Booth and the Midnighters.’  Possibly they just got it mixed up or possibly Henry was still with the Midnighters at that point.  Whatever the reason, R&B fans have believed over the years that Henry was doing lead; he isn’t.”

  • The two versions of “Every Beat” by The Midnighters and The Pips made Cash Box‘s Top 100 chart for the week ending May 27, 1961 and, if I’m not mistaken, tied for the same position (#70)!  The same phenomenon would take place the following week (#48).
  • Billboard‘s review of this 45 side in the May 8,.1961 edition was (unwittingly) their second one:  “Henry Booth and the Midnighters turn in a very pretty and restrained reading of an attractive tune penned by Johnny Otis.  It has a chance.”
  • Billboard‘s original review of The Midnighters’ debut 45 in the April 12, 1952 edition (page 36) has this to say about the flip side, “Every Beat of My Heart”:  “This is a little disappointing after the fine performance [“All Night Long“] on the other side.  Judged from these two efforts, the Royals are more effective with a tempo that has a strong beat.”
  • Jon Hartley Fox in King of the Queen City notes that “Every Beat” is “the hit that launched Gladys Knight and the Pips.”
  • Also worth reading the comments about the original 1952 release from various 45Cat contributors, such as mickey rat, who opines, “Right from the start the Royals/Midnighters used an electric bass in the rhythm section and I have to say that’s what I liked about a lot of later ‘50s King R&B product.”

The Matador” by George Scott and the Bud Mote Orchestra

peaked at #104 on June 12, 1961 [Fairlane]

[streaming audio not yet available]

  • 45Cat contributor jukebox george informs us — “Cash Box May 6 1961 (pg. 38): New York – D.L. ‘Boots’ Woodall, formerly veep of the National Recording Corp. (NRC), has announced the first release on his new Fairlane label, a master purchase from the Margo label tagged “Matador.”  King Records is handling Fairlane’s distribution.”
  • Billboard‘s review in their May 8, 1961 edition:  “Here’s a different kind of instrumental, featuring a mariachi-styled brigade of trumpets against strong guitar work.  Has a solid rhythm in the Mexican groove and it can move.”
  • Billboard Music Week would also review this 45 in their April 10, 1961 issue:  “Here’s a bit of slower-paced fare again much in the polka tradition.  There’s also a touch of flamenco about the horns here.”
  • Cash Box‘s review from their April 8, 1961 edition:  “Interesting color to this fast-beat stand, featuring guitarist Scott & trumpets, on a catchy Spanish-flavored tune. Original sound that could mean something for the Atlanta label.”

AUDIO LINK for “Hully Gully Callin’ Time” by Jive Five with Eugene Pitt

peaked at #105 on March 1, 1962 [Beltone]

  • Released on King-distributed Beltone, “Hully Gully Callin’ Time” was a “Regional Breakout” in the NYC area, as reported in Billboard‘s April 21, 1962 edition.
  • Two weeks later, Billboard filed this report from Chicago:   “[New independent distributor] Kent is also working on what it hopes will be its first big hit, ‘Hully Gully Callin’ Time’ by the Jive Five on Beltone.  The tune has hit position 28 on the influential WLS Silver Dollar Survey and is getting good supporting air play around the city.”
  •  Billboard‘s review in the March 3, 1962 edition:  “Attractive hunk of teen wax with the lead selling the hully gully effort solidly over listenable support by the group.”
  • Cash Box listed “Hully Gully” at the #37 position on its “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending March 24, 1962.

AUDIO LINK for “I Wish I Could Cry” [B-side] by Little Willie John

peaked at #116 on June 30, 1962

  • Billboard had high hopes for this 45’s A-side — “Every Beat of My Heart” (!) — while saying nothing about the flip side in its review published in the May 28, 1962 edition.
  • Cash Box was a little more optimistic about the prospects for this B-side (near) breakout hit in its review for their May 26, 1961 issue:   “Here the songster and the ork-chorus up the tempo slightly to a shuffle-beat-ballad pace.  Take your pick.  Both ends have the goods.”
  • The following year, Cash Box reported in their July 28, 1962 edition this brief news item:  “Sue Sandler, co-cleffer of Little Willie John’s ‘Until Again My Love‘ and ‘I Wish I Could Cry,’ excited with all the action on the artist’s 2 King releases.”

AUDIO LINK for “Wonderful One” by The Shondells

peaked at #116 on October 13, 1962 [King]

  • According to our old friend, mickey rat — “Almost certainly produced in Los Angeles by Johnny Otis … Songwriters on a couple of their other songs registered with [Library of Congress] were Shirlee Brooks, Jacqueline Scruggs, Rosemary Reeves, Beverly Simmons & Novella Simmons, so I’m guessing they were all members of the group.”
  • Coincidentally or not, “Wonderful One” was cited by Billboard as a “Regional Breakout” single in Los Angeles.
  • Billboard would review this single’s A-side in the July 21, 1962 edition — and it wasn’t “Wonderful One” (B-side breakout hit?) about which the reviewer had nothing to say.
  • Cash Box listed “Wonderful One” at the #42 spot on its “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending September 15, 1962.
  • Forgotten Hits music blog says The Shondells (not to be confused with Tommy James’ backing group of the same name) are from Cincinnati — is this true?  [*No – from Pomona, California (see comment below)]

AUDIO LINK for “Please Come Home for Christmas” by Charles Brown

peaked at #108? on December 22, 1962 [King]

  • Did misfire with the inclusion of this stellar yuletide track — written by Charles Brown and Gene Redd — that has been covered by Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Johnny Adams, (“Little“) Johnny Taylor, Johnny & Edgar Winter,  Freddy Fender, William Bell, The Eagles, Martina McBride, and Bon Jovi, among others?  Billboard tells us this 45 peaked at #76 on January 6, 1962.  However, is it somehow possible this track came close to entering the Hot 100 later that same year close to Christmas?  As it turns out, yes!  Billboard‘s December 22, 1962 issue confirms that, indeed, “Come Home For Christmas” bubbled under at the #108 position.
  • That same Billboard edition also reported “Christmas” to be a “Regional Breakout” single in New Orleans, while one year prior. Billboard noted the song’s strong performance in the Philadelphia market.  The 1963 Christmas season would also find this track no less diminished in popularity, says Billboard, who would also peg this single in 1967 as one of its “Best Bets for Christmas” and then again in 1969.
  • The original 1960 release — which peaked at #21 on Billboard‘s R&B chart on December 31st that year — features another Christmas classic, Amos Milburn’s “Christmas (Comes But Once a Year),” on the flip side.  This 45 squeaked into Cash Box’s Top 100 chart (#96) for the week ending December 31, 1960. “Christmas” also made Cash Box‘s Top 50 R&B chart (#30) for the week ending December 24, 1960, and then again, even higher (#21), for the week ending January 6, 1962.
  • Chris Varias contributed a special piece to The Cincinnati Enquirer in 2017 about the enduring appeal of a classic Christmas song that was “born in Cincinnati” at King Studios — article features reminiscences from Don Henley and Cincinnati native, Nick Lachey, as well as music history from Cincinnati Public Library’s own, Brian Powers.
  • The Houston Chronicle‘s Rick Campbell wrote a humorous item in 2015 entitled, “‘Please Come Home For Christmas’:  A Holiday Song I Don’t Hate.”
  • Lake Charles, LA’s 92.9 (“The Lake”) offers up “The Story Behind ‘Please Come Home For Christmas” in which we learn the regional popularity of the song in a particular part of the Deep South:  “In 1960, King Records released ‘Please Come Home for Christmas’ and the song, for some reason, went nowhere nationally, but along our part of I-10, it became an instant classic.  Since 1960, radio stations all along the route from Houston to New Orleans have played the record every single Christmas.”

Lead-off track on this Indespensible Christmas LP

AUDIO LINK for “The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist” by Freddy King

peaked at #103 on Feb. 2, 1963 [Federal]

  • “Bossa Nova Watusi Twist” — a “Regional Breakout Single” in two large metro markets, Memphis-Nashville and Dallas-Fort Worth — was given a “Four-Star” rating in Billboard‘s January 12, 1963 edition.
  • Although there no musician credits in Ruppli’s King Labels sessionography, this song — recorded at Cincinnati’s King Studios on November 27, 1962 — no doubt includes the drumming work of legendary session musician, Philip Paul, who also played on the previous featured track by Charles Brown.
  • Small news item in the January 26, 1963 issue of Cash Box:  “With promo man Ralph Cox, the biggies to watch are “Seagrams” by The Vice-Roys (Bethlehem), “The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist” by Freddy King, Hank Ballard’s “The Rising Tide” and “Every Beat Of My Heart” by James Brown.”

AUDIO LINK for “Seagrams” by The Viceroys

peaked at #127 on March 30, 1963 [Bethlehem]

  • The fluke hit of 1958’s “Tequila” inspired a host of alcohol-themed instrumentals in its wake, including that same year’s more generic “Cerveza” (‘Boots Brown’ a.k.a., Shorty Rogers), as well as the brand-specific 1961’s “Bacardi” and “Seagrams” from the previous year.
  • As previously noted, 1960’s “Seagrams” by The Viceroys was issued on Bethlehem, a subsidiary label of King.  Seagrams Corporation, however, did not take kindly to the appropriation of its name and threatened to sue for trademark infringement, with some stations refusing to play a song named for a commercial product without being paid for advertising time.  A sheepish notice in Billboard’s  March 23, 1960 edition said, “We Goofed!” — more specifically:

“When this instrumental came to us, it was titled ‘Seagram’s.’  We missed the possible legal conflict with the Seagram’s trademark and also the policy at many radio stations of not playing a record with a commercial product name in its title.”] and indicated that “Seagrams” was now changed to “Seagreen.”

  • Worth noting that on page 22 of that same March 23, 1960 edition of Billboard  was this wink-wink news item:

    Just Call This a Real Loaded Idea

    SAN FRANCISCO— A novel record promotion originated by Bob Earl, San Francisco branch manager for King Records, has been picked up by the national record distributor and will be repeated in Cincinnati, Chicago and New York.

    Bethlehem’s new recording of “Seagram,” sung by the Vice-roys, prompted Earl to include a half pint of Seagram’s VO whiskey and a package of Viceroy cigarettes when delivery the disk, all wrapped up in gay “Mardi Gras” gift paper.  Uniformed messenger delivery personnel called upon local deejays in the four top r & b and rock and roll stations in San Francisco and Oakland — KSAN, KEWB, KDIA and KYA.

innocent mistake

AUDIO LINK for “Lonesome 7-7203” by Hawkshaw Hawkins

peaked at #108 on April 6, 1963 [King]

  • Just three days after this song’s release, notes West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Hawkins perished in a plane crash that also took the lives of fellow King recording artist, Cowboy Copas, as well as country superstar, Patsy Cline.
  • Justin Tubb, who wrote the song, recounts in this 1997 episode ofCountry Family Reunion” how he gave the song originally to Jean Shepard – Hawkshaw’s widow – who recorded it for Capitol (in whose vaults the song remains unissued).  Tubb points out that “Lonesome” strikes him as a “girl’s song” because “when a husband and wife break up, it’s usually the guy who has to leave, and the wife stays home and keeps the house and furniture.”
  • Billboard‘s review in their February 2, 1963 edition:  “A fine new weeper ballad.  Hawkshaw’s girl has walked out and he pleads with her to call him on his new phone.”
  • The biggest hit of Hawkins’ career, “Lonesome 7-7203” stayed on top of the Country chart for four weeks after his death.
  • The single’s flip side — titled (ironically, in hindsight) “Everything Has Changed” — was written by King A&R executive and producer, Ray “Starr” Pennington, who produced Hawkins’ final album, “one of the first country albums to feature both black and white session musicians,” as noted by Rocky 52.
  • Still trying to make sense of this 45Cat catalog record which indicates “Lonesome” to have been released (a) not only as a “split” single in January 1963 with “Seagram’s” by the Vice-Roys on the flip side [!] but also (b) issued with a different label on each side (i.e., King on the A-side, Bethlehem on the B-side).  For real?

AUDIO LINK for “The Greasy Spoon” by Hank Marr

peaked at #101 on January 18, 1964 [Federal]

  • Written by Hank Marr and Gene Redd, “Greasy Spoon” — which came within a hair of hitting Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart — was a “Regional Breakout” single in the Memphis-Nashville area, as reported in Billboard.
  • “Greasy Spoon” also hit the #68 spot on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles chart for the week ending January 11, 1964.
  • Billboard‘s August 26, 1972 edition noted that the “Greasy Spoon” single was one among many reissued by Starday-King in a news item entitled, “32 King Oldies Released; Many Are Classics.”
  • Randy McNutt in King Records of Cincinnati writes that “King groomed Marr as Bill Doggett’s successor,” also noting that later in life, “Marr became a music professor in Columbus.”

45 picture sleeve from 1964 — Netherlands

AUDIO LINK for “Again” by James Brown and the Famous Flames

peaked at #107 on April 25, 1964 [King]

  • Billboard‘s review in the April 11, 1964 edition makes direct reference to the fact that James Brown had (temporarily) left King for Mercury/Smash:  “Brown has a string of ’em on his former label and he’s got another romantic side here.  Tender reading of the standard that’s not in conflict with his other release.”
  • “Again” just squeaked onto Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart (#50) for the week ending April 25, 1964 — this same chart also includes one of Brown’s singles (his cover of Louis Jordan’s “Caldonia“) recorded for Smash.

“Again” included on rare South Korean edition of Prisoner of Love LP

AUDIO LINK for “Wee Wee Hours (of the Nite)” [B-side]
by James Brown & the Famous Flames

peaked at #125 on April 25, 1964 [King]

  • Billboard awarded this single four stars (i.e., “new singles with sufficient commercial potential in their respective categories to merit being stocked by dealers, one-stops and rack jobbers”) in its February 8, 1964 edition.
  • This full-page King ad of James Brown releases published in the previous week’s edition of Billboard (a) touts the new “live” version of “Please Please Please” [discussed above] and also (b) reveals that “Wee Wee Hours” ended up being yet another B-side breakout hit. (a James Brown original, by the way, not to be confused with Frank Sinatra’s 1955 classic, “In the Wee Small Hours“).

AUDIO LINK for “How Long Darling” [B-side]
by James Brown & the Famous Flames

peaked at #134 on June 6, 1964 [King]

  • Speaking of B-side breakout hits, “How Long Darling” is the B-side of “Again” — the single that was discussed mere moments ago.
  • Cash Box‘s April 18, 1964 edition provides this review — and once again speaks of Brown’s contractual relationship with King in the past tense:  “James Brown has been running extremely hot recently and this top-notch item, ‘Again,’ cut during his days with King should quickly develop into a best-seller.   The tune is a slow-moving, shuffle-beat pop-blues lament with a nostalgic while-back sound sold with authority by the songster.  On the flip, ‘How Long Darling,’ Brown dishes-up a funky, traditional, low-down r&b weeper with a contagious repeating riff.”

“How Long Darling” — included on this 1966 EP from the UK

AUDIO LINK for “So Long” by James Brown and the Famous Flames

peaked at #132 on June 27, 1964 [King]

  • “So Long” was pegged by Billboard as “Hot Pop” in the “Programming Specials” section of its June 6, 1964 edition.
  • Cash Box‘s review in their June 6, 1964 issue:  “The chanter might well do Top 100 business with this hard-driving full ork-backed pop-r&b teen-angled danceable weeper cut during his days with King.  Loads of potential here.”
  • “So Long” also spent two consecutive weeks on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart (#48 and #50) before dropping off altogether at the end of June.

“So Long” — included on this 1965 EP from the UK

Silver Spoon” [B-side?] by Hank Marr

peaked at #134 on March 27, 1965 [Federal]

[streaming audio not yet available]

“Silver Spoon” included on this 1965 King LP

Tears of Joy” by Vicki Anderson

peaked at #131 on September 23, 1967 [King]

[streaming audio not yet available]

  • Cash Box‘s review of Anderson’s version of “Tears of Joy” — written by Lowman Pauling for The ‘5’ Royales — was included in their July 15, 1967 issue:  “Anderson vocalizes nicely on this shuffling, soul-filled romance ode.  Bears watching.”
  • “Tears of Joy” hit the #46 spot on Record World‘s Top 50 R&B chart, as reported in the September 30, 1967 issue.  That same issue also listed “Tears of Joy” at the #40 position on their “Singles Coming Up” chart, Record World‘s equivalent of Billboard‘s “Bubbling Under” chart.  Record World also reported the previous month that the single was “selling well in Atlanta.”
  • Here is a link to King’s half-page ad for “Tears of Joy” that was published in Billboard‘s September 2, 1967 edition.

“Tears of Joy” included on this 1968 King Compilation LP

AUDIO LINK for “You’ve Got to Change Your Mind
by Bobby Byrd & James Brown

peaked at #102 on March 16, 1968 [King]

  • “You’ve Got Change Your Mind” – which came this close to making the Hot 100 – was predicted by Billboard to reach the Top 20 of the Top Selling R&B Singles chart, as noted in their February 10, 1968 issue:  “Byrd and Brown join forces in this groovy rock ballad that’s given a wailing, soulful vocal workout.  Loaded with top sales potential for both pop and r&b markets.  FLIP:  ‘I’ll Lose My Mind‘.”
  • Cash Box posted this review in the issue for the week ending February 10, 1968:  “Outstanding pairing of James Brown and Bobby Byrd makes for some grand spinning material for r&b deejays.  The team grooves slowly on a [indecipherable adjective] ballad that shows strength without speed through powerful vocals and throbbing orchestral backing.  Cute lyrical snatches should stir up plenty of excitement for the side.”
  • “Change Your Mind” — a “Regional Breakout” single in the Washington DC market — also peaked at the #47 position (for two consecutive weeks), as reported in Billboard.
  • “Change Your Mind” also hit the #93 spot on Record World‘s 100 Top Pops chart for the week ending February 24, 1968.
  • Written by Brown and Byrd along with Gene Redd and Ron Lenhoff (with an arrangement by Sammy Lowe), “Change Your Mind” features Bernard Purdie on drums, Al Lucas on bass, Carl Lynch & Wallace Richardson on guitars, and Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis & St. Clair Pinckney on tenor saxophones.

“Change Your Mind” b/w “Lose My Mind — 45 from Netherlands

AUDIO LINK for “Shhhhhhhh (For A Little While)”
by James Brown & the Famous Flames

peaked at #102 on June 15, 1968 [King]

  • “Shhhhhhhh (For A Little While)” was part of Billboard‘s “Special Merit Spotlight” (i.e., new singles deserving special attention of programmers and dealers) in its May 4, 1968 edition:  “Raunchy instrumental is given a powerhouse workout by the Brown band.”
  • Written by James Brown and Bud Hobgood, “Shhhhhhhh” was released around the time Brown and his band toured Vietnam and the Far East, as reported by Ed Ochs in his “Soul Sauce” column for Billboard shortly after their return:  “Brown opens the National Soul Festival at Yankee Stadium, Friday as his three singles, ‘Licking Stick,’ ‘America Is My Home‘ and ‘Shhhhhhhh (For A Little While)’ work their way up the charts.”
  • The previous month, Ed Ochs filed this report in the same Billboard column:  “James Brown, everybody’s ‘Soul Brother No. 1,’ will trail his ‘I Got the Feelin’‘ giant with ‘America Is My Home,’ a song that echoes one man’s patriotism, which James already proved with his words to thousands on TV in Washington and in Boston last month.  Another single, ‘Lickin’ Stick,’ will also be released and will join ‘Shhhhhhhh (For A Little While),’ an instrumental with James on the organ, and ‘You’ve Got the Power‘ with [Vicki] Anderson — all on King Records.”
  • “Shhhhhhhh” hit the lucky #13 spot on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending June 15, 1968.
  • King’s ad in the June 1, 1968 issue of Record World predicted this 45 (along with “Lickin’ Stick”) to be a US #1 record.

B-side in Argentina (left) and Brazil (right)

AUDIO LINK for “There Was a Time” by The Dapps Featuring Alfred Ellis

peaked at #103 on July 27, 1968 [King]

  • “There Was a Time” reached the #27 position on Billboard‘s Best Selling Rhythm and Blues Singles chart, the week prior to November 2, 1968.
  • This 45 also appears to have peaked at #45 on Cash Box‘s Top 50 R&B singles for the week ending July 27, 1968.
  • Cash Box‘s review in their June 15, 1968 edition:  “James Brown produced this has-to-be-heard instrumental reworking of his while back hit.  Albert [sic] Ellis’ hard driving sax stirs this side to a frenzy sure to make it a disko favorite.  Should produce good sales.  Flip: ‘The Rabbit Got The Gun‘.”

AUDIO LINK for “Soul Pride (Pt1)” by James Brown

peaked at #117 on April 5, 1969 [King]

  • Co-written and arranged by Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, “Soul Pride (Pts. 1 & 2)” features the musicianship of Clyde Stubblefield (drums), Alfonzo Kellum (bass), Jimmy Nolen (guitar), Alfred Ellis (alto sax), Maceo Parker (tenor sax), Fred Wesley (trombone), and Richard “Kush” Griffith & Waymon Reed (trumpets).
  • Cash Box‘s review in their March 8, 1969 issue:  “Booming instrumental side with the brash James Brown brass and a terrific bass showing make the songster’s new side a solid programming choice with blues and pop deejays.  Splendid dance side here that should see the same good response his instrumental of last year met.”
  • “Soul Pride” reached the #38 position on Billboard‘s Best Selling Rhythm and Blues Singles in their April 12, 1969 edition.
  • “Soul Pride” just made it into the bottom reaches of Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles chart in late March and early April 1969.
  • Cash Box‘s March 8, 1969 issue would also feature this exciting news flash:

King’s ‘March Is James Brown Month’ Label’s Strongest Drive Ever

NEW YORK — King Records has allocated the largest promotional and merchandising budget in its history for a special “March Is James Brown Month Of Soul” campaign.

Col. Jim Wilson, Starday-King Vice President of Marketing, said that the national program will extend through the month of March and is designed to further “accentuate the all-market appeal and widespread saleability” of James Brown recorded product at the consumer level.

Special deejay kits which include an exclusive “not-for-sale-radio programming only” EP album along with James Brown spot intros and bio material have gone forward to radio stations.

A deluxe packaged Brown album, Say It Loud, I’m Black And I’m Proud, featuring the title song along with other James Brown chartsellers hits such as “Lickin’ Stick” and “Good-Bye My Love” has been prepared for immediate release to coincide with the “Month of Soul” campaign.

In addition to the current top-writing chart hit single, “Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose,” a new instrumental single “Soul Pride” featuring James Brown playing and conducting his band has just been shipped to radio stations and all King distributors.

Additionally, attractive James Brown calendar posters, cut-out floor displays, complete album and singles catalogs and other point-of-sale dealer aids are available at all King distributors.

Network TV appearances during March, including the Hollywood Palace Show and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, plus an intensified ad campaign will add further impetus to recognition of the month-long drive.

1969 picture sleeve — France

AUDIO LINK for “Things Got to Get Better” by Marva Whitney

peaked at #110 on August 23, 1969 [King]

  • Written by Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis and James Brown, “Things Got to Get Better (Get Together)” also reached the #22 position on Billboard‘s Soul Singles chart on September 6, 1969.
  • Transition Alert!  You can see for yourself the change in terminology from “R&B” to “Soul” by examining the same chart from just a few weeks before, where the Marva Whitney 45 can be found at the #49 spot on Billboard‘s “Rhythm and Blues Singles” chart, as of August 16, 1969.  By the following week (when the 45 has inched up to #48), that same chart has been renamed the “Soul Singles” chart for the week ending August 23, 1969.
  • “Things Got to Get Better” reached #11 on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending July 26, 1969.  That same week, Record World listed this 45 at the #49 position on its “Singles Coming Up” chart.

“Things Got to Get Better” = Kickoff track on 1969 live album

AUDIO LINK for “From Atlanta to Goodbye” by The Manhattans

peaked at #113 on October 7, 1970 [DeLuxe]

  • Ed Ochs reported the following King/DeLuxe news in his “Soul Sauce” column published in the September 19, 1970 edition:

“New James Brown album titled Sex Machine and featuring hits like ‘Mother Popcorn,’ ‘I Got the Feeling‘ and ‘Lickin’ Stick.’  And due this week is James’ new single, ‘Super Bad.’  On DeLuxe, The Manhattans’ ‘From Atlanta to Goodbye’ and Bobby Wade’s ‘Blind Over You.'”

  • Related news item entitled “Gil Music Into Soul” from Billboard‘s October 17, 1970 edition:

“Gil Music, headed by veteran publisher George Pincus noted for easy listening hits such as ‘A Taste of Honey’ and ‘Calcutta,’ is invading the soul music field.  The firm is scoring with disks by Carolyn Franklin on RCA Records, ‘All I Want to Be Is Your Woman’; Little Richard on Reprise Records, ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ and the Manhattans on DeLuxe Records, ‘From Atlanta to Goodbye.'”

  • “From Atlanta to Goodbye” entered Billboard‘s Top 50 Soul Singles chart at the #48 position on October 31, 1970.
  • “From Atlanta to Goodbye” also reached the #7 position on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart on October 10, 1970, while Record World listed the song at the #12 spot on its Singles Coming Up chart.

AUDIO LINK for “Hey America” by James Brown

peaked at #105 on December 12, 1970 [King]

  • Co-written by Nat Jones and Addie Williams (Jones), “Hey America” was predicted by Billboard to reach the Pop Top 60 in their December 12, 1970Spotlightsingle review:  “Brown swings back to his message lyrics and this one is set to a driving rock beat loaded with Hot 100 and Soul chart potency.  Much of the potential of his recent ‘Super Bad’.”
  • “Hey America” reached #27 on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending December 26, 1970.
  • “Hey America” also reached the #43 position of Record World‘s R&B Singles chart for the week ending December 26, 1970.
  • Billboard reviewed the Hey America Christmas album (cover by Dan Quest) exactly one week later:  “Here is a delightful blend of Christmas and Soul, packaged the way only Soul Brother No. [1] could do it.  Into his inimitable soul format, Brown has woven messages of peace, love and happiness that are applicable, not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.  The material here is all original, written by Nat Jones.”
  • Billboard also reviewed in that same issue Bobby Byrd’s King album, I Need Help,  (two spaces to the left of Hey America):  “From the James Brown Show and the original Famous Flames comes singer-organist Bobby Byrd, who broke the soul market wide open with his ‘I Need Help‘ hit.  Byrd sounds like he’s in for a big run as a top soul attraction with a distinct, but popular brand of funk to make his ‘You Got to Change Your Mind,’ ‘You Got to Have a Job‘ and ‘Hangups We Don’t Need‘ successive hits.”

When’s the Last time you’ve seen a King 45 picture sleeve?

Everyone Sing along  — C’mon, it’s good for you

“Hey America” world tour

Belgium — 1971                                             France — 1971

Germany — 1971                                             Italy — 1972

Lebanon — 1972                                               Portugal — 1971

Jamaica — 1970                                              Turkey — 1972

AUDIO LINK for “I Know You Got Soul” by Bobby Byrd

peaked at #117 on June 26, 1971 [King]

  • Co-written with Charles Bobbitt and James Brown, “I Know You Got Soul” — predicted by Billboard on May 15. 1971 “to reach the Soul Singles chart” — in fact, made it all the way to #30 on Billboard‘s Soul chart on July 10, 1971.
  • “I Know You Got Soul” also reached the #24 position on Cash Box‘s Top 60 R&B chart on July 24, 1971 (not to mention the #23 spot on their “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart in that same issue).
  • Thanks to 45Cat’s RogerFoster for providing this review of “I Know You Got Soul” b/w “If You Don’t Work, You Don’t Eat” from the June 23, 1971 edition of UK’s Blues and Soul:  “More of that infectious James Brown beat, with the music being supplied by the man’s own band, the J.B.’s.  In fact, both sides have been hits for Bobby in the States and they are both ultra-funky dance items in the ‘I Need Help’ vein.  If anything, the top [i.e., A] side is stronger than ‘I Need Help’.  The rhythm, as always, is the dominant factor and this is something that James specializes in.  A big R&B record that won’t go ‘pop’.”

A-side of 4-song UK 12-inch release — 1988

AUDIO LINK for “A Million to One” by The Manhattans

peaked at #114 on May 27, 1972 [DeLuxe]

  • “A Million to One” is also the title track of their second album for Starday-King released on the newly-revived DeLuxe subsidiary label.
  • Ed Ochs would report on March 11, 1972 in his “Soul Sauce” column for Billboard that “Starday King has landed Ben E. King and the Vibrations.”  Also, this just in: “The Manhattans’ ‘A Million to One’ is still strong in the song”

Part of full-page King ad (pg. 43) — 12/11/71 issue of Record World

Click on image above to view in high resolution

AUDIO LINK for “One Life to Love” by The Manhattans

peaked at #102 on October 21, 1972 [DeLuxe]

  • “One Life to Love” reached the #68 position on Record World‘s Top 100 Singles chart for the week ending November 18, 1972.
  • Cash Box‘s November 22, 1980 issue includes a lengthy biographical profile most likely underwritten by Columbia in celebration of their first gold single for “Big Red” after leaving Starday-King:

“Early in 1972, The Manhattans recorded ‘A Million To One,’ written by Teddy Randazzo, whose publishing was handled by Hermi Hanlin.  The group was looking for new management at the time, and after ‘Million To One’ charted, Hanlin took over.  The group soon found itself in King’s studio in Macon, Ga. [i.e., Bobby Smith Studios] cutting its second Deluxe LP, A Million To One, with Bob Riley producing.  It resulted in another big hit with the single ‘One Life To Live,’ written by Lovett.  Although its records were charting regularly in the R&B field, pop success remained too elusive.  ‘One Life To Live’ caught the attention of Columbia’s Mickey Eichner, and as King Records was in its death throes, he brought the group to Columbia late in 1972.”

  • Elsewhere in that same profile, longtime friend, Rob Riley, looks back on a long career:

“The Manhattans were very much into what I commonly refer to as “my kind of music,” the ballad — filled with that old street corner churchy harmony.  I had listened to them for years on Jo Evans’ Carnival Records.  But in 1972, there we were, face-to-face in the Starday-King‘s Records office in Nashville, Tenn.

My normal function with King had been strictly national R&B promotion.  That particular morning, Hal Neely, the president, had requested that I make certain I was in the city for I was to meet with The Manhattans and their manager, Hermi Hanlin.

I walked in expecting to meet another cocky group with a manager full of ‘why nots’ and ‘how comes.’  My notes were ready to cover the last single release, ‘A Million to One,’ the ‘why nots’ and ‘how comes.’  Instead, here sat five guys smiling and an oval-faced jovial female who immediately said, ‘Okay, Bob Riley, when do we start cutting our first record?’  It was a challenge – more in jest.  Although I had produced some Joe Henderson, Joe Tex, and a couple of Midnighter sides along the way, I thought what kind of joke is this?  Me, Bob Riley producing The Manhattans!

But this is what Hal and Hermi had agreed upon prior to my arrival.  Immediately, it was a warm and open thing which seemed to flow among the seven of us — the five Manhattans, Hermi and myself.  We actually forgot Hal was there for a few minutes as we talking about many things, mostly outside the realm of music.

It was agreed that I was to take the group down to Macon, Ga. to King’s other studio which was handled by Bobby Smith, the actual discoverer of Otis Redding.  The session became a team effort with the greater position of the input flowing around through Blue, Hermi and myself.  The session produced a good album, out of which came one hit song, ‘One Life to Live.’

AUDIO LINK for “Back Up” by The Manhattans

peaked at #107 on February 24, 1973 [DeLuxe]

  • Julian Coleman, in his “Soul Sauce” column for Billboard, picked “Back Up” as one of the “Picks and Plays” for the week of January 6, 1973.
  • “Back Up” entered Billboard‘s Soul Singles chart at #46 on January 13, 1973, climbed up to #41 the following week, made it to #24 by February 10, 1973, and then inched up to #20 the week after (there the chart trail goes cold).
  • “Back Up” peaked at #18 on Cash Box‘s R&B Top 65 chart on March 3, 1973.
  • After The Manhattans signed with Columbia in 1973, Starday-King released two more singles on DeLuxe, with the final one — “Do You Ever” — reviewed in the August 11, 1973 edition of Record World, who deemed it a “Hit of the Week”:  “Group established themselves as crossover giants with their last outing [Columbia’s] ‘There’s No Me Without You.’  Their old label releases this ballad and the outcome could spell h-i-t.  We’ll take Manhattans!”

Other 1/2 of Dec 71 Record Mirror ad — new Starday-King subsidiary, Mpingo

Click on image above to view in ultra-high resolution

  • Review of Mpingo’s debut 45 — “Nobody” by Hodges, James, Smith & Crawford — in the January 1, 1972 issue of Record World:  “Mickey Stevenson’s new label has a super strong soul side as its first release.  Powerful vocal work by new girl group gives it real hit potential.  Watch out!”

H  O  N  O  R  A  B  L  E      M  E  N  T  I  O  N

AUDIO LINK for “60 Minute Man” by The Untouchables

peaked at #104 on October 7, 1960 [Madison]

“Here’s a new version of ‘Sixty Minute Man’ that swings even more than the original Dominoes record did.  It could be a hit again.”

AUDIO LINK for “Twistin’ Fever” [B-side?] by The Marcels

peaked at #103 on March 1, 1962 [Colpix]

  • “Twistin’ Fever” was a “Regional Breakout” single in the Hartford area, as reported in Billboard‘s March 31, 1962 edition.
  • Cash Box‘s 45 review in their April 7, 1962 edition assumes “Twistin’ Fever” to be the B-side:

THE MARCELS (Colpix 629)

(2:19) [Wemar BMI —
Elias, Reid, Richards] Guys who put
“Blue Moon” and some other standards
on the teen map with their
whacky chant style offer an exciting
teen sound here. Lead and fellow
songsters do a very slick job on the
first-rate item, and they’re supported
by a strong Latinish instrumental
sound. Can be another chart go for the

(B-f) “TWISTIN’ FEVER” (2:05)
[St. Louis BMI — Blackwell,
Scott] Old ditty gets a sly, grow-on-you
twist reading. Should also be eyed.

AUDIO LINK for “Fever” by Alvin Robinson

peaked at #108 on September 19, 1964 [Red Bird]

  • Alvin Robinson’s version of the King classic was a “Regional Breakout” single in Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Charlotte & Houston, as reported in Billboard‘s September 19, 1964 edition.

AUDIO LINK for “Sixty Minute Man” by Trammps

peaked at #108 on October 7, 1972 [Buddah]

  • Trammps’ proto-soul-flavored version of “Sixty Minute Man” was a Pop singles pick in Billboard‘s September 23, 1972 edition.
  • In February of 1975, the single would reach the Top 40 in the UK.

AUDIO LINK for “Let’s Go Let’s Go Let’s Go” by The Chambers Brothers

peaked at #106 on March 16, 1974 [Avco]

B  O  N  U  S      B  U  B  B  L  I  N  G      U  N  D  E  R :

F R A T E R N I T Y   &   L O N N I E   M A C K

Here are the 45s that “bubbled under” Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart from Fraternity, Cincinnati’s other notable “indie” label from the original roots rock era.  Founded by Harry Carlson in 1954, Fraternity was a “one-man operation” that did business out of Carlson’s office/residence in Cincinnati’s old Sheraton Gibson Hotel.  Carlson sold Fraternity in 1975 to Counterpart RecordsShad O’Shea, who later sold Fraternity to Victor Piagneri in 2008 “with the promise that he would keep the labels active,” according to Big Boppa‘s Fraternity labels and company sleeves website.

AUDIO LINK for “Book Of Love” by Bobby Bare (Fraternity 878)

peaked at #106 on May 29, 1961

  • Billboard‘s review in their April 10, 1961 edition:  “A big, big ballad gets a mighty convincing vocal from Bare over a soaring string and choral group accompaniment   Flip is ‘Lorena‘.”
  • “Book of Love” – a 45 that enjoyed release in Australia, also somehow ended up (licensed?) that same year on a Swedish EP, whose wild cover image makes promises that the music in no way can come close to delivering.

1961 EP — Sweden

AUDIO LINK for “What Kind Of Girl (Do You Think I Am)” by The Charmaines

peaked at #117 on September 18, 1961 (Fraternity 880)

“The Charmaines were a soul girl trio.  Sisters Marian (who used the name Gigi on some of the records) and Jerri Jackson had sung together, but at the start of the girl group sound in 1959/60,  Marian started a trio with Irene Vinegar and Dee Watkins.  The group was signed to Fraternity records and started recording at King studios.  They released two 45s on Fraternity, with the second one, “What Kind Of Girl” being their highest charting record, although only making it to #117 in the Billboard [Bubbling Under] charts.  They had a one shot 45 on Dot before returning to Fraternity.

While recording their own 45s, the sessions included other local musicians like Kenny Smith and most notably, Lonnie Mack, who got his big break thanks to a Charnaines session that finished early, allowing him time to record ‘Memphis.’.[which peaked at #12 on Billboard‘s R&B Singles chart]”

(Fraternity 880)

(Do You Think I Am)”
(2:22) [B. F. Wood ASCAP — Seneca, Steward]
Gals display lots of rhythmic-rock polish,
and are backed by an infectious combo arrangement.
Upbeat sound that might make the chart grade.

(B-h) “ALL YOU GOTTA DO” (2:14) [Dorsey ASCAP — Starr, Kahn]
The larks move quickly again, and come-up with
more catchy teen doings.

Fraternity Recordings — Ace UK anthology (2019)

AUDIO LINK for “Where There’s A Will” [B-side] by Lonnie Mack

peaked at #113 on October 30, 1963 (Fraternity 918)

  • The Charmaines provide backing vocals on “Where There’s a Will” as well as the flip side, “Baby What’s Wrong.”  According to PragueFrank, these two sides were recorded at the same 1963 King Studios session as “Wham!” and “Suzie-Q,” where Lonnie Mack was assisted by Wayne Bullock [bass], Ron Grayson [drums], Irv Rusetto [sax], and Marv Lieberman [sax], with Carl Edmondson serving as producer.
  • 45Cat’s Juke Jules points to the 1959 recording by The Five Blind Boys (Vee Jay) as the inspiration for Mack’s version.
  • “Where There’s a Will” also reached #27 on Cash Box‘s Singles – Looking Ahead chart for the week ending December 28, 1963.
  • Billboard’s November 9, 1963 “Pop Spotlight” review tags “Where There’s a Will,” however, as the B-side:  “The ‘Memphis’ man, Lonnie Mack, enters the singer’s ring on this side culled from this current LP,  [‘Baby What’s Wrong‘] is a Jimmy Reed blues that has strong sell and swing.  The flip is ‘Where There’s a Will’.”
  • Gibson Guitars relays this amusing related anecdote in a tribute piece entitled “Unsung Guitar Hero — Lonnie Mack:  “Mack’s staggering soulfulness is clearly on display on ballads like ‘I’ll Keep You Happy,’ ‘Why,’ and ‘Where There’s a Will There’s a Way’—Lonnie’s third Fraternity single and a tune that received airplay on black radio stations, including one in Birmingham, Alabama, until Lonnie arrived one day for an interview and revealed he was white.”
  • “Baby What’s Wrong” (the A-side) peaked at #93 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart.

1964 — Australia (“A Fraternity Recording from U.S.A.”)

AUDIO LINK for “Lonnie on the Move” by Lonnie Mack

peaked at March 7, 1964 (Fraternity 920)

  • Cash Box‘s singles review in their February 15, 1964 issue:  “The versatile vocalist-instrumentalist can get back in the chart swing-of-things with his newest for Fraternity.  It’s a frantic, hard-driving all-instrumental affair, tabbed ‘Lonnie On The Move,’ that can go the ‘Memphis’-‘Wham!’ smash route.  The easy-on-the-ears beat-ballad romantic shuffler,[Ray Pennington’s] ‘Say Something Nice To Me‘ displays Lonnie’s winning vocal way.”
  • Cash Box‘s March 7, 1964 edition reported that “Lonnie on the Move” was in a group of 45s that were “going strongly” with “juke box ops [operators]” even though “not on Cash Box‘s Top 100″ — also listed at #41 on Cash Box‘s Singles – Looking Ahead chart.that same week.
  • According to Led Zeppelin biographer, Mick Wall, prior to Zep’s first ever rehearsal, Jimmy Page played for John Bonham “a single called ‘Lonnie on the Move’.  It’s like ‘Turn On Your Lovelight‘ [by Bobby Bland] as an instrumental, and it’s got this drumming that’s really super hooligan [and] I said, ‘This is the kind of angle I’m coming in at’.”
  • “Lonnie on the Move” has been part of Jeff Beck’s live repertoire in recent years, as these YouTube performance clips indicate.
  • The YouTube contributor who uploaded the above audio clip indicates the vocal contributions of The Charmaines.

1970 B-side on the short-lived (and mysterious) Buccaneer label

AUDIO LINK for “I’ve Had It” by Lonnie Mack

peaked at #128 on May 2, 1964 (Fraternity 925)

  • Billboard cited “I’ve Had It” to be a Regional Breakout single in Cincinnati, as reported in their May 9, 1964 edition.
  • Originally recorded by The Bell Notes in 1959 [#6 Pop & #19 R&B], “I’ve Had It” has also been paid tribute by Fanny, and Alex Chilton.
  • According to PragueFrank, the early 1964 recording session that produced “Lonnie on the Move,” “I’ve Had It,” “From Me to You” and four other songs was the first time Mack had recorded anywhere other than King Studios — in this case, RCA Victor Studio in Nashville.
  • “I’ve Had It’ reached #34 on Cash Box‘s Singles – Looking Ahead chart for the week ending May 16, 1964.
  • Cash Box‘s June 6, 1964 edition reported that “I’ve Had It” was “going strongly” with “juke box ops [operators]” even though “not on Cash Box‘s Top 100″ chart.

1964 single – Canada

AUDIO LINK for “A Public Execution” by Mouse

peaked at #121 on February 26, 1966 (Fraternity 956)

  • Record World‘s review in their February 19, 1966 issue as a “four-star” singles pick:  “Well done protest type song.  Mouse will get the cheese with.  Lyrics capture imagination.”
  • “A Public Execution” entered Cash Box‘s Top 50 Singles – Looking Ahead” chart at the #50 position on March 12, 1966 and reached the #27 spot two weeks later.
  • “Execution” also reached #5 on Record World‘s “Singles Coming Up” chart for the week ending March 5, 1966.
  • Mouse is short for Mouse & the Traps, garage rockers from Tyler, Texas.
  • “Public Execution” enjoyed a second life thanks to Lenny Kaye’s decision to include the recording on the original 2-LP Nuggets garage rock retrospective released in 1972 (reissued in 1976 on Sire before getting the 4-CD box set treatment in 1998).

AUDIO LINK for “Heart” by 2 of Clubs

peaked at #125 on October 8, 1966 (Fraternity 972)

“Linda is from Cincinnati and I’m from Covington, Kentucky, just across the Ohio River,” says Patti.  “There was at the time a very popular nightspot called Guys & Dolls.  Linda and I each worked there, but not together at first. Singing at Guys & Dolls was my first paying job.  Before that I performed anywhere a band was willing to let me get up and sing.  Some were sort of bad news places, and at first I wasn’t even old enough to be in them.  Ben Kraft, who owned Guys & Dolls, heard about me from people who’d seen me perform. He came to listen to me, liked what he heard and hired me. At some point, it was discovered that Linda’s voice and mine blended together really well, and we decided to become a duo.  Linda was married to Carl Edmondson, who headed up the house band.”

  • One 45Cat contributor reports that this debut 45 was a “sizeable hit in the Albany, NY market (#2), held out of the top by The Royal Guardsmen” and then asks “where else did this do better locally than nationally?”  Answer:  Cincinnati, where “Heart” was a Regional Breakout single, as reported in the October 15, 1966 issue of Billboard.
  • Spectropop also reports that “Heart” was recorded at King Studios and “reached the Top 10 in places like Chicago.”
  • Billboard‘s November 19, 1966 edition found “Heart” included on its “Spotlight” list of 45s “predicted to reach the Hot 100.”
  • “Heart” also reached #21 on Cash Box‘s Singles – Looking Ahead chart, as well as #22 on Record World‘s Singles Look Up chart in October of 1966.

Debut 45 — Germany

AUDIO LINK for “How Long Has It Been” by The Casinos

peaked at #121 on June 17, 1967 (Fraternity 987)

  • The Casinos started out as The Legends, a teenage doo wop group whose members had attended Woodward High School, according to White Doo-Wop Collector music history blog.
  • Billboard‘s review in their June 17, 1967 edition:  “The well-blended vocal group should ride high on the charts with this top rhythm ballad.  Has the feel and sales appeal of their big one ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.’  Powerful entry.  Flip: ‘Forever And a Day’.”
  • Excerpt from Record World article entitled, “Fraternity’s Big Comeback Story,” published in their February 4, 1967 issue:

“The show business fraternity has always loved a comeback story, and none is being more warmly received today than that of Harry Carlson and his Cincinnati-based Fraternity Records.

Currently racking up hefty sales on two singles, ‘Walk Tall,’ by the 2 of Clubs, and ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye,’ by The Casinos, Carlson told Record World last week that it has been about 10 years since his label had a real hit:  Jimmy Dorsey’s ‘So Rare.’  Now, however, things are really swinging for Fraternity and Carlson has just singed four new artists:  Danny Scholl, Cal Starr, Kitty West and Chris St. John.

‘All our artists are signed to long-term contracts,’ noted Carlson.
Furthermore, the company is about to bring out four new albums featuring the Casinos, who have signed with Premier Talent, the 2 of Clubs, Lonnie Mack and Cal Starr.  ‘This is the first time we’ve had in release more than one LP at a time,’ Carlson further revealed.

Carlson attributes much of the success they are having with ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye’ to the Acuff-Rose publishers of the John D. Loudermilk tune.  ‘They’ve given me greater support than anyone else in this business ever got.  For example, on one Friday, there were three areas in which I needed help; on Monday, Acuff-Rose sent promo men into the area.’

The song had been discovered by producer Glen Hughes (following a few recordings of it that failed to click) who then started using it in clubs.”

  • Carlson, noted Shad O’Shea in Greg Evans’ history of “The Cincinnati Sound” for Cincinnati Magazine, “really was loved by the entire record industry worldwide.”  Glen Hughes of The Casinos (and later Glen Hughes Promotion out of Nashville) enthuses unabashedly that Carlson “was one of the sweetest, kindest men in the world, like a father to everyone who recorded for him.  You hear about musicians in those days didn’t receive all their royalties?  I honestly think Harry overpaid us — he was worried about us not getting our fair share.”
  • Glen Hughes reveals in that same 1986 Cincinnati Magazine piece how their Top Ten hit was a spontaneous decision in the studio (like “Tequilaby The Champs)  when confronted with time to fill at the group’s King recording session:

“I had originally heard ‘They You Can Tell Me Goodbye’ on a Nashville station.  It was sung by Johnny Nash, and we had no idea of recording it — we just thought it would be a good song to play in clubs.  We kept getting a tremendous response from it, and requests for it.

One day we were recording a jingle for WSAI at King, and we had some time left on the session, so we cut ‘Goodbye.’  We took it to Harry Carlson and he said ‘I believe that’s a hit.’  The song, released in December of 1966, was a hit, reaching number four on the Billboard charts and selling 1.3 million copies.  The group which contained as many as nine members, mostly old neighborhood friends from Over-the-Rhine, began touring the country, spurred on by the success of the single.”

“How Long Has It Been” — not included on The Casinos’ 1967 LP

AUDIO LINK for “Sometimes You Just Can’t Win” by Mouse and the Traps

peaked at #125 on June 8, 1968 (Fraternity 1005)

  • Tragedy befell the band around the time they were promoting this single, as Billboard reported in their April 27, 1968 edition in an ironic news item entitled, “Ya Jes’ Can’t Always Win:

“CINCINNATI—The Mouse and the Traps, who recently scored handily with their ‘L.O.V.E.‘ single on Harry Carlson’s Fraternity label, suffered the loss of some $9,000 in equipment recently when their car and trailer went off the road and overturned near Jackson, Tenn., while on the hop from Texarkana, Ark. to Louisville.  With borrowed instruments, the group appeared on the ‘Upbeat’ TV-er in Cleveland the next day.  The boys feel the loss incurred in the accident ties in neatly with their latest Fraternity release, ‘Sometimes You Just Can’t Win,’ which last week received its first big play in the Midwest area.”

  • Cash Box‘s review in their April 27, 1968 issue:  “Coming off a noise-maker with ‘L.O.V.E.’ the group carries on in a heavy pop ballad with arrangements that highlight a fine lead vocal.  Flip:  ‘Cryin’ Inside‘.”
  • Billboard‘s June 1, 1968 edition reports “the platter showing exceptionally well in Louisville; Columbus, Ohio, and Dallas” — those same three areas cited in a  Record World May 18, 1968 news item.

US picture sleeve — 1967

Singing aloud is therapeutic, you know — rear sleeve

Primary source for Billboard “Bubbling Under” chart info:

US Hot 100 Bubbling Under

Friendly Reminder:  Zero to 180 best viewed on a big screen – not smart phone

Birth of The JB’s @ King Records

The two-volume King Labels recording sessions discography (i.e., “the red books“) compiled by Michael Ruppli with assistance from Bill Daniels, can be frustratingly incomplete, especially with regard to musician credits.  Although this reference source is a great starting point, scholars of James Brown funk are forced to do quite a bit of digging on their own in order to piece together a more complete history.

Your ears might tell you, for instance, that William “Bootsy” Collins played bass on “Licking Stick,” a song first released as a two-part King 45 in May, 1968.

> AUDIO LINK for “Licking Stick Licking Stick (Pt. 1)”
James Brown and the Famous Flames (1968)

This classic funk bass riff, you might be startled to learn, was played by future Nashville session musician, Tim Drummond — one of six musicians who accompanied Mr. Brown on a Vietnam tour that same year.  “Licking Stick” would also be issued as a single track on 1969’s Say It Loud I’m Black And I’m Proud album.

Spain & Germany — 1968                               France — 1968       

Musician credits, however, are absent on the original gatefold LP release — a common occurrence with King.  This kind of information would not become more widely known until decades later, when these recordings were reissued on compact disc, with some of the better anthologies including detailed liner notes.

Say It Loud‘s barren back cover, information-wise

Bootsy first appears in Ruppli’s King Records discography — along with his brother Phelps “Catfish” Collins — as part of the studio backing band on an undated 1969 session (possibly July) for Hank Ballard‘s “Butter Your Popcorn:

> AUDIO LINK for “Butter Your Popcorn
Hank Ballard (1969)

According to Ruppli’s session notes —

Hank Ballard:  Vocals
Don Martin:  Drums
William Collins:  Bass
Phelps Collins:  Guitar
Clayton Garnell:  Piano
Robert McCallum:  Tenor Sax

“Butter Your Popcorn” was originally released as a 45 track only and not included on Ballard’s You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down LP released the previous year.  Subsequent reissue in the UK in 2008 would see the song included as a bonus track.  “Butter Your Popcorn” can also be found on Ace UK’s seminal anthology, King Funk.

“Butter Your Popcorn” test pressing

Sold at auction for $72 in 2012


What Ruppli doesn’t tell you, however, is that Bootsy, Catfish and the other members of The Pacesetters* had been enlisted earlier to back Bill Doggett on what would be the A-side of a King 45 – “Honky Tonk Popcorn” – recorded on June 4, 1969 at (what is assumed to be) Cincinnati’s King Studios and released that same month:

> AUDIO LINK for “Honky Tonk Popcorn
Bill Doggett (1969)

As R.J. Smith writes in On the One, his biography of James Brown:

Henry Glover started hiring the band [i.e., The Pacesetters* — Frank “Kash” Waddy (drums), Phillippé Wynne (vocals), Robert “Chopper” McCullough (saxophone), and Clayton “Chicken” Gunnels & Darryl “Hasaan” Jamison (trumpet)] on sessions, including an Arthur Prysock record and Bill Doggett’s contribution to popcornography, “Honky Tonk Popcorn.”

                US — Jun 1969                          King LP – art by Dan Quest

Check out this full-page ad in the September 6, 1969 edition of Billboard placed by Starday-King on behalf of James Brown’s then-current single “World (Pts. 1 & 2)” that also name-checks five other “red hot sizzling” King 45s, including both Hank Ballard’s “Butter Your Popcorn” and Bill Doggett’s “Honky Tonk Popcorn.”

R.J. Smith’s tip (thank you!) leads me to a May 13, 1969 session at Cincinnati’s King Studios for Arthur Prysock that lists no musician credits for the four songs recorded that day, all but one included on 1969’s Where the Soul Trees Grow album produced by Henry Glover, who also wrote the title track that kicks off the LP:

> AUDIO LINK for “Where the Soul Trees Grow
Arthur Prysock (1969)

Is that Bootsy and other members of The Pacesetters* backing Arthur Prysock on  “Where the Soul Trees Grow“; “Soul Soliloquy” & “If I Were Young Again” [plus one unissued track “Let’s Talk Things Over“]?  “Soul Soliloquy” b/w “Soul Trees” (both, in fact, penned by Henry Glover) were released as a King single, with a promo 45 issued June 1969, according to 45Cat.  This album review from the November 22, 1969 edition of Billboard notes “Prysock’s move to the King label” and opines that this LP’s mix of “contemporary and standard songs demonstrates why he is one of the best singers around.”

Promo 45 — June 1969                                   King LP

The rest of the album, as it turns out, was recorded at another session that took place on June 16, 1969 at Cincinnati’s King Studios.  Ruppli’s session notes list 9 songs recorded that day (though no musician credits), with a re-worked uptempo “Fever” being one of the standout tracks.  Did members of The Pacesetters* play on both session dates for the Arthur Prysock album?

> AUDIO LINK for “Fever
Arthur Prysock (1969)

*                    *                    *

*Name Check:  Pacesetters or Pacemakers?

You will see this group of Cincinnati musicians referred to as either The Pacesetters or The Pacemakers — so which is it?  I have to go with Don MartinBootsy Collins, and FrankKashWaddy who all say The Pacemakers.

Hold on a second, some funk scholars would assert — these Cincinnati musicians actually entered the picture back in 1967, thanks to songwriter (and future King A&R executive), Charles Spurling, whose “The Boy Needs a Girl” for Junior McCants was his initial connection to King Records.  Charles Waring provides the back story about Spurling, who grew up in Lincoln Heights and was part of a gang whose rivals were The Isley Brothers:

More importantly, perhaps, Spurling was allowed to cut his own records for the company, and issued five singles, of which the driving, Motown-esque “She Cried Just A Minute”—released in 1967—has achieved cult status on the UK’s Northern Soul scene.  (Original copies of the 45 can exchange hands for three hundred dollars.)  Says Spurling about the song’s inspiration: “I had this woman, and every time I wanted to make love, she said, ‘Just a minute.’  She was always putting me on hold.  So I decided to write a song about it.  That’s a true story.  She was the same girl that inspired ‘Ball Of Fire,’” as recorded by Connie Austin and Marva Whitney.

Backing up Spurling on the session was a teenage group he had discovered in Cincinnati that included bassist Bootsy Collins and his brother Catfish on guitar.  They would later become [The Pacemakers] and, in 1970, the nucleus of James Brown’s backing band, the JB’s.  “I was riding through town and I heard these guys practicing,” recollects Spurling.  “I just stopped, parked, and listened to them.  And I said to myself, ‘All these guys need is a little bit of coaching.’  So then I went in, introduced myself, and sat down and listened to them.  They was at their mother’s home.  We ended up on the road for three years.”  When Syd Nathan asked Spurling to assemble a studio house band for King, the singer-songwriter knew who to call up:  “I said, ‘Mr. Nathan, I know some guys who had been with me for three years.  We’re tight and they’ll play anything.’  He said, ‘I’ll leave it up to you because if they play like you, these guys are good.’  So then I went and found Bootsy and them.”

Spurling used another Ohio band, Dayton’s The Untouchables, on some King sessions—they later morphed into The Ohio Players—and also nurtured a white band called The Dapps, which James Brown took under his wing.

Is it true (as Chuck Da Fonk and Charlie Fishman declare) that The Pacemakers’ first session at the King Studios was when they provided musical support for Charles Spurling on “That Woman,” recorded in early November 1967 along with its flip side “Which One”?

> AUDIO LINK for “That Woman
Charles Spurling (1969)

Would love to know who backed Charles Spurling on this classic slice of soul, but unfortunately, the King recording session info (page 392 of Ruppli) is bereft of even a recording date, as you can see:

(Click on image to view in High Resolution)

Fortunately, drummer Don Martin was at this session, and he was able to confirm with Zero to 180 these musician credits:

Charles Spurling:  Vocals
Unknown:  Backing Vocals
Don Martin:  Drums
William Collins:  Bass
Phelps Collins:  Guitar
Artie Sherman:  Piano

Artie Sherman would later become part of Midnight Blue, a Chicago outfit that has served as backing band for Buddy Guy, Jimmy Vaughn, and Aaron Neville, according to Discogs.

Bootsy’s next entry in the Ruppli sessionography is one that somehow escaped the book’s index — an uncredited appearance that is a bit of an oddball situation.  That is, on page 427 you will find a listing for “More Mess on My Thing (Pt. 1 & 2)” by a group identified as The New Dapps but who we now know (thanks to these musician credits) to be The J.B.’s.  Ruppli indicates that a single — King 6271 — was issued, and yet, no evidence exists of any releases whatsoever by a group called The New Dapps.  Even stranger, check out this 45 Discography for King Records – 6000 Series and notice that the entry for King 6271 is a duplicate listing of its neighbor, 6272!

50 years later (this past November 29th, to be exact), “More Mess on My Thing” would finally be liberated, thanks to Now-Again Records, whose liner notes (by noted James Brown historian, Alan Leeds) indicate the recording to have been made at Cincinnati’s King Studios on July 2, 1969.  How exhilarating to hear Bootsy, through sheer determination and the ferocity of his playing, will the musicians – who initially drop out at the 4:40 mark – back into the performance (after James Brown counts the band in) for one final musical burst:

> AUDIO LINK for “More Mess on My Thing
The J.B.’s (1969)

Musician credits according to Discogs

Don JuanTigerMartin:  Drums
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Robert “ChopperMcCollough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer
James Brown:  Composer (& Coach)

The remaining months of 1969 and into the first few months of the new decade would see various players occupy the bassist chair, including the aforementioned “Sweet” Charles Sherrill, as well as West Coast session musicians, Ray Brown and Bob West, plus various collaborations with Cincinnati-area musicians, including Lee Tucker of The Dee Felice Trio.

Bootsy next appears in Ruppli’s sessionography on the legendary “Sex Machine” session that took place April 25, 1970 at Starday-King’s Nashville studios.  This session yielded the “Sex Machine” recording released as a two-part King 45 in June 1970:

> AUDIO LINK for “Get Up I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine (Pt. 1)”
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits According to Ruppli —

James Brown:  Vocals
JohnJaboStarks:  Drums
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
RobertChopperMcCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet

“Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine (Part 1)” — a #2 R&B hit that also peaked at #15 on the Pop chart on August 8, 1970 — enjoyed a chart run that lasted 9 weeks.

France — 1970                                           Spain — 1974

Germany — Aug 1970                                          Japan — Nov 1973

US – June 1970

May 20, 1970 found The J.B.’s making their first solo recording – “The Grunt” – at Cincinnati’s King Studios, a two-part 45 released on the heels of “Sex Machine” (and whose opening sounds would be famously sampled on “Rebel Without a Pause” by Public Enemy):

> AUDIO LINK for “The Grunt (Pts. 1 & 2)”
The J.B.’s (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

FrankKashWaddy:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Piano
Robert McCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnels:  Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet
James Brown:  Producer
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer

Billboard, in its August 8, 1970 edition, would select “The Grunt” as part of that week’s Top 20 Soul Spotlights “predicted to reach the Top 20 of the Top Selling R&B Singles Chart.”

US 45 — July 1970                                      French B-side — 1972

That same May 20, 1970 Cincinnati session also produced a gospel recording by vocalist Kay Robinson, who enjoyed musical support from members of The J.B.’s on “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow:

> AUDIO LINK for “The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow (Pts. 1 & 2)”
Kay Robinson (1970)

“The Lord Will Make a Way Somehow (Pts. 1 & 2)”     Kay Robinson     1970

Musician credits according to Ruppli —

Kay Robinson:  Vocals & Piano
FrankKashWaddy:  Drums
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
James Brown:  Backing Vocals
Charles Bobbitt:  Backing Vocals
Faye Pridgon:  Backing Vocals

According to the bio on Discogs:

Dr. Kay Robinson currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, and started singing at the age of 18.  She recorded for King Records and James Brown Productions.  James Brown flew her down to Cincinnati from Dayton (she was living in Springfield) for recording sessions.  Her career with James Brown Productions ended when she wouldn’t record R&B songs.

     US promo — 1970                                    New pressing — 2006

The May 20, 1970 session at the King Studios also yielded a two-part James Brown track written by David Matthews — “The Drunk” — (on which Bootsy plays bass) that was issued on King subsidiary, Bethlehem.  According to Ruppli’s notes, Part Two ended up being issued as the B-side of “A Man Has to Go Back to the Crossroads,” with Part One locked away to this day in Polydor’s vaults.

> AUDIO LINK for “The Drunk
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

WilliamBeau DollarBowman:  Drums
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
Kenny Poole:  Guitar
Frank Brown:  Trumpet
Jerry Conrad:  Trumpet
Marie Speziale:  Trumpet
Millard Dusenbury:  Trombone
Larry Dickson:  Baritone Sax
David Matthews:  Composer & Arranger

US — Jul 1970                                          Canada — 1970

The double-album set Sex Machine, meanwhile, combined studio tracks disguised to sound as stage recordings, along with actual live performances recorded in concert at Atlanta’s Bell Auditorium on October 1, 1969, with a large ensemble that featured three personnel on drums — Clyde Stubblefield, John “Jabo” Starks & Melvin Parker — plus a six-member horn section, and Charles Sherrill on bass, among others.

Ruppli’s sparse notes (no musician credits) indicate the three-song medley on side B to have been recorded in Cincinnati on July 23, 1970 (along with unissued versions of “The Boss” and “There Was a Time“) — musician credits for Sex Machine‘s medley (below) provided courtesy of this German pressing:

> AUDIO LINK for “Bewildered” [part one]

> AUDIO LINK for “I Got the Feelin’” [part two]

> AUDIO LINK for “Give It Up Or Turnit A Loose” [part three]

Musician credits taken from Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield [prob.]:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
RobertChopperMcCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet

There Was a Time” (a.k.a., “I Got to Move“), from the July 23, 1970 Cincinnati session referenced above, found freedom 25 years later as track number five on a collection of 1970 James Brown recordings that feature members of The J.B.’s, Funk Power – 1970: A Brand New Thing:

> AUDIO LINK for “There Was a Time (I Got to Move)”
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
JohnJaboStarks:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
RobertChopperMcCollough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnels:  Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer
James Brown:  Producer & Songwriter

That same Cincinnati session also produced a version of “Sex Machine” that, according to Ruppli, is the nearly 11-minute version you hear kicking off side A of the Sex Machine LP released in September of that year.  Amusing to note that Augusta, GA and Cincinnati are the first two cities name-checked by Brown in his wide-ranging roll call of US cities prior to the song’s final bridge:

> AUDIO LINK for “Sex Machine (Extended LP Version)”
James Brown (1970)


James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield [prob.]:  Drums
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
RobertChopperMcCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet

Sex Machine would peak at #29 on Billboard‘s Top 200 album chart [#4 R&B].

Brown’s next album Super Bad would give the King engineering team another opportunity to fashion a “live” album — via the superimposition of concert crowd sounds — from recordings produced at Starday-King’s studio facilities in both Cincinnati and Nashville.  “Super Bad,” the 9-minute opening title track recorded on June 30, 1970 in Nashville, is the album’s sole selection to feature The J.B.’s:

> AUDIO LINK for “Super Bad (Pts. 1-3)”
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits According to Ruppli —

James Brown:  Vocals
JohnJaboStarks:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Conga
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
RobertChopperMcCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet

“Super Bad” — a #1 R&B hit for James Brown (#13 Pop, peak date Nov. 21, 1970) — would spend a total of 10 weeks on the chart.  The Super Bad album, meanwhile, would reach as high as #4 on Billboard’s R&B chart, #61 on the Pop chart.

Germany — 1970                                           France — 1970

Iran (unofficial) — Jan 1971

At that June 30, 1970 session, The J.B.’s also laid down two of their own recordings:  **When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can” (includes musical quotations from songs by Kool & the Gang, The Meters & Jimi Hendrix) and “I’ll Ze:

> AUDIO LINK for “When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can
The J.B.’s (1970)

> AUDIO LINK for “I’ll Ze
The J.B.’s (1970)

Musician credits According to Ruppli —

James Brown:  Vocals
JohnJaboStarks:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Conga
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
RobertChopperMcCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet

NoteThese liner notes say that (1) Frank “Kash” Waddy played drums on “I’ll Ze” and (2) Clyde Stubblefield [possibly Frank “Kash” Waddy] played drums on “When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can.”

Also captured on tape at that June 30, 1970 Nashville session was a vocal tune by James Brown, with help from Bobby Byrd and backing by The J.B.’s, that was initially kept in the can — “Since You’ve Been Gone” — but has since been issued on such collections as 1988’s Motherlode and 1996’s Funk Power – 1970: A Brand New Thang:

> AUDIO LINK for “Since You’ve Been Gone
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits According to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Percussion
Bootsy Collins:  Bass
Catfish Collins:  Guitar

Ruppli’s session notes for “Since You’ve Been Gone” state “same band” as the personnel used for “Super Bad” — on which “Jabo” Starks served as the drummer, not Clyde Stubblefield — so I feel compelled to point out the discrepancy with the credits above.  Starks played drums on “When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can” & “I’ll Ze” – tracks all recorded the same day – so it stands to reason, perhaps, that he performed likewise on “Since You Been Gone.”

On September 10, 1970, The J.B.’s laid down the title track “These Are The J.B.’s.for what was intended to be their debut long-player:

> AUDIO LINK for “These Are the J.B.’s
The J.B.’s (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Percussion
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
St. Clair Pinckney:  Flute & Baritone Saxophone
Robert McCullough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnels:  Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet
James Brown:  Producer
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer

                US — Nov 1970                         Belgium (Rugby typeface) — 1971

Ruppli’s session notes indicate this recording to be part of King LP 1126, a four-song test pressing engineered by Ron Lenhoff (as previously noted) that would be shelved, once James Brown inked a new contract with Polydor, in favor of a more expansive ten-track debut album on James Brown’s People label in 1972  [By the way, that original four-song mix of These Are The J.B.’s finally saw daylight in 2014, thanks to Now-Again Records, with liner notes again by Alan Leeds — the previous year, someone had paid $1600 for a copy of the test pressing that allegedly came from the estate of Hal Neely (who directed operations for the merged Starday-King labels after Syd Nathan’s passing on behalf of new owner, Lin Broadcasting)].

$1600 test pressing (1971) for These Are the J.B.’s

Given that Myra Barnes (a.k.a., Vicki Anderson) made her recording of “Message From the Soul Sisters (Pt. 1 & 2)” at Cincinnati’s King Studios on September 10, 1970 — the same session where “These Are The J.B.’s” was recorded — it should come as no surprise to learn that The J.B.’s provided musical support:

> AUDIO LINK for “Message From the Soul Sisters (Pts. 1 & 2)”
Myra Barnes (1970)

Musician credits According to Discogs

Myra (“Vicki Anderson”) Barnes: Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield: Drums
WilliamBootsyCollins: Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins: Guitar
Bobby Byrd: Piano
St. Clair Pinckney: Baritone Sax
Robert McCollough: Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells: Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison: Trumpet

October 1, 1970 would find The J.B.’s backing James Brown on a pair of recordings made at Bobby Smith Studios in Macon, Georgia, with one of the tracks (“We Need Liberation“) locked away in the vaults never having been issued, while the other — “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing” — was held back for release until January, 1972:

> AUDIO LINK for “Talkin’ Loud and Sayin’ Nothing
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits According to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
HearlonCheeseMartin:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
St. Clair Pinckney:  Baritone Sax
RobertChopperMcCollough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet

“Talkin’ Loud (and Sayin’ Nothing)” was a #1 R&B hit (#27 Pop) that would spend 7 weeks on the chart, having peaked on March 18, 1972.

Belgium — 1972                                     Germany — 1972

But wait!   One additional recording (not mentioned in the Ruppli discography) was made at that October 1, 1970 session — a J.B.’s instrumental named “The Wedge” that only saw freedom when issued as the second track on the More Mess On My Thing album released this past November:

> AUDIO LINK for “The Wedge
The J.B.’s (1970)

2019’s More Mess On My Thing album — mixed by Mario Caldato directly from the original multi-track masters — also features a 22-minute version of **When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can” (see credits below) recorded in Nashville on June 30, 1970:

> AUDIO LINK for “When You Feel It, Grunt If You Can” [complete take]
The J.B.’s (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
FrankKashWaddy:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
RobertChopperMcCollough:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet
James Brown:  Vocals [i.e., “Right On!”s]
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer
Written by = James Brown, with help** from a few friends:
[“Chicken Strut”] = Art Neville, George Porter, Jr., Joseph Modeliste & Leo Nocentelli
[“I Was Made to Love Her”] = Hank Cosby, Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder & Sylvia Moy
[“Let the Music Take Your Mind”] = Gene Redd + Kool & The Gang
[“Power of Soul”] = Jimi Hendrix
[“Something”] = George Harrison

The first week of November, 1970 would see two big King 45s committed to tape at Cincinnati’s King Studios.  Ruppli tells us that Vicki Anderson‘s response record to “Super Bad” (penned by James Brown ) — “Super Good (Pts. 1 & 2)” — was recorded on November 3rd, while Dave Thompson, in his Funk listening guide, confirms that “Bootsy Colllins-era JBs” are the backing band on this single, as Ruppli’s notes do not contain musician credits:

> AUDIO LINK for “Super Good (Pts. 1 & 2)
Vicki Anderson (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

Vicki Anderson:  Lead Vocals
James Brown:  Backing Vocals [Comments]
JohnJaboStarks:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
HearlonCheeseMartin:  Guitar
Robert McCollough:  Tenor Sax
St. Clair Pinckney:  Baritone Sax
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet
JeroneJasaan SanfordMelson:  Trumpet

US — 1970                                              France — 1970

Nigeria — 197?

Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved (Pts. 1 & 2)” —  a #4 R&B (#34 Pop) hit that spent a total of 8 weeks on the charts, having peaked on February 6, 1971 — was also recorded in early November at King Studios:

> AUDIO LINK for “Get Up, Get Into It, Get Involved
James Brown (1970)

Musician credits according to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
HearlonCheeseMartin:  Guitar
RobertChopperMcCollough:  Tenor Sax
St. Clair Pinckney:  Baritone Sax
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer
James Brown:  Producer

Germany — Feb 1971                           Norway — Feb 1971

Ruppli’s session notes also identifies five tracks recorded at the King Studios on November 5, 1970 by James Brown (backed by a group of unnamed musicians) that remain unissued:  “All the King’s Men” (a name later used for Maceo Parker’s own band) and “I’ll Be There” (presumably, a version of that year’s big Jackson 5 hit), plus three recordings of no fixed title.  Could this Untitled Instrumental (taken from 1988’s Motherlode funk compilation) be one of those unnamed recordings from the session at the King Studios on November 5, 1970?

> AUDIO LINK for Untitled Instrumental
James Brown (1970)

January 26, 1971 would find James Brown at Washington, DC’s Rodel Studios, with “Soul Power” being one of the key recordings captured that day.  Ruppli neglects to mention, however, that The J.B.’s provided musical support on these tracks:

> AUDIO LINK for “Soul Power
James Brown (1971)

Musician credits according to Discogs

James Brown:  Lead Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Backing Vocals
JohnJaboStarks:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Roach:  Guitar
St. Clair Pinckney:  Tenor Sax
Fred Wesley:  Trombone
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet

“Soul Power” reached as high as #4 on the R&B chart (#29 Pop) and spent 9 weeks on the charts, having peaked on April 3, 1971.

Germany — Apr 1971                                     France — 1971

Iran (Unofficial) — 197?

Zero to 180 asked DC’s Dave Nuttycombe if he knew where Rodel Studios was once located, to which he typed forth this reply:

[Rodel] was in Georgetown, off Wisconsin down by Key Bridge.  The “Ro” was Fritz Roland, perhaps the top cinematographer in town.  The studio did a lot of film post-production, back when DC was churning out industrial and government films.

Dave’s friend, Paul Dunlap, meanwhile provides this complementary bit of information:

The “Del” in Rodel was Del Ankers, Fritz’s partner.  Fritz shot all the Wilkins Coffee commercials there with Jim Henson too.

During the same January 26, 1971 session at DC’s Rodel Studios, Lyn Collins also recorded the A-side of her next single — “Wheels of Life” — which was then completed, according to this website, the following month on February 15, 1971 at Bobby Smith Studios in Macon, Georgia:

> AUDIO LINK for “Wheels of Life
Lyn Collins (1971)

Musician credits according to this website

Lyn Collins:  Vocals & Handclaps
James Brown:  Piano
Don JuanTigerMartin:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Tambourine
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Roach:  Guitar
St. Clair Pinckney:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet
Fred Wesley:  Trombone

US — 1971                                                 France — 1971

“Wheels of Life” was issued as the fourth single release on People – a subsidiary label for James Brown Productions that was active from 1971 through 1974 – as well as King.

Ruppli also informs us that Roberta Dubois – one of The Sisters of Righteous – recorded “Who Am I” on January 26, 1971 at DC’s Rodel Studios (with these same musicians, one presumes).  “Who Am I” would be selected as the A-side of King 6375.  Good luck, however, finding a copy.

US — 1971                                               Test Pressing

Tip of the hat to 45Cat contributor jukebox george, who points us to a 1995 Billboard review of the Bobby Byrd anthology Bobby Got Soul, in which it is revealed that James Brown, along with Roberta Dubois and Geneva “Gigi” Kinard of The Sisters of Righteous, provided vocal support on Byrd’s “I Need Help (I Can’t Do It Alone),” a Top 20 hit on the Soul Singles chart (that also hit #69 on the Pop chart in 1970).

Dubois was not the first King artist to record “Who Am I,” as this song makes several appearances in the Ruppli sessionography around this time, interestingly enough,  Ruppli’s notes for King master K13740 indicate that “Who Am I” attributed to King recording artist Leon Austin (who had taught James Brown “the right way to play piano,” according to biographer Don Rhodes) was “transferred to K13792” on September 10, 1970.  When you then skip to K13792 (an undated entry), you find the song “Who Am I” instead attributed to The Famous Flames — a King 45 released December, 1970.   James Brown would record his own unissued version the following month, shortly before Vicki Anderson then recorded her version of “Who Am I’ at the Cincinnati studios on January 21, 1971 that also never saw the light of day.

Which brings us to the final entry of The J.B.’s in volume one of the Ruppli “red books”:  King LP1137.  Go to Discogs and type the terms “King 1137” and you will encounter a lot of “noise” — but if you go back and add the word “Olympia,” notice that you pull up exactly one item for a triple-album test pressing of an unenhanced live performance of James Brown & The J.B.’s recorded March 8, 1971 at the Olympia Theatre in Paris that got shelved for 20 years, until the release of Polydor’s Love Power Peace CD in 1992, an edited mix of the concert.  In 2014, Sundazed performed a tremendous public service with their issue of a 3-LPtrifoldalbum that included the following statement:

This collection represents original stereo mixes, as overseen and approved by James Brown in 1971, of materials intended for a 3-LP set with uniquely titled discs:  “Love,” “Power,” and “Peace.”  Documentation shows that the sides would have been presented in then-common automatic record changer, with side one and side six appearing together, sides two and five, and three and four following suit [i.e., “auto-coupled“] to facilitate continuous play; we have honored that intention in this edition.  In the aftermath of both a change in labels and key members of the band departing just after these [eight-track] masters were completed, the project was not issued.  Although a CD edition of the album was issued by Polydor in 1992, it was not the complete show and was newly mixed.  This is the first time this storied slice of searing soul has been available exactly as James Brown envisioned.

Musician credits according to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Vocals
John (Jabo) Starks:  Drums [Primary]
Don Juan (Tiger) Martin:  Drums [Secondary]
William (Bootsy) Collins:  Bass
Phelps (Catfish) Collins:  Guitar
Hearlon (Cheese) Martin:  Rhythm Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
St. Clair Pinckney:  Tenor Sax
Clayton (Chicken) Gunnells:  Trumpet
Darryl (Hassan) Jamison:  Trumpet
Fred Wesley:  Trombone
David Matthews:  Conductor [Horns And Strings]
Ron Lenhoff:  Engineer

      1971 King 3-LP test pressing                             Sundazed’s 3-LP set — 2014

To replicate concert, play 3-LP set “auto-coupled” on a Crosley Stack-o-Matic

Compared to the 1992 CD with 17 tracks, check out the three-LP Sundazed mix that has a total of 31 selections across six sides.  These three discs contain the entire Paris show with one notable exception — “Who Am I” recorded January 12 and April 12, 1971 at King Studios, Cincinnati, Ohio (with Kenny Poole on guitar).

Worth mentioning that on page 452, close to the end of Ruppli’s King sessionography, you will find an undated session on which The J.B.’s recorded a pair of unissued songs, “My Brother” and “Texas Green.”

1972’s Get on the Good Foot album includes one recording with the Collins brothers — “The Whole World Needs Liberation” — that must be among their last recordings with James Brown:

> AUDIO LINK for “The Whole World Needs Liberation
James Brown (1972)

Musician credits according to Discogs

James Brown:  Vocals
Bobby Byrd:  Backing Vocals
Hal Neely:  Backing Vocals
Lois Wong:  Backing Vocals
Clyde Stubblefield:  Drums
Bootsy Collins:  Bass
Catfish Collins:  Guitar
H.B. Barnum:  Conductor

After their departure from the James Brown organization, Bootsy Phelps and Complete Strangers put out a single, “Fun In Your Thang (Pts. 1 & 2)”:

> AUDIO LINK for “Fun in Your Thang (Pt. 1)”
Bootsy Phelps and Complete Strangers (1972)

Released in 1972 on General American, an independent label out of Columbia, Missouri (that was also based in Cincinnati), this 45 would be re-issued the following year on Cincinnati-based Philmore Sound:   Would love to know where this recording was made – possibly at King Studios?

1972 single                                                      1973 release

But check this out:  Mere months ago (August 23, 2019), Shake It Records — in collaboration with Bootsy Collins — remastered a number of classic 45 sides directly from the master tapes and produced The House Guests Meet The Complete Strangers and Bootsy, Phelps & Gary, a new 12-inch vinyl LP!  Shake It reports that the orange vinyl edition has already sold out, but black vinyl is still available.

This vinyl-only collection (with liner notes by RJ Smith + these musician credits) is a limited edition release from Shake It Records, who have this to say —

A slab of Cincinnati hard funk slammers – most reissued (legally) for the first time! Post JB’s / Pre-P-funk outfits headed up by brothers Catfish & Bootsy Collins along with a Cincinnati who’s-who of top club players who could turn it out night after night after night in places like The Psychedelic Grave or The Round Up Club – that featured a caged bear in the club!

This selection, hand picked by Bootsy, highlights that youthful output under various names as The House GuestsThe Complete Strangers and Bootsy, Phelps & Gary. The monikers may have changed, but what they brought to the stage every night – leaving the club and audience devastated – never did.

A D D I T I O N A L     R E L A T E D     R E C O R D I N G S

Maceo and the Macks would incorporate new horn work (as well as audio excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s stirring “Mountaintop” speech) on a reinvigorated mix entitled “Soul Power ’74” that saw release in October 1973:

> AUDIO LINK for “Soul Power ’74
Maceo and the Macks (1973)

Musician credits according to Discogs

JohnJaboStarks:   Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Congas
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
Bobby Roach:  Guitar
Bobby Byrd:  Organ
Maceo Parker:  Alto Sax [Overdubbed]
St. Clair Pinckney:  Tenor Sax
St. Clair Pinckney:  Tenor Sax [Overdubbed]
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHasaanJamison:  Trumpet
Ike Oakley:  Trumpet [Overdubbed]
JeroneJasaan SanfordMelson:  Trumpet [Overdubbed]
Fred Wesley:  Trombone

“Soul Power ’74 (Part 1)” would “bubble under” Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart, peaking at  #109 on January 19, 1974.

  US — Oct 1973                                        Netherlands — 1973

From poking around in Discogs, I have discovered that 1995’s Bobby Byrd anthology Bobby Got Soul includes two obscure 45 tracks, plus a pair of previously unreleased recordings that feature Bootsy, Catfish and The J.B.’s —

Also this recording that can be found on James Brown’s Funky People Volume 3 — “Doin’ the Doo” by Bobby Byrd Featuring The J.B.’s:

> AUDIO LINK for “Doing the Doo
Bobby Byrd Featuring The J.B.’s

Musician credits according to Discogs

Bobby Byrd:  Vocals & Songwriter
James Brown:  Backing Vocals
John “Jabo” Starks:  Drums
Johnny Griggs:  Percussion
WilliamBootsyCollins:  Bass
PhelpsCatfishCollins:  Guitar
HearlonCheeseMartin:  Guitar
St. Clair Pinckney:  Tenor Sax
ClaytonChickenGunnells:  Trumpet
DarrylHassanJamison:  Trumpet
Fred Wesley:  Trombone

Bootsy in far-left corner of inset photo on Byrd’s European LP cover

Bootsy Talks King History @ National Public Radio

November 1, 2017’s edition of NPR radio show “What’s Good With Stretch & Bobbito” features Bootsy Collins, who reflects on his experiences at Cincinnati’s King Records (starting at age 17), as well as the birth of the J.B.’s, among other things.

AUDIO LINK — click here 

[32-minute program = includes transcript]

Ω          Ω          Ω

A Mad Magazine Salute to James Brown

September 1971 issue

Mad Fold-In by Al Jaffee

James Brown’s “Hot Pants” — released June 1971 — was a #1 hit R&B [#15 Pop] that spent 11 weeks on the chart and whose popularity reached its apex on Aug. 7, 1971, around the time this issue of Mad Magazine was hitting the presses.

“Hots Pants” Picture Sleeve – Europe

For Optimal Experience:  Zero to 180 best viewed on a big screen – not smart phone

Grandpa Jones & His Swingin’ Grandchildren’s Sole 45

Grandpa Jones‘ toe-tappin’ countrypolitan “Hip Cat’s Weddin’” is one of Zero to 180’s recent discoveries:

“Hip Cat’s Weddin'”    Grandpa Jones & His Swingin’ Grandchildren     Rec. Nov, 1960

Too little has been written about Boudleaux Bryant‘s clever composition and its fetching arrangement — virtually nothing, in fact.  “I Don’t Love Nobody” b/w “Hip Cat’s Weddin’” sadly would be Jones’s sole release with His Swingin’ Grandchildren.  Given the relatively small percentage of the world’s population that owns the original 45 or 1997’s 5-CD Everybody’s Grandpa anthology compiled by Germany’s Bear Family, how tragic that this sly send-up of hep cat culture has been essentially unheard for decades.

Cash Box gave this single a positive review in their November 26, 1960 edition:

Grandpa Jones (Monument 430)

(1:45) [G-J BMI — Arr. Jones]
The oldie is given a contagious
revamping by the lovable Grandpa and
with his “Swinging Grandchildren” he
gives it a rousing jubilation sendoff.
Has excellent spin value.

(2:18) [Acuff-Rose BMI — Bryant]
This Boudeleaux Bryant ditty is
ideally suited for Jones’ comical
style.  It’s a bouncy blueser; rates


Thanks once again to PragueFrank for providiing the musician credits on a session that also produced “These Hills”; “Billy Yank and Johnny Reb” and the unreleased “Goodbye Reb” — although I am puzzled by the recording date of 21 February 1961 which is months after the Cash Box review above.

  • Grandpa Jones:  Vocal/Guitar/Banjo
  • Harold Bradley:  Guitar
  • Ray Edenton:  Guitar
  • Hank Garland:  Guitar
  • Jerry Byrd:  Steel Guitar
  • Boots Randolph:  Sax
  • Floyd Cramer:  Piano
  • Buddy Harman:  Drums

YouTube’s sole audio clip of “Hip Cat’s Weddin'” (posted in 2017) has only been “viewed” a total of 209 times, as of November 7, 2019.  You and I can do something about that.  Gratitude to WFMU’s Michael Shelley for giving this song several spins on the air.

Note:  At this moment, a vendor on Ebay is selling this 45 for $14.99 (plus $4.53 S/H).

They Don’t Make Song Titles Like They Used To:
Grandpa Jones on King
(with streaming audio)

There’s a Grave in the Wave of the Ocean” — 1945

The Baldheaded End of the Broom” — 1948

You’ll Make Our Shack a Mansion” — 1949

Uncle Eph’s Got the Coon” — 1950

Jennie, Get Your Hoe Cakes Done” — 1951

The Value of Vinyl

In 2017, someone paid $300 outright for 1958’s Sings His Greatest Hits LP by Jones, who appeared on the very first King Records release (using an alias), along with Merle Travis.

Brown’s Ferry Four:  The Original Country Supergroup

As journalist/writer Bruce Eder points out in Discogs‘ miniature biographical portrait:

“Based on their lineup alone, Brown’s Ferry Four was a country supergroup from the get-go, with an original membership consisting of Grandpa Jones, the Delmore Brothers, and Merle Travis.  Though the group only existed for ten years, and almost never made any personal appearances or gave any concerts, they managed to become one of the most beloved country gospel groups through their radio broadcasts and the nearly four dozen sides they recorded for King Records between 1946 and 1952.”

King LP – 1963

King Records Trivia: Maxi-Tweets

Fun Facts & Trivia — Best Tweets from King Records Month 2018

As with the previous piece (“King’s Jazz Legacy“), it seems silly to keep all this rich history from last year’s King 75th Anniversary tucked away in a file attachment.  One year later, it has become increasingly obvious that this “once-tweeted” information would serve humanity to a much greater degree if likewise liberated and laid out clearly, without concern for limits on text or number of illustrations.  These original tweets have been richly supplemented for this updated version.

Modernist pavilion at Cincinnati’s Bellevue Park overlooking downtown

[Note:  streaming audio links indicated in bold blue ink]

King History Tweet #1

Mose Rager – who, along with Ike Everly (father of Phil & Don), taught Merle Travis the “claw picking” technique – played on a King recording session for Fairley Holden.   According to Dave Sax’s liner notes for Ace UK’s King Hillbilly Bop ‘n’ Boogie

Fairley’s new version [of “Keep Them Cold Icy Fingers Off Of Me“] for King (his third) sold well enough to warrant three more sessions during the year, including 12 songs cut in December [1947] before the [1948 recording] ban.  He was backed by Moon Mullican (with whom he also toured in Detroit) at his first two sessions, while Mose Rager and another guitarist are heard at the December date.  This and a session with Curly Fox & Texas Ruby, also for King, give us the only example of Rager’s work on record [emphasis mine].

Check out the instrumental intro from “Sweet Mama, Put Him in Low,” a song from Holden’s last session for King — those guitar lines must belong to Rager, right?  That same recording session also includes “You’ve Been a Bad Bad Little Girl“; “Oh, That Naggin’ Wife of Mine“; “It’ll Make a Change in Business” (guitar solo at 1:11); “Put Some Meat on Them Bones“; “Don’t Monkey Around With My Widder When I’m Gone” & “Long Long Dresses,” with the guitar work on these tracks bearing that classic “Travis-style” picking technique which came directly from Rager and Ike Everly.  By the way, thanks to PragueFrank for pointing out that Holden’s first session for King took place in February, 1947 at E.T. Herzog Recording Studio in Cincinnati.

With regard to Curly Fox and Texas Ruby, since they did two recording sessions for King (as indicated by Ruppli), I am unclear as to which of the 17 tracks feature Rager’s playing, since he only played on “a” recording session, as Sax states above.  However, if I were to be so bold, I suspect that Rager’s guitar work can be heard on the second King recording session that yielded “You Don’t Love Me” and four other songs — check out the “Travis-style” guitar break at the 1:48 mark.  If I’m correct, that means Rager can also be heard (at least, theoretically) on “Those Dreams Are Gone” (solo guitar at the 0:50 mark); “On the Banks of the Lonely River“; “Falling Leaf” & “You’ll Remember and Be Blue” — the last track only issued on Nashville Bandstand Vol. 2 — the same album that includes (as previously noted) Merle Travis’s lone King recording as a solo artist “What Will I Do” (likewise unavailable on YouTube, unfortunately).  Album also includes Moon Mullican’s “Too Many Irons in the Fire” (not on YouTube either) — song co-written by Erwin King, Henry Glover, “Lois Mann” [Syd Nathan] & Mullican.

A copy of Volume 1 sold for $26 in 2012

King History Tweet #2

Southwest ShuffleRich Kienzle‘s history of honky tonk, western swing, and country jazz pioneers, has a chapter about guitar great Roy Lanham (“Neither Fish Nor Fowl”), whose title pinpoints the musician’s unfortunate predicament, in that he was considered “too country for jazz” and “too jazz for country”!  Lanham (celebrated here previously) can be heard on Hank Penny‘s very first session for King in 1944 (recorded in a room above the Wurlitzer Music Store in Cincinnati) — four songs, including “Last Night“; “Tear Stains on Your Letter” & “Hope You’re Satisfied” (with Louis Innis on second guitar).

Roy Lanham on King

Lanham’s most famous session work for King in the label’s early years can be heard on such Delmore Brothers 78 sides as “Goin’ Back to the Blue Ridge Mountains“; “Boogie Woogie Baby“; “Freight Train Boogie” & “Shame on Me” — recorded at Herzog’s Studio in October, 1946 with Homer & Jethro.  One year later, Lanham would join forces with Merle Travis at Cincinnati’s King Studios to record eight songs, including “The Frozen Girl“; “Long Journey Home” & “You Can’t Do Wrong and Get By.”  October of 1949 would find Lanham recording his swansong with the Delmore Brothers “Trouble Ain’t Nothing But the Blues,” with Syd Nathan in the producer’s chair.

This 1958 LP sold for $300 in 2012

King History Tweet #3

Noted western swing bandleader Spade Cooley cut sessions for King Records “under vocalist Red Egner‘s name” according to Kevin Coffey’s liner notes in CD compilation Shuffle Town – Western Swing on King. Total of 8 songs recorded in late 1946 at Radio Recorders in Los Angeles and released as four 78s, [plus 2 unreleased tracks “You Didn’t Want Me (When You Had Me)” & “South of Old San Antone”] — most notably “You Never Miss the Water Till the Well Runs Dry” and “Swing Billy A-La-Mode” (group billed as ‘The California Cutups’), with Noel Boggs, in all likelihood (inferring from PragueFrank‘s session info) on steel guitar.

With Noel Boggs on steel, correct?

King History Tweet #4:
King Steel Guitar Trivia

(Pre-pedal) steel guitar legend Noel Boggs played on King sessions for both Hank Penny [1945 session in Pasadena, California with Merle Travis that yielded 12 songs including “Steel Guitar Stomp“; “Merle’s Buck Dance” & “I’m Counting the Days“] and Jimmie Widener (whose all-star band would include Jimmy Wyble, who later starred with jazz greats Benny Goodman and Red Norvo) on such tracks as “You Better Wake Up Babe” — recorded at Hollywood’s Universal Recorders on September 21, 1946 [SOURCE: Shuffle Town – Western Swing on King 1946-1950].

Western swing on DeLuxe

King History Tweet #5:
More Steel Guitar Trivia

Jimmie Widener’s “What a Line!” – produced/co-written by Merle Travis and released by King Records in 1946 – features stellar steel guitar work by EarlJoaquinMurphey.  According to the liner notes from Ace UK’s King Hillbilly Bop ‘n’ Boogie:

Jimmie Widener was born in Oklahoma in 1924, and his career included stints with the Spade Cooley, Bob Wills and Tex Williams bands – and also the 24 sides he recorded for King.  “What a Line!” was from his first session held at Universal Recorders, Hollywood on 25 March 1946 during the sessions that Merle Travis produced.  The song enjoyed a new lease of life in near rockabilly format when recorded by Carl Story for Columbia in 1955.  The all-star personnel featured Jimmie Widener (guitar), ShelbyTexAtchison (fiddle), Harold Hensley (fiddle), Joaquin Murphey (steel guitar), Charlie Morgan (guitar), George Bamby (accordion), Vic Davis (piano), and Shug Fisher (bass). 

Incredibly, streaming audio not yet available on YouTube

Kevin Coffey notes that “Widener had recently been playing tenor banjo with [Bob Wills backing band] the Texas Playboys and had sung ‘How Can It Be Wrong’ with Wills at a recording session less than two weeks before these September 18-23 [1946] King [Hollywood] sessions began” in the liner notes to the Shuffle Town King western swing anthology.  With regard to those September, 1946 sessions at Universal Recorders —

“Syd and his King Records hit Hollywood with all the force of an earthquake,” journalist C. Phil Henderson enthused soon after in his Tophand magazine – and over the next month, at Hollywood’s Universal Recorders, Nathan waxed a hundred-plus sides on Widener, Penny, Red Egner, Tex Atchison and others.”

King History Tweet #6:
(Still) More Steel Guitar Trivia

Paul Howard and His Arkansas Cotton Pickers recorded their first session for King in Cincinnati on January, 26, 1949 with Bob Wills alumnus Billy Bowman on steel guitar (plus Red Perkins on vocals, Jabbo Arrington on guitar, two fiddlers in Red Harper and  “Julliard-trained” Roddy Bristol, and pianist Harold Horner).  This session also marked the recording debut (so says Kevin Coffey) of A-team Nashville session bassist, Bob Moore, father of R. Stevie Moore (“Godfather of Home Recording“) – four songs including “Texas Boogie” and “Torn Between True Love and Desire.”

Scratchy 78s – audio above not pristine

King History Tweet #7:
King Gospel

Queen, King’s short-lived subsidiary (1945-1947) devoted to black artists, featured mostly rhythm and blues recordings but also included a fair amount of gospel music, primarily Wings Over Jordan.  This 10-inch EP from 1946, with three songs per side, appears to be the only non-78 release on the Queen label — includes “Old Ship of Zion“; “When You Come Out of the Wilderness“; “Take Me to the Water“; & “Deep River.”

King History Tweet #8

Mabel Smith, a.k.a., Big Maybelle, with backing support from Hot Lips Page and His Orchestra, did three recording sessions for King in late 1947, with at least two of them taking place at Cincinnati’s King Studios.  Three King 78s would be the net result:  (a) “Sad and Disappointed Jill” b/w “Bad Dream Blues“; (b) “Indian Giver” b/w “Too Tight Mama“; (c) “Little Miss Muffet” b/w “Don’t Try to Fool Me.”   This French compilation from 2004 includes all of her King 78 sides, plus two unissued tracks:  “Foolin’ Blues” and “Dirty Deal Blues.”

Mabel “Big Maybelle” Smith recorded 8 sides for King

King History Tweet #9

King artists “ZebbTurner and “Cow BoyCopas enjoyed a split EP release in Denmark on the Vogue label in the early 1950s that includes Turner’s 1951 breakout hit “Chew Tobacco Rag” and Copas’s 1947 version of “Tennessee Waltz.”  Copas, in fact, had tried to buy “Tennessee Waltz” on a song-scouting expedition for Syd Nathan in a classic capitalist tale recounted by music historian Darren Blase (of Shake It Records) for his excellent piece “The Lonesome Ballad of Cowboy Copas” published in the August 1, 2013 edition of Cincinnati Magazine.

That’s Zeb with two B’s – Danish EP

King History Tweet #10

Federal – the King subsidiary label established for Ralph Bass to produce R & B artists – nevertheless had a Federal Hillbilly Series.  According to the liner notes in Ace UK’s King Hillbilly Bop ‘n’ Boogie, “only two hillbilly artists actually recorded new sessions specifically earmarked for Federal.”  One of those artists, Tommy Scott, recorded the hobo train classic “Rockin’ and Rollin’” at Cincinnati’s King Studios on January 4, 1951 with a backing band that included Hank Williams‘ one-time steel guitarist Jerry Byrd and (future Nashville session fiddler emeritus) Tommy Jackson — who both backed Williams on “Lovesick Blues” (recorded at Herzog’s in 1948), along with Louis Innis and Zeke Turner.

Hillbilly bop on Federal

King History Tweet #11
Train Songs on King

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy a good train song, and one of the best collections I’ve heard is an anthology of mostly obscure 45s called Choo Choo Bop (issued by German label, Buffalo Bop). The tenth track – Larry Harvey’s “Rolling Home” – is one of my faves, and happens to be a King classic from 1957 that will have you singing the refrain in no time.  The person who posted this YouTube clip points out that “Rolling Home” is an update of “Fast Moving Night Train” (written by Rudy Toombs, sung by Grandpa Jones) that unfortunately is not available on YouTube.

“Rolling Home”     Larry Harvey     1957

According to Discogs:

Larry Harvey was a Canadian country singer originally from Newfoundland.  Moved to Toronto where he saw some success and then later to Nashville.  He was one of the inaugural members of the Country Music Association in 1956.  After a dispute with his record company King Records over Newfoundland distribution he left his contract.  He was unable to keep food on his family’s table, so he returned to Ontario and worked in a factory, then later started a small business.  Subject of the 2008 documentary “Paper Promises” by his son Shane Harvey.

In addition to the obvious (e.g., Tiny Bradshaw’s “Train Kept a Rollin’“), here are four other King train songs worth investigating:

String band and rhythm section set up a strong beat and keep it driving right thru as the Jones gal hands the tune a growling chant.

King “bio disc”

Clever story novelty about an engineer with a slow freight train receives a lively performance by Newman.  Tune is melodic with a boogie beat.  Could grab loot.  A good kiddie disc, too.

Penned by Boudleaux Bryant, who (co-)authored many Everly Bros. hits

[Bob Newman, it must be said, also recorded the truck-driving classic “Hauling Freight” (from the pen of Henry Glover), as celebrated in Zero to 180’s piece from 2016.]

King EP – 1961

King History Tweet #12:
King Gospel

Billboard‘s May 3, 1952 edition reported that a Shenandoah, Iowa disk jockey held a contest, asking listeners to guess the names of King recording artists, The Harlan County Four, who had just released their version of “The Atomic Telephone” — a gospel song co-written by Henry Glover, Syd Nathan & Eddie Smith.  Raise your hand if you know the secret identities behind the Harlan County Four — answer is in this Zero to 180 piece.

Co-written by Eddie Smith – artist/arranger, and later, chief engineer at King