The long overdue appreciation of Cincinnati-based King Records gets another shot in the arm with the publication of Dayton-native Jon Hartley Fox’s King of the Queen City: The Story of King Records, a detailed look at the various personalities, including kingpin Syd Nathan, that made the studio such a culturally groundbreaking and creatively vital musical force.
For those who can’t wait for Fox’s appearance at the Books by the Banks festival at the Duke Energy Center on Saturday or at Shake It Records on Sunday, the author discussed the book with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air today. The show also included separate interviews with Bootsy Collins and former King staffer/Sire Records founder Seymour Stein, both of whom talk about their memories of King. (The show will also air on 89.7 WNKU at 5:30 p.m.)
The current interest is just the latest in King’s recent resurgence: You’ll recall CityBeat celebrated the record label’s rich legacy at last year’s CEA Awards, which opened with a lively tribute to King’s most famous alumnus, James Brown, and concluded with a 30-minute set from Ralph Stanley, who recorded for King in the 1950s.