August 3rd, 2009 By | Music | Posted In: Local Music, King Records, Music News

Another Historic Day for Cincinnati Music


The group behind last fall's successful effort to erect a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame historical marker at the former King Records studio is at it again. They're now hoping to memorialize Herzog Studios' contributions to local and national music history.

At a press conference downtown this morning, leaders of the Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation announced plans for a marker at 811 Race St., where in the 1940s and ’50s Herzog Studios hosted recording sessions by Hank Williams, Patti Page, Ernest Tubbs, Flatt and Scruggs and other notable "Country & Western" acts. The first King Records titles were recorded at Herzog before founder Syd Nathan moved the label to Evanston. CityBeat's world headquarters happen to be located on the top floors of 811 Race St.

In fact, 60 years ago Williams recorded one of his biggest hits, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," at Herzog, which was located on the building's second floor. The song put Williams on the top of the charts and led to his invitation to perform at the Grand Ole Opry.

Among the speakers this morning were local musician Elliott Ruther, ex-City Councilman John Cranley and Bootsy and Patti Collins, who are part of the core group that launched the Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation. After years of talk and little action from city leaders, the foundation was able to arrange for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to create and install a historical marker at the former King Records; the marker was installed Nov. 23, and Collins led a celebration of the King legacy that evening at the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. [The New York Times covered that day's events here.]

Ruther announced plans for a benefit concert Aug. 22 at the Southgate House. Musicians will donate their performances of Herzog-recorded songs, especially Hank Williams tunes, and offer their own originals. Proceeds will go toward funding the historical marker. The lineup is an impressive representation of Greater Cincinnati's Roots music scene, featuring The Hiders, Straw Boss, Magnolia Mountain, The Sally Nixes, The Crick Gypsies, Mack West, Billy Catfish Orchestra, Katie Laur, The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, The Kentucky Struts and Marvin Hawkins. Show details are here.

Sponsors include CityBeat, Shake It Records, Neltner Creative, Guitar Center and ReinstateHank.Org. Research and song compilations being used by the performing musicians are thanks to Brian Powers of the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Public Library.

08.03.2009 at 07:26 Reply
Good article, but you have Hank's two sessions mixed up. The first session, on December 22, 1948, was the one in which he recorded "Lovesick Blues", which was the song that shot him to the top of the charts and resulted in his multi-encore performance at the Opry. August 20, 1949 was indeed the session in which he recorded "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", which helped cement his reputation as "the Hillbilly Shakespeare", but he was already a star at that point.


08.04.2009 at 01:06 Reply
Thanks for the information. To celebrate the Herzog recordings and raise money for the marker, local musicians are lending their talents at a benefit show on Aug. 22 at the Southgate House in Newport. Bands scheduled to perform include the Hiders, Straw Boss, Magnolia Mountain, The Crick Gypsies, Mack West, Billy Catfish Orchestra, Katie Laur, The Comet Bluegrass All-Stars, The Kentucky Struts, Elliott Ruther, Marvin Hawkins and Nashville-based Joey Allcorn. I think, many fans will be delighted. With the fund raising, I think, they dont need any installment loan.


08.04.2009 at 09:11 Reply
Another day in Cincinnati that won't mean a thing in a few years, except a crumbling building and the fading hope that something 'cool' actually happenend in this decaying city.


09.08.2009 at 04:32
Maybe if it features a big screen TV, it'll be successful in Cincinnati. Otherwise, it'll have to be located in Newport or Covington.


08.04.2009 at 09:58 Reply
mau222, the mixup on the Hank Williams dates is my fault. Thanks for the info. wicked, I often have to fight my natural cynicism when it comes to progress in Cincinnati, but I'm encouraged by the dedication shown by the people (mostly young people) involved with the Cincinnati Music Heritage Foundation. They get things done, and they're creating cool things in this decaying city. Maybe you should get involved and help them.