by Rick Pender
Posted In: Theater
at 08:45 AM | Permalink
you're a theater fan looking for something to do this weekend, you've
probably realized that the Labor Day holiday is not overflowing with
options. In fact, many theater companies are gathering their strength as
they prepare for shows that open next week.
there is one good choice available: a show about the King. No, it's not
an Elvis piece. It's about Cincinnati's own King Records, the recording
label that made history here in the 1940s and 1950s, launching the
careers of many early pop stars, including James Brown. Syd Nathan, a
Cincinnati native, launched his independent label in 1943, and for two
decades he and his employees did it all in house — recording, mastering,
printing, pressing and shipping the music that King produced. (Nathan
was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.)
this revolutionary enterprise — which employed blacks and whites in one
of our city's first integrated businesses — is CINCINNATI KING, a
kind of documentary theater piece based on interviews with people who
remember the business and the music. KJ Sanchez, one of the Cincinnati
Playhouse's artistic associates, has pulled this material together for a
90-minute reading that's offered one time, on Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. (Read more in Harper Lee's feature story in this week's issue of CityBeat here.)
No charge for admission, but seating is limited in the Playhouse's Shelterhouse Theater, so reservations are required: 513-421-3888. It's sure to be a full house, so call in advance.
by Mike Breen
Deadline to sign-up for first ever music-based Cincinnati Heritage Program is May 7
The Cincinnati Heritage Programs put together by the Cincinnati Museum Center have been going on for over 30 years now, taking locals and visitors to some of the Queen City's most important and/or interesting landmarks. The programs have included historical presentations and bus and walking tours to the various sites. This year so far, the Cincinnati Heritage Programs have shown and told the stories of radio pioneer Powel Crosley, "Grand Old Theaters" and Cincy local TV legends. This Saturday, the Heritage programmers present "Subway Talk and Walk," a nighttime exploration of Cincinnati's incomplete subway tunnel project. On May 18, from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the Cincinnati Heritage Programs presents the first ever bus tour of various important (not just to the area, but to the world) musical landmarks. Dubbed "When the Queen City was King of Recording," the tour focuses primarily on a pair of historic recording studios that churned out records that would change the face of music. The bus will visit the original site of King Records, which released seminal albums from the worlds of Country and R&B, a gateway to the birth of Rock & Roll. The bus will visit the old King location at 1540 Brewster Ave. in Evanston, where city officials, the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation (CUMHF), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and others helped have an historical marker installed in 2008 to commemorate King's contributions.Here's James Brown's first single, recorded with his Famous Flames and released in 1956 through the King subsidiary, Federal Records:The tour will also visit the former site of the E.T. Herzog Recording Company, at 811 Race St., downtown. In 2009, the CUMHF and others also lobbied successfully for a marker to placed at the site, which now houses the organization's headquarters. The Foundation has turned the floor the studio once stood into a museum dedicated to the space's history, hosting receptions and recording sessions and showcasing a few artifacts (like the piano Hank Williams played when he was in town to record songs that made him a legend, including "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry") and lots of old photos of the studio in action. The Music Heritage Foundation is currently hosting the photo exhibit, "Annie's Baby Had a Baby," which was part of the big, citywide Fotofocus photography showcase. The tour ends with lunch and some live music at the Blue Wisp Jazz Club, a block from the Herzog stop.The tour costs $60 (or $50 if you're a Museum Center member) and some spots are still open. But you'd better act fast. Deadline to register for the "When the Queen City was King of Recording" is tomorrow, May 7. Make a reservation by calling 513-287-7031. And click here for the Museum Center's rundown of great city tours and more. You can read a couple of stories from CityBeat about Herzog and King here and here (check our archives; we've written about them a lot).
by Mike Breen
Arlo Guthrie and Aviccii, plus This Day in Music with Billy Wyman and James Brown
Music Tonight: Swedish producer/DJ Avicii comes to Covington for a show at the Madison Theater. Avicii (born Tim Bergling and also known as Tim Berg) took the modern-age promo route, earning widespread praise on dance music blogs with his crafty House sound. He broke through initially with the track "Bromance"; a version with vocals called "Seek Bromance" became a huge international dance smash, particularly across Europe. DJ Tony Desaro opens tonight's 9 p.m. show. Tickets are $40 at the door. Below check out "Seek Bromance" and the more recent "Fade into Darkness."
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings draw influence from music created in the Queen City
0 Comments · Monday, May 10, 2010
In a feature in The New York Times Magazine, Gabriel Roth — co-owner of Daptone Records and creator, songwriter, arranger and bassist (under the name Bosco Mann) for the increasingly successful retro-Soul/Funk band Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings — recalled the great music he listened to in college: James Brown's work for Cincinnati's King Records. Roth had a specific fondness for Brown's 'Gettin' Down to It,' a 1969 album he recorded with (as Roth told writer Saki Knafo) "these white Jazz guys" — the Dee Felice Trio.
Vital music documentary features James Brown, B.B. King and more
0 Comments · Friday, August 21, 2009
This vital documentary covers "Zaire '74," a three-day concert preceding the famous Ali/Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" boxing match in Kinsasha, Zaire. It's an imperfect social document of a time when anything seemed possible. Here's proof that Michael Jackson never had a thing on James Brown. Grade: B.