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Tuesday
Jul022013

Cincinnati King - A New Musical


Cincinnati King
 is a new musical about the remarkable life of Syd Nathan and his record label King Records.

A Jew living in Cincinnati, Ohio in the 40’s with nothing more than an eighth grade education, Syd broke every rule: hiring the first black executives in the industry; hiring Japanese Americans for his pressing plant; redefining how music was produced – in 48 hours Syd would find a song, gather his studio musicians (who were mostly Black) cut a blues version of the song, then, with the same musicians cut a country version, press the record and distribute them to gas stations across the south.

Syd made records for the “every man” and by making one dime at a time, built the 6
th largest label in the country. Without Syd we wouldn’t have songs like Fever and The Twist, or artists like Little Willie John and James Brown, yet Syd was also a bully, and his fights with his artists are the stuff of legend. King Records was never given its proper place in the history of rock music and this musical dives head-first into why.


 

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