90+ Years of Cincinnati in Song

Cincinnati is hardly the first American city to be celebrated in popular song.  Nevertheless, I find it curious how frequently — i.e., over 200 songs — Cincinnati (ranked #64 among US cities by population) has appeared in a popular song title in the past 95 years, to wit:

Cincinnati song aCincinnati song aaCincinnati song aaaCincinnati song bCincinnati song bbCincinnati song bbbCincinnati song cCincinnati song ccCincinnati song ccc

Click on song titles below for (in most cases) access to streaming audio = 
Note the impressive 29-year consecutive run between the years 1959-1988.
[US artists unless otherwise indicated (in red)]

Cincinnati Hornpipe”              William B. Houchens           1924

“Cincinnati Southern Blues”        Iva Smith                     1927

“Cincinnati Daddy”                 Duke Ellington                1929

“Cincinnati Underworld Woman”      Bob Coleman                   1929

“Cincinnati Southern Blues”        Cow Cow Davenport/Iva Smith   1929

“Cincinnati Breakdown”             Blue Ridge Mt. Entertainers   1932

“I’m Going to Cincinnati”          Walter Coleman                1936

“Was You Ever in Cincinnati”       Freddie Fisher                1941

“C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I”              Teddy McRae Orchestra         1945

“Cincinnati Lou”                   Merle Travis                  1946

“Cincinnati Vout”                  Earl Warren                   1946

“Cincinnati”                       Martha Davis' Torrid Trio     1947

“Cincinnati Bound”                 Cowboy Jack Derrick           1950

“Cincinnati Hit Parade”            Bill Franklin & Skyline Boys  1950

“Cincinnati Dancing Pig”           Tennessee Ernie Ford          1950

“G'night Cinti, Hello Tennessee”   Shorty Long                   1951

“Cincinnati Rag”                   Buck Ryan                     1955

“Cincinnati Ding Dong”             Art Lund                      1957

“Cincinnati Ratamatati”            Cain & Abel                   1959

“High School USA (Cincinnati)”     Tommy Facenda                 1959

“Cincinnati Fireball”              Johnny Burnette               1960

“Cincinnati”                       Frank Slay Orchestra          1961

“Cincinnati Twist and Freeze”      Orlie & the Saints            1961

“Whole Town's Batty About 'nati”   Larry Vincent                 1961

“Cincinnati Ratamatati”            First Percussion Sextet       1961

“Cincinnati Rock”                  Cliff Nash                    1962

“Cincinnati Twist”                 Pat Field & Les Pumas [Fr.]   1962

“Cincinnati Blues”                 Boll Weevil Jazz Band         1963

“Cincinnati Slow Drag”             Rev. Gary Davis               1964

"Cincinnati Flow Rag" Rev. Gary Davis 1964
Cincinnati, Ohio”                 Bill Anderson                1964 “Cincinnati Breakdown”             Charlie Moore & Bill Napier   1964 “Cincinnati Blues”     Jesse Fuller       1965

Cincinnati” Bob Braun 1965 “The Cincinnati Kid”               Lalo Schifrin & Ray Charles   1965 “The Cincinnati Kid”               Prince Buster [Ja.]          1966 “Cincinnati Ohio” Connie Smith 1966 “Cincinnati Woman”                 Freddy Cannon                 1967

Cincinnati” Van Trevor 1967 “I'm Leaving Cincinnati”        Larry Roberts                 1967

Walk Around Cincinatti [sic]” Dean Kay c. 1967 “Cincinnati Stranger”              Buddy Cagle                   1968 “Cincinnati Two-Step”              Dick Cary                     1968 “World War Two in Cincinnati”      The Shambles                  1968 “The Lights of Cincinnati”         Scott Walker                  1969 “Cincinnati Love Song”             The Two Dollar Question      1969 “Cincinnati Jail”                  Bobby Bare                   1969
Susie Cincinnati”                 The Beach Boys                1970 “The Cleanest Man in Cincinnati”   Claude Gray                   1970 “Cincinnati Man”     Mad Lydia     1970 “Cincinnati” Mirageman [Ital.] 1970

Cincinatti [sic] Cream” Brett Marvin/Thunderbolts [UK] '70

Cincinatti [sic] Woman”           Spode [UK]                    1971

Cincinnati”                       The New Seekers [UK]          1971

Cincinnati Woman” The Hubbubs [Germ.] 1971
Cincinnati”                       Orville Stoeber               1971
Cincinnati Sidewalks” Shady Stevens 1972

Cincinnati Square” Chuck Robinson 197?

Cincinnati Flow Rag II”           Roy Bookbinder                1972 “Girl from Cincinnati”             Bobbie Gentry                 1972 “Anybody Goin’ North to Cinti” Lester Flatt                 1972 “Cockroach that Ate Cincinnati”    Rose & the Arrangements      1973

“(Tis a Sin to Sin in) Cincinnati” Rusty Draper 1974

I Went to Cincinnati” Joe Wise 1974 “Cincinnati Sammy”                 Hoagy Pogey [UK]              1974 “Cincinnati Floor”                 Brown’s Home Brew             1974 “Cincinnati” Janet Ellig 1975

Cincinnati Song” Vince Bell 1975 “Cincinatti [sic] Boogie” Emmett Brooks & James Barnes 1975

Apt. #4, 6th St. & Cincinnati”    Joe Stampley                  1976 “Benji's Cincinnati” The Sands of Time 1976
Cincinnati” Infinity 1976
Cincinnati”                       Roy St. John [UK]             1976 “Cincinnati” Blue Max 1976

Cincinnati” [last track] R Ducros/L Simoncini [Ital.] 1977 “Lacksadaisical Cincinnati”        Ogden Wahalia Blues Ensemble 1977 “Cincinnati Fatback”               Roogalator [US/UK]            1977

Cincinnati Growl”                 Roy Ayers Ubiquity            1977 “Cincinnati and Me”                Larry Kinley                  1977

"Cincinatti [sic] Sleeve" Changes 1977 “Cincinnati Cindy”                 Ray Campi                     1977 “Cincinnati Train”                 Cathy & Coins [Germ.]         1977

Cincinnati Capers” Cal Collins 1978 “WKRP in Cincinnati”               Tom Wells & Hugh Wilson       1978 “Cincinnati Stomp”                 Big Joe Duskin                1978 “Cincinnati Stomp” Teacher's Pet 1979 “Cincinnati Star” Ed Williams 1979 “Cincinnati Dice Man” [last track] Them [UK] 1979

"Cincinnati" Charlie Spivak Orchestra 1979 “The Cincinnati Cowboy” Ernie Vaughn 1980 “Cincinnati Baseball Saga” Rusty Ferguson 1980 “Twenty-Two in Cincinnati”         Martha & the Muffins [Can.]  1981 “Cincinnati Milacron”     Pentaject Corporation      1981 “In Cincinnati”                    Hudson & Bauer Singers        1982

Fatty From Cincinnati” Wonderland Chorus & Orch. c. 1982

Cincinnati Shout” Ted Des Plantes 1983 “Living in Sincinnati” Gary Platt & Pork All-Stars 1983 “South of Cincinnati”              Dwight Yoakam                1984 “Cincinnati Blues” Ray Pennington/Buddy Emmons 1984 “Cincinnati Slick” John Bunch 1984 “Back in Cincinnati” [last track] Steve Beresford [UK] 1985

Cincinnati Jail”                  Lonnie Mack                   1986 “Cincinnati” Cincinnati [Ital.] 1986 “Goin' to Cincinnati” Steve Tracy & King Snakes 1987 “Monday in Cincinnati” Pascal Charpentier [Belg.] 1987 “Cincinnati”                       Holidaymakers [UK]            1988

"Cincinnati Blues" Cliff Barnes & the Fear [Ger] 1990

Cincinnati 1830-1850” Paul De Marinis 1991
Cinncinati [sic] Kid” Salmonella Dub [NZ] 1994

Philadelphia/Cincinnati” Banned From Atlantis [Can.] 1994
Cincinnati” Mood 1994

Cincinnati G's Roll” Convicted Felons 1995
Cincinnati Motel”                 Neal Casal                    1995 “Cincinnati Shuffle”               Sonny Moorman & The Dogs      1996 “Hardrockin’ Cincinnati”           Bran Van 3000 [Can.]          1997 “Cincinnati”     M.O.T.O.      1997

"Hooray for the Cincinnati Reds" Erich Kunzel & the Cinti Pops 1998 “Cincinnati Streets”     Rachel Portman [Beloved] 1998 “Cincinnati Shuffle” Christian Bleiming [Germ.] 1998

Cincinnati, Here We Come” T. Crookham & Accidentals 1998 “Racing Cincinnati”                Chamberlain                   1998 “C'mon Cincinnati”                 Delakota [UK]                 1998 “C'mon Cinti” (Fatboy Slim Mix)”  Delakota [UK]                1999

Cincinatti's [sic] Burning” Shylow [UK] 1999 “Cincinnati Pink”                  Polarity/1                    2000

Cincinnatti [sic] Baby” Axel Z/Joe Duskin/J McShann 2000 “Cincinnati”                       David Childers                2001

North of Cincinatti [sic]” More Plastic [Can.] 2001 “Cincinnati Town”                  Fred Leonard                  2002

Cincinnati Red” Viva 2002 “Hard Times in Cincinnati”      Jake Speed & the Freddies     2002 “Cincinnati”                       Marianne Kesler               2002 “Cincinnati”                       Crime in Choir                2002 “Cincinnati”                       The Distillers               2003 “Cincinnati” Ozark Henry [Belg.] 2003 “Cincinnati Riot Blues”            Ghost Exits                   2003

Cincinnati on Replay” Lefty's Deceiver 2003

Cincinnati at Night” Jim Hurst & Missy Raines 2003 “Weekend in Cincinnati”            The Bobs                      2003

The Black Brigade of Cincinnati” J. Rawls 2003 “C-I-N-C-I-N-N-A-T-I” NSPCrew 2003

Cincinnati Traveler” Hem 2004 “Leaving Cincinnati”     Jake Speed & the Freddies    2004 “I Come from Cincinnati”           End.user                     2004 “Cincinnati (Village Queen)”       Glass Harp                    2005

Cincinatti [sic] Road” Ricochet [Germ.] 2005 “Cincinnati”                       Trey Anastasio               2006 “Love in Cincinnati”               Prairie Home Companion       2006

Three Cheers Cincinnati” Screaming Mimes 2006 “All Roads Lead to Cincinnati”     Jake Speed & The Freddies    2007

Cincinnati” Manishevitz 2007

Cincinatti [sic]” Sly [Fr.] 2008 “Oh, Cincinnati”                   The Seedy Seeds              2008 “Chance Encounter (In Cincinnati)” The Minor Leagues 2009

Cincinnati Summer” Kings of Tragedy 2009

Cincinnati Bears” PNS & Zavala 2009

El Chico De Cincinnatti [sic]” Anne Arbor [Sp.] 2009

Cincinnati”                       Tila Tequila                 2009 “Cincinnati”     Sok     2009 “Cincinnati”     Jangatha     2009 “Cincinnati”     Literature     2010 “Cincinnati” Julie Newmark 2010 “Cincinnati” Nick Jaina 2010 “Cincinnati” L.A. Love [Germ.] 2010 “Left Cincinnati”     Joe Frawley     2010 “Cincinatti [sic] Express” Ran Blake 2010

Cincinnati Shakedown” The Unsettlers [Can.] 2010 “Cincinnati Harmony”               The Dopamines                2010 “Cincinnati Dream”      Gregory Attonito     2011 “Cincinnati Love” Chris Collier 2011

Cincinnati” Derek Reese 2011

Cincinnati Agony”      Not Yet!      2012 “Sleepless in Cincinnati” Momentum 2012
Clouds Over Cincinatti [sic]” Cabin Fire 2012
Cincinnati”     Eric Stein      2012 “Cincinnati”     Quixote     2012 “Cincinnati” 2 Mello 2012 “Cincinnati”     German Brigante [Germ.] 2013 “Cincinnati” Vegan Death 2013 “Cincinnati” Ibiza Vibes [Fr.] 2013
Cincinnati” Nick Danger+Skytone/DCR [Can] 2013
Iron (Cincinnati)” Dain Saint 2013
Vuelo Cincinnati-Singapur” Manolo Kabezabolo [Sp.] 2014 “Cincinnati” Dani Flaco [Sp.] 2014 “Cincinnati”     Holy Holy [Australia] 2014 “Goodnight Cincinnati” Up-C Down-C Left-C Right-C ABC+Start [UK] 2015 “Martha (Cincinnati, 1914)”     The Corner Laughers     2015 “Cincinnati Fire Kites”     Scope & Figure      2015 “Cincinnati Chapter of the ...” Doleful Lions 2015 “Cincinnati Shuffle” James Reed 2015
Dallas to Cincinnati”      Mr. Hokum      2015
Cincinnati Transfer”     Old Brown Shoes [Austria] 2015

Cincinnati”      Zutroi [Sp.] 2015

Cincinnati” Zerostailaz [Sp.] 2016

One More Day in Cincinnati” The Creekdraggers 2016 “John from Cincinnati”     Connections      2016 “Cincinnati Shuffle” Big Z 2016 “Cincinnati Moon” Rumpke Mountain Boys 2016 “Cin Cin City” & “Cinti Sunrise” Carter Burwell [Anomalisa] 2016 “Cincinnati” Blake Neely [Buck Howard] 2016 “Cincinnati” Justin Hurwitz [La La Land] 2016 “Cincinnati” & “Cincinnati Waltz” Justin Hurwitz [Madeline] 2017 “Cincinnati” Golden Boys 2017 “Cincinnati” Big Nothing 2017 “Cincinnati, Ohio” Micah Schnabel 2017 “Cincinnati Sunday” D-Sisive [Can.] 2017 “Cincinnati Juggernaut” Hobosexual 2017 “Cincinnati Shuffle” The Thrill 2017 “Cincinnati Cola” My Name Is Ian [UK] 2017 “Cincinatti [sic] Blooms” The Sexual Objects [UK] 2017

Cincinnati Bowtie” Sheri Vari [Port.] 2018 “Songbird of Cincinnati” Hatcheck Girl 2018 “From Cinti to Rosarito (Mexico)” Mil Beats & Main Flow [Eur.] 2018 “Goodbye Cincinnati” Ramin Djawadi [Jack Ryan] 2018 “Screw Cincinnati” Bob Rea 2018 “Cincinnati” Machine Moon 2019 “Cincinnati Chili Child” Pataphysics 2019

"Greater Cincinatti [sic]" Kinky Friedman 2019

Freddy Cannon (in 1967, backed by Strawberry Alarm Clock) – “Cincinnati Woman

Note:  produced by Frank Slay, who conducted & co-wrote 1961 B-Side, “Cincinnati”

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Prince Buster single release for Spain (B-side mis-titled as “Cincinnati Kids“)

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Notable Album Covers

Title track produced by Shad O’Shea at Counterpart Creative Studios – 1979

2015 double album, Cincinnati, by Dutch blues group, King of the World
(Album features vocal work from Cincinnati’s Cheryl Renée)

1974 LP by one-time Mercury and Monument recording artist

Note:  Original cover design enhanced for extra emphasis 

 

Also Worthy of Mention

2016 single track of electronic “glitch” by Spain’s Zerostailaz

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Nick Keeling’s 2015 song cycle that utilizes piano and found sounds

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Modernist pavillion at Cincinnati’s Bellevue Park overlooking downtown

Actual game broadcasts by Joe Nuxhall & Marty Brennaman;
Recorded and mixed at Shad O’Shea’s Counterpart Creative Studios.

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Related Trivia and Observations

  • “Cincinnati Jail” is a song title shared by two Ohio Valley greats — Ironton, Ohio’s Bobby Bare (1969) and West Harrison, Indiana’s Lonnie Mack (1986).
  • “Cincinnati Stomp” by blues & boogie pianist Big Joe Duskin was released in 1978, while the following year, Akron “punks” Teacher’s Pet recorded their own song of the same name that made reference to The Who concert tragedy of December 3, 1979 (but did not see release until nearly 30 years later in 2008).
  • Amusing to note back-to-back releases out of the UK in 1970-71 with the city’s name misspelled:  “Cincinatti Cream” by Brett Marvin & the Thunderbolts (1970) and “Cincinatti Woman” by Spode (1971).  
  • Intriguing to note that Spain had a three-year consecutive run of Cincinnati songs between the years 2014-2016.
  • 1970’s “Cincinnati” by “Mirageman” — stage name of Italian pianist and composer, Giovanni Fenati
  • 1985’s “Back in Cincinnati” is the final track of an LP-length tribute to Doris Day (Cincinnatian by birth) from British composer/arranger, Steve Beresford.
  • “South of Cincinnati” by Dwight Yoakam (who was born in Pikeville, KY, southeast of Cincinnati) was initially included as part of a 6-track EP in 1984 on Oak Records, two years prior to Yoakam’s major-label debut (bearing the same title and cover art) on Reprise Nashville.
  • Johnny Burnette‘s “Cincinnati Fireball” from 1960 is a rockabilly classic that retains a strong fanbase in Europe and Oceania.
  • Prince Buster recorded his tip of the hat to “The Cincinnati Kid” (i.e., James Brown) in 1965 in the prevailing ska idiom before rearranging the song the following year as a rocksteady funk showpiece that stands apart from the other Jamaican recordings of 1966.
  • 1959’s “High School USA (Cincinnati)” is one of two “franchise” concepts [1961’s “Cincinnati Twist and Freeze” being the other] where the artist made/marketed versions of the song for various US metropolitan regions, Cincinnati included, in this case with spoken-word breaks that specify the names of public and parochial high schools in Cincinnati and beyond — all the way to Columbus, in fact.
  • In 2016, Cincinnati found its way into song titles for two film soundtracks (Anomalisa and The Great Buck Howard), as well as the film score for Oscar winner, La La Land, whose composer, Justin Hurwitz, would then include two additional Cincinnati-themed songs for the soundtrack of Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench in 2017.
  • 1977 — with eight Cincinnati songs — is a high-water mark for the pre-digital era, while 2017 proves to be the year to beat with nine songs that name the city.

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Notable Cincinnati-Themed Ensembles

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Disreputable Mention

"Bengal Bells" b/w "River Front"    Moon Martin                  1971
"Porkopolis"     The Raisins     c.1984
"Blue Chip City" Bill Walters & Flying Pigs 1988

 Cincinnati song zzz

1958 advertisement for Canadian beer brand

For Optimal Experience:

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