Cincinnati rallies to rock its R&B cradle

King Records was founded as a "hillbilly" label by Syd Nathan in 1943, and ended up playing a vital role in the creation of modern rock and roll and rhythm and blues music.

Not only did Nathan bring country, blues, and R&B styles together under the same roof, but his facility also pressed the records, designed the album cover art, and packed and shipped the final product.

"While no single city has naming rights as the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, the elements that made rock 'n' roll — the blend of country, blues and the big beat — were being created at King Records," Larry Nager, former pop music editor for several Cincinnati dailies and the author of the book "Memphis Beat", tells the New York Times.

Now Cincinnati is looking to rediscover a nearly lost landmark with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame historical marker near the former headquarters on Brewster Avenue in Evanston, and plans to establish a King Records Center nearby on Montgomery Road.

According to Nager, King Records "remains Cincinnati's single most important cultural contribution to the world".

Read the full article here.
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