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December 15th, 2008 By mbreen | Music | Posted In: Local Music

Hank Williams, CityBeat and Music History

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The efforts to erect a plaque at the site of the old King Records facility (as well as myriad events related to the past and future of the ground-breaking record label, including this year’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards) hopefully turned a lot of people on to the fact that Cincinnati’s music history is as rich as any city in the country.

Now, some of the same people who sought to honor King’s legacy are turning their focus on another monumental happening that should further enhance Cincy’s reputation as a blockbuster music town.

This coming Monday marks the 60th anniversary of a profoundly important recording session that took place at 811 Race St. in Downtown. Today, that building is home to CityBeat world headquarters, but 60 years ago, it was Herzog Studios.

The studio (on the second floor of the building) was run by Earl Herzog, a WLW employee. His studios were used to record some of the first King Records’ releases. But on Dec. 22, 1948, a young, wild Country & Western musician named Hank Williams recorded his song “Lovesick Blues” (and a few others) at the facility.

The song put Williams — probably one of the Top 5 most important musical icons of the 20th century — on the top of the charts and led to his invitation to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

The Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation is initiating plans to have a plaque installed at 811 Race St., teaming up with CityBeat, the MidPoint Music Festival, Shake It Records and several other partners. The Foundation is asking for those with any sort of memorabilia or artifacts related to Cincinnati’s pioneering days of Country, Roots and Bluegrass music to contact them. Those with information or artifacts can contact Elliott Ruther at elliottvruther@yahoo.com.

There is a private gathering at 811 Race this Monday to discuss further plans. We’ll keep you posted.

 
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