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Date printed: Fri 16th Nov 2018 7:09pm PST

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Forums > Music: Non-Prince > James Brown's death shines light on saving King Records
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Thread started 04/20/07 7:19pm

theAudience

James Brown's death shines light on saving King Records

Bootsy Collins and his lovely wife Patti...



...are requesting your support on the issue reported in the following article.
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April 15, 2007
BY DAVE HOEKSTRA
CINCINNATI -- The death of James Brown has inspired the Queen City to reconsider its musical roots. And all eyes point to the abandoned King Records studios and warehouse, which stretches out like a dusty cape north of downtown.

Brown recorded here between 1956 (under King's Federal subsidary) and 1968, when the label was sold to Starday Records and the operation moved to Nashville, Tenn. King was also the home of jump blues stars Wynonie Harris, Lucky Millinder and Brown prototype Little Willie John, among so many others. Since its birth in 1943, King thrived at 1540 Brewster Ave. in the working-class Evanston section of town.

The historic red brick site was last used as a plant that manufactured air-conditioning units. Ironically it was an ice storage house before King founder Syd Nathan opened up shop. Today there isn't even a marker to commemorate the building's history. Between 1968 and 1971, bassist-songwriter William "Bootsy" Collins played in Brown's band, the JB's. Collins, 55, grew up in the King neighborhood under the stern eye of his mother, Nettie. He now lives with his wife, Patti, 30 miles north of town. In the last couple of months Collins has visited the Stax Museum and Academy and Sun Records in Memphis to gather ideas on music restoration.

Collins also has been filming King Records alumni like Vickie Anderson and fellow JB drummer-keyboardist Bobby Byrd. Next week Collins will interview Nathan's widow. (A Cincinnati native, Nathan was a drummer, pawnshop clerk and wrestling promoter before becoming a feisty record mogul.) And Collins is working with the Cincinnati Blues Festival to honor King Records blues on Aug. 4.

Ever the disciplinarian, Brown fired Collins in 1971. The bassist joined George Clinton and P-Funk. During his residency in P-Funk Nation between 1972 and 1984, Bootsy was also known as Casper the Funky Ghost and Bootzilla, the "world's only rockstar monster of a doll."

Collins loves his home town. In 2005 he composed "Fear Da Tiger," a hip-hop fight song for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. Last year he contributed vocals to "Marshal Law," the theme song for the Cincinnati Marshals indoor football team.

"We've been talking about saving King over the last seven years," Collins said last week after an appearance at the Columbia College concert series in Chicago. "At least the building is still standing. Someone has to step up and be the Henry Kissinger and pull it together. That's what my effort is. I'd not only like to restore the studio, but you have to tie in what's happening today. I'd like to have school programs involved. "That way it is still a work in progress."

Collins has an ally in Cincinnati city council member John Cranley. "People have taken greater interest in King since James' passing," said Cranley, 33. "There's a great deal of awareness among the city leadership that we have a strong claim to be one of the top three origins of rock 'n' roll with Memphis and New Orleans. We have [Cincinnati natives] James Brown, the Isley Brothers, King Records and Hank Ballard and 'The Twist.' And King Records was an integrated music company, which is important in being a role model for diversity. I want to trumpet this past."

Right now ground zero for all things King is Shake It records, located in an old tool and die factory at 4156 Hamilton Ave. (513-591-0123) in the regentrified North Side neighborhood about 10 miles northeast from King. Shake It is owned by brothers Darren and Jim Blase. They are Cincinnati natives and Darren, 38, is an impeccable musical landmark tour guide.

In a separate interview in front of the desolate King site, Darren Blase said, "Everything at King was even loaded up for scrap. It is cool to know that the pressers and stampers went to studios in Jamaica. They might be still pressing up those rock steady '45s, which makes sense because [King] artists like Roy Brown were a big influence in Jamaica." Collins said he is trying to retrieve a couple of authentic musical pieces from Jamaica for a possible museum.

Shake It is across the street from the former Park Theater, a vintage movie house where "Deep Throat" was the final feature. The record store is next door to Park Chili, a tiny diner that calls itself Cincinnati's original chili parlor.

Shake It has 43,000 music titles. More than 1,000 piece of music are of regional artists, including Mouse and the Traps, a '60s rock band that had a Cincinnati hit with "Public Execution" and King legend Bill Doggett.

Notable Shake It visitors include John Doe from X, Jay Farrar and Sleater-Kinney. On May 11 country legend Charlie Louvin will play a few songs in a unique in-store appearance.

Some of the most remarkable American roots music was recorded, manufactured and distributed from King. Collins said, "It was ahead of its time because it had everything under one roof. We'd cut a record and the next day it was out. It was incredible." King was built along the Baltimore & Ohio train tracks for easy distribution. "One thing King had going for it was its location," Blase said. "You could get a record as quickly to Chicago as you could to Charlotte, N.C. Bill Doggett told me he made a record on a Saturday night in Cincinnati, played a gig in Chicago that Monday and walked into a record store that afternoon and saw the record he had just made."

Blase has collected oral histories from King employees. In 1992 he wrote a thesis piece called "The King Records Story" at the University of Cincinnati. "People have artificial boundaries they set up by other people whether they are government or friends or family," he explained while driving his Prius hybrid around downtown Cincinnati. "People who worked at King talked about having to drive through burned out neighborhoods to get to work [similar to Stax in Memphis and Motown in Detroit] and not being afraid. And then going to work in this integrated company. At one point King had 400 employees. They had inter-company mixed league baseball games. A white team and a black team would play other manufacturing teams in the community." People got to know each other beyond the artificial boundaries.

Blase has interviewed residents in the King neighborhood. "We heard all the stories about how when Mr. Brown came, he would hand out quarters to kids in the neighborhood," Blase said. Brown actually paid Nathan $5,700 in 1962 to record the landmark "Live at the Apollo" for King. The late Kentucky coal miner/preacher Brother Claude Ely recorded for King and Ely became the imprint for the Robert Duvall film "The Apostle."

King debuted in 1943 as a country and western label. Blase said he has a "passing interest" in King's country catalog, which runs from the Delmore Brothers to Grandpa Jones.

Blase will point out the downtown Artworks building, 811 Race St. (now the home of the CityBeat alternative newspaper), where Hank Williams did his Sterling Recordings at the studio of Midwestern Hayride engineer Earl Herzog. Williams' earliest MGM recordings were made on this site in 1948 and 1949, including the breakthrough "Lovesick Blues," with Jerry Byrd on steel guitar.

There is no better place to reach out and touch Cincinnatti's musical legacy than Shake It. "People talk about the sad state of affairs in record stores in America," said Blase, who has worked in record stores for 25 years.

"For me, its music, but there's all this ephemera that comes out of music: fashion, design or whatever. That's been our trump card. We still sell 80 percent music, but when we put out a graffiti book [the new There's an Octopus Under My Bed] we get 600 orders from all over the world the first three days. That's 600 orders that wouldn't come in if we were just selling CDs. We were up 17 percent last year. We think we'll be up 17 to 22 percent this year." The record store's walls are accented with local folk art, including Bob "Mr. Rhythm Man" Beemon's marvelous not-for-sale dioramas of King figures like Little Willie John and James Brown .

"The last time James saw King was about four years ago," Collins said. "He saw what happened to the building and he was pretty through with that. He came out to the house, we jammed in my studio. We had a blast." Collins was clearly energized. Deep within his considerable soul, he knows Cincinnati has a brand new bag.

For more on Bootsy Collins and the Shake It take on independent record stores, visit Dave Hoekstra's Scratch Crib Blog at www.suntimes.com/blogs. For more on Shake It Records with links to pertinent King sites, visit www.shakeitrecords.com.

THE LEGACY OF KING RECORDS
King Records was a crossroads of American music during its regal run between 1943 and 1968 at 1540 Brewster Ave. in Cincinnati.
Here's some of the major artists who recorded for King and its subsidiaries of Queen and Federal:

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (R&B)
Earl Bostic (R&B)
Tiny Bradshaw (R&B)
James Brown (soul brother No. 1)
Cowboy Copas (country and western)
The Delmore Brothers (country and western)
Bill Doggett (R&B)
Charlie Feathers (country, rockabilly)
Slim Gaillard (jumpin' jive)
John Lee Hooker (blues)
Ivory Joe Hunter (R&B)
Ferlin Husky (country)
The Ink Spots (pop, soul)
Little Willie John (gritty soul)
Albert King (blues)
Freddie King (blues)
Big Jay McNeely (jump, swing)
Webb Pierce (country)
The Stanley Brothers (bluegrass)
Swan's Silvertone Singers (gospel)
Hayden Thompson (rockabilly)
Eddie Vinson (jazz)
Billy Ward and the Dominoes (R&B)
Johnny "Guitar" Watson (Blues)
Jimmy Witherspoon (R&B)

http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/travel/341718,TRA-News-Detours15.article

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Maybe an email to Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory would help: mark.mallory@cincinnati-oh.gov

Considering all the great music provided by the artists that are included in the THE LEGACY OF KING RECORDS list, an email is not too much to ask. Here's an opportunity to take some action on a musical issue instead of just talking about it.

Btw, i've already sent mine.



tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431
"Ya see, we're not interested in what you know...but what you are willing to learn. C'mon y'all."
Reply #1 posted 04/20/07 7:41pm

LittleBLUECorvette

Joe Tex also recorded on King Records from 1955 to 1962. Thats how he and JB met.
PRINCE: Always and Forever
MICHAEL JACKSON: Always and Forever
-----
Live Your Life How U Wanna Live It
Reply #2 posted 04/21/07 10:40am

theAudience

LittleBLUECorvette said:

Joe Tex also recorded on King Records from 1955 to 1962. Thats how he and JB met.

I found an interesting story about a Joe Tex/James Brown encounter.

But first, did you send that email? hmmm


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431
"Ya see, we're not interested in what you know...but what you are willing to learn. C'mon y'all."
Reply #3 posted 04/21/07 11:21am

funkpill

theAudience said:

LittleBLUECorvette said:

Joe Tex also recorded on King Records from 1955 to 1962. Thats how he and JB met.

I found an interesting story about a Joe TexJames Brown encounter.
But first, did you send that email? hmmm


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431



care to share?? biggrin
pip rose
Reply #4 posted 04/21/07 11:23am

theAudience

funkpill said:

theAudience said:


I found an interesting story about a Joe TexJames Brown encounter.
But first, did you send that email? hmmm


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431



care to share?? biggrin

Did you send an email?...hmph!


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431
"Ya see, we're not interested in what you know...but what you are willing to learn. C'mon y'all."
Reply #5 posted 04/21/07 11:42am

funkpill

theAudience said:

funkpill said:




care to share?? biggrin

Did you send an email?...hmph!


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431




Sending one as we speak biggrin
pip rose
Reply #6 posted 04/21/07 11:51am

theAudience

funkpill said:



Sending one as we speak biggrin

highfive My man. cool

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

James Brown & Joe Tex - Road Games



The gunfight

Not long after his groundbreaking Live At The Apollo album was released in 1963, James Brown returned to Macon to play a "homecoming show" at the City Auditorium on a bill with Joe Tex. Two people in attendance were Newton Collier, who would go on to perform in Sam & Dave's band, and a local white singer named Wayne Cochran. Afterward, James Brown went out to Club 15 in east Macon where Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers were performing. In addition to Jenkins, the band included Otis Redding.

Jessie Hancock: When a black band would play at the City Auditorium, they had a string upstairs on the balcony about middle ways down. Whites would sit on one side upstairs, and blacks would sit on the other. And no whites would come downstairs. But, man, them white people would be jumping upstairs! They'd be dancing! I didn't know white people could dance like that.

Newt Collier: Joe Tex could imitate anybody he wanted to. You know how James came out with the cape? Joe had one made up out of a raggedy blanket, with holes all in it. You know how James would break down and fall on his knees? Joe fell on his knees, and all of a sudden, he grabbed his back. He had the cape on and got all tangled up in it, and he was fighting to get out, singing, "Please, please, please, get me out of this cape." He just made a mockery of James. Here it was, James' homecoming show, and James didn't appreciate this at all. He went out to Club 15 after the show, and Joe Tex was out there. And James took a couple of shotguns, and I think six people got shot. James did most of the shooting, and Joe was running back behind the trees and bushes. So that was the end of the Joe Tex/James Brown revue.

Charles Davis: I was the last one to know what was happening. I'm playing drums with my eyes closed and getting down. The crowd was noisy, and I couldn't hear the shooting. By the time I figured out what had happened, everybody was on the floor, and I'm up there on the stage by myself.

Wayne Cochran: James and somebody else was in there, shooting across the room at each other and reloading. Didn't neither one of them hit the other. James ran outside, and I saw his tour bus pull out of the parking lot with him behind the wheel.

Johnny Jenkins: Seven people got shot. They were reloading and coming back in. Me and Otis, we were hiding behind a piano. A guy went around later, and I think he gave each one of the injured $100 apiece not to carry it no further. And that just quieted it down.

http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A181542
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tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431
"Ya see, we're not interested in what you know...but what you are willing to learn. C'mon y'all."
Reply #7 posted 04/21/07 11:52am

funkpill

funkpill said:

theAudience said:





Sending one as we speak biggrin




ok...its sent..


now tell biggrin
pip rose
Reply #8 posted 04/21/07 11:57am

funkpill

theAudience said:

funkpill said:



Sending one as we speak biggrin

highfive My man. cool

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

James Brown & Joe Tex - Road Games



The gunfight

Not long after his groundbreaking Live At The Apollo album was released in 1963, James Brown returned to Macon to play a "homecoming show" at the City Auditorium on a bill with Joe Tex. Two people in attendance were Newton Collier, who would go on to perform in Sam & Dave's band, and a local white singer named Wayne Cochran. Afterward, James Brown went out to Club 15 in east Macon where Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers were performing. In addition to Jenkins, the band included Otis Redding.

Jessie Hancock: When a black band would play at the City Auditorium, they had a string upstairs on the balcony about middle ways down. Whites would sit on one side upstairs, and blacks would sit on the other. And no whites would come downstairs. But, man, them white people would be jumping upstairs! They'd be dancing! I didn't know white people could dance like that.

Newt Collier: Joe Tex could imitate anybody he wanted to. You know how James came out with the cape? Joe had one made up out of a raggedy blanket, with holes all in it. You know how James would break down and fall on his knees? Joe fell on his knees, and all of a sudden, he grabbed his back. He had the cape on and got all tangled up in it, and he was fighting to get out, singing, "Please, please, please, get me out of this cape." He just made a mockery of James. Here it was, James' homecoming show, and James didn't appreciate this at all. He went out to Club 15 after the show, and Joe Tex was out there. And James took a couple of shotguns, and I think six people got shot. James did most of the shooting, and Joe was running back behind the trees and bushes. So that was the end of the Joe Tex/James Brown revue.

Charles Davis: I was the last one to know what was happening. I'm playing drums with my eyes closed and getting down. The crowd was noisy, and I couldn't hear the shooting. By the time I figured out what had happened, everybody was on the floor, and I'm up there on the stage by myself.

Wayne Cochran: James and somebody else was in there, shooting across the room at each other and reloading. Didn't neither one of them hit the other. James ran outside, and I saw his tour bus pull out of the parking lot with him behind the wheel.

Johnny Jenkins: Seven people got shot. They were reloading and coming back in. Me and Otis, we were hiding behind a piano. A guy went around later, and I think he gave each one of the injured $100 apiece not to carry it no further. And that just quieted it down.

http://atlanta.creativeloafing.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A181542
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431




i remember reading this..

not sure where

thanks still biggrin
pip rose
Reply #9 posted 04/21/07 11:59am

theAudience

funkpill said:



i remember reading this..

not sure where

thanks still biggrin

At least I got the email out of you. smile


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431
"Ya see, we're not interested in what you know...but what you are willing to learn. C'mon y'all."
Reply #10 posted 04/21/07 12:22pm

funkpill

theAudience said:

funkpill said:



i remember reading this..

not sure where

thanks still biggrin

At least I got the email out of you. smile


tA

peace Tribal Disorder

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=182431



no problem my friend biggrin
pip rose
Reply #11 posted 04/21/07 3:27pm

LittleBLUECorvette

There is some other good JB/Joe Tex stories.

One other includes JB supposedly stealing Joes girlfriends at the time, Bea Ford who was on JB hiyt "You've Got The Power." JB would later marrty her.


There was also a story of Joe Tex writing somethinbg on his tourbus "The Original Soul Brother Number 1"
PRINCE: Always and Forever
MICHAEL JACKSON: Always and Forever
-----
Live Your Life How U Wanna Live It
Reply #12 posted 04/21/07 3:58pm

funkpill

LittleBLUECorvette said:

There is some other good JB/Joe Tex stories.

One other includes JB supposedly stealing Joes girlfriends at the time, Bea Ford who was on JB hiyt "You've Got The Power." JB would later marrty her.


There was also a story of Joe Tex writing somethinbg on his tourbus "The Original Soul Brother Number 1"



There was also the debate on who invented the mic tricks..

Tex claims he did..

He really got under Brown's skin lol
pip rose

URL: http://prince.org/msg/8/224952

Date printed: Fri 16th Nov 2018 7:09pm PST