Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine, August 25, 2018


The Mission

Our goal is to provide a unique experience by bringing together the King Records community.  We plan to develop awareness, identify and support the fan base and celebrate all the King Records artists and musicians of the first 75 years...and beyond.

A portion of tickets from the night will help save the building at 1540 Brewster Avenue – the original building of True American Music – and to support the artists and musicians of King Records. 



Celebrate the 75th Year of King Records with Artists, Live Performances, Storytellers, Writers, Videos and Lifetime Achievement Awards


Celebrate the King: The Gala on August 25th, 2018 will be a special night for King Records and the City of Cincinnati. With Memorial Hall as the home of the 75th anniversary gala for King Records, we take a look back to remember the inventive talent, the many genres of music created by all different types of artists and musicians from around America creating and leading the charge, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

It will be a night of stories and performances, a gathering of musicians and artists, a reunion of family and friends. We will open the doors for the next generation of King Records fans.

On this night, we will showcase many King Records voices from Cincinnati and beyond. There will be videos that highlight artists and musicians. There will be many musicians and performances backed by the incredible School of Rock, featuring some of Cincinnati's most talented youth artists with special cameo appearances by King Records recording artists, family and friends. We will also be celebrating four Lifetime Achievement Awards. We highlight these amazing artists here below. We look forward to this magical night, we cannot wait to celebrate and share with you. 

King Records Lifetime Achievement Awards

Bootsy Collins


"Oct.26th. I was born in Cincinnati Ohio, where I became a staff musician at King Records by the time I was 15. I then toured the world with Hank Ballard, & Marva Whitney, before joining the hardest working man in show business Mr. James Brown.

I then went on to play with George Clinton, Parliament Funkadelic, and also fronted my own band, Bootsy's Rubber Band. I then met Bill Laswell and recorded with lots of Artist like Herbie Hancock, Keith Richards, Cyndie Lauper, Ice Cube, Africa Bambaataa, and others." 

William "Bootsy" Collins
Bootzilla Productions

Henry Glover


Henry Glover was one of the first black executives in the music business, rising to prominence in the late 1940s with King Records.

He was a talented musician who served at various times as producer, arranger, songwriter, and talent scout. Versatile and open minded, Glover worked with Country, Blues, R & B, Pop, Rock, and Jazz artists throughout his career. He played a major role in making King into one of the best independent labels.

Brian Powers
King Records Historian

Philip Paul


"Philip Paul was The Beat of King Records. House drummer during the label’s Golden Age, from 1951-1964 he drove the rhythm on more than 350 classics, a heady brew of R&B, blues and country, including Hank Ballard’s “The Twist,” Hawkshaw Hawkin’s “Lonesome 77203,” ”Freddie King’s “Hide Away” and Little Willie John’s “Fever.” In 2018, at 92, he’s still performing. The Beat goes on."

Larry Nager
Author / Musician

Otis Williams


Otis went from being a star halfback at Withrow H.S. gridiron in 1953 to a star on the charts in 1954 with the release of the doo wop classic, “Hearts of Stone”. The song peaked at #15 on the Pop Charts in January '55 which marked it as one of the first R&B to Pop crossovers. By mid-1955, there may not have been a hotter R&B act than Otis Williams & The Charms. The sweat & touring paid off with a week long residency at The Apollo Theater in Sept of that year.  More hits followed with “Gum Drop,” “Two Hearts,” “Ivory Tower” & “Ling, Ting, Tong” all of which lead him to his 2009 induction into The Doo Wop Hall of Fame .

Darren Blase
Shake-It Records

Guiding King Records

The Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation serves to elevate the region's rich music heritage and the contributions of the past, present, and future music community through preservation, education and celebration.

The King Records Legacy focuses on how King Records changed the world, paving the way for rock and roll and helping shape country music, R&B, rockabilly, bluegrass, soul, funk, and electric blues.

King Studios provides the foundation for King Studios whose goal is to expose and energize the legacy of Cincinnati's historic King Records in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Evanston. Inspired by the legacy of King Records and fueled by the academic investment and economic development of nearby Xavier University, King Studios features the dynamic integration of music and arts education, entrepreneurial training, and cultural history.

The Bootsy Collins Foundation, contributes to music education of the youth. The Bootsy Collins Foundation recognized internationally, serves to educate, provide, and communicate music through the culture of the region or nation from which it comes.


Celebrate the King:
Dinner & The Panel

James Brown Productions Panel Discussion:
Moderated by Brian Powers


Alan Leeds

Writer-producer-tour manager, New York born Alan Leeds is a music business veteran. Hired by James Brown first as a publicist, Leeds became Soul Brother #1’s tour director in 1970. Beginning in 1975, Leeds became a free-lance tour manager working with Kool and the Gang, Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Teddy Pendergrass, Kiss and Cameo

Leeds won a Grammy Award in 1992 for liner notes to the James Brown Startime box set. He has also contributed to the production or wrote liner notes for Prince’s three CD set, “The Hits and The B Sides” as well as albums by Weather Report, Funkadelic, Mavis Staples, Hugh Masekela, D’Angelo, Christian McBride, Bootsy Collins and Bob Belden

Sisters of Righteous

Sisters Geneva “Gigi” Kinard and Denise Kinard, along with their cousin Roberta DuBois, were from Cincinnati, and worked with James Brown in the late 1960s. They served as backup singers on numerous songs recorded at King in the R &B, Rock and Country fields. Their lovely harmonies can be heard embellishing Brown’s
“I Cried,” one of his ballads.

They also appeared behind Vicki Anderson on her King 45 “Wide Awake in a Dream.” As Sisters of Righteous they cut four sides for King, all produced by Brown and penned by the 'Sisters themselves. That’s How I Feel,” “Is My Lovin’ Too Slow,” and “Hold On to What You Got” showcase their beautiful vocals.

RJ Smith

RJ Smith is the author of The One: The Life and Music of James Brown; it was listed as one of the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012. His most recent book, American Witness, a biography of filmmaker and photographer Robert Frank, was published by Da Capo Books in 2017. Smith has been an editor at Los Angeles and Cincinnati magazines and has written for GQ, Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Yeti.

He lives in Columbia-Tusculum with his wife, daughter, and several chickens. Currently he is working on a book about Chuck Berry.

Kick Lee

Kick Lee is a producer, musician, and advocate for the arts with a background in music production as well as instructional design and technology. Cincinnati Music Accelerator serves as an incubator for local artists and musicians, helping them develop their unique craft while simultaneously educating them on how to monetize their talent.

Through six weekly two-hour sessions, artists will create content and songs, receive legal services so their work made in CMA will be licensed and protected and host a pitch night that will allow them to showcase and promote their work created through Cincinnati Music Accelerator.


Our King Partners


Our Creative Partners



We Show Respect for All Individuals. We believe that all individuals can and want to contribute to their fullest potential. We value differences. We inspire and enable people to achieve high expectations, standards and challenging goals. We are honest with people about their performance.

We will provide branded products and services of superior quality and value that improve the lives of the world’s consumers, now and for generations to come. As a result, consumers will reward us with leadership sales, profit and value creation, allowing our people, our shareholders and the communities in which we live and work to prosper.

Memorial Hall

A 3CDC Programmed Space, Memorial Hall is conveniently located in the heart of the revitalized arts district of Over-the-Rhine. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, this exquisite venue overlooks Washington Park, and is neighbor to Music Hall, the Transept, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and soon-to-be completed new home of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

School of Rock

The School of Rock Mason, where students learn to rock their worlds. Perfectly poised in the heart of Mason’s bustling music ecosystem, School of Rock Mason has the right teachers, instruments, and programs your student needs to jam their way to success.

School of Rock isn’t just about creating killer musicians with a lasting love for all things rock. Because life isn’t a solo act, we’re equally focused on creating awesome bands of friends and musicians. We’re as much about orchestrating a community in Mason full of cool experiences as we are about building confidence, extraordinary teamwork, and achieving excellence through our unique teaching method.

Everyone deserves to feel like a rock star. Welcome to a place where students learn to create face-melting music while developing the skills they need to do so much more.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Has been offering audiences the finest in professional theatre for 56 years. Nationally known for its excellence and commitment to new works and as an artistic home for America's best actors, directors and designers, the Playhouse always keeps its primary role at center stage — to serve the Tristate by producing the finest in classic and contemporary works: musicals, dramas, comedies and recent hits. Simply put, the Playhouse strives to celebrate the live theatrical experience in superlative fashion, in a setting that is second to none.


Helps create a more informed public, with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the world's events, ideas, and cultures. Using the national and international news resources of National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, the BBC and its own team of award-winning radio journalists WVXU keeps listeners in touch with events around Cincinnati and around the world.

The Music Resource Center

The MRC is a multifaceted teen program that uses recording and performing arts, as well as life skills mentoring to create a sense of empowerment & accomplishment in the urban community.

We Have Become Vikings

A group of rebels, rockers, thinkers and makers combining strategy and design to help our clients tell stories through any means possible. Moving across all media channels that best serve the problem, we combine ideation with prototyping to create unique experiences. We work hard and play hard, and want to make kick ass work to further our never ending passion for art, music and design.

The Cincy Blues Society

CBS is a member-supported, 501(c) not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and advance the culture and tradition of Blues music as an original American art form. Formed in 1990, the Cincy Blues Society strives to fulfill its mission by encouraging and facilitating both performance and educational events and projects. Their focus is on “Keeping the Blues Alive!”

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a museum of conscience, an education center, a convener of dialogue, and a bea­con of light for inclusive freedom around the globe.

Cincy Stories

Building community through story. That is Cincy Stories mission.

Stories allow for walls to come down and empathy and understanding to be built in their place. Stories are the key to relationships and relationships are the key to community. With personal story, Cincy Stories hopes to build a deep community of listening, understanding and empathy. Whether through our monthly live storytelling events, short documentary videos, or community engagement work we know that stories do sacred things and simply want to take part in the hearing and telling of our collective stories.

King Studios Traveling Suitcases

The Traveling Suitcases are educational tool kits designed to share and teach different aspects of the King Studios legacy outside of a traditional brick-and-mortar museum location. Each suitcase contains artifacts and educational materials and is aligned to Ohio Content Standards.

Cincinnati Magazine

Cincinnati Magazine is the definitive guide to living well in Greater Cincinnati, connecting sophisticated, educated readers with the region’s most impactful people, cultural issues, food, arts, style, fashion and history via print, digital and events. It’s been named Best Magazine in Ohio five times since 2010.


CityBeat, since 1994 has been covering Cincinnati's independant local arts. CityBeat is located at 811 Race Street, in the Herzog building where many King Record's artists and musicians recorded and rehearsed.

The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce

The Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce represents its members by promoting economic vitality and fostering a socially and culturally diverse Over-the-Rhine community. We accomplish this mission through initiatives around marketing, communications and signature events, business attraction and retention efforts, and safety initiatives. The OTR Chamber was formed in 1985 as a 501(c)(6) organization. It created the OTR Revitalization Corporation, a 501(c)(3), in 2000 to tap into the grants and fiscal gifts available. The organizations work hand in hand to bring resources, events, commerce and awareness to the 360-acre neighborhood.


After Party King Celebration

Join us after the gala downstairs in the Memorial Hall Gold and Green Rooms 


Playhouse in the Park presents "Cincinnati King"

Learn more about this amazing piece of art coming to the Playhouse in the Park this fall 2018, "Cincinnati King." Celebrate Cincinnati’s rich music history in this world premiere musical about King Records. Based on hundreds of interviews, the story traces the groundbreaking rise of music pioneer Syd Nathan and the artists he produced, the music he created and the enemies he made along the way. The show shares behind-the-scenes tales of King Records hits including “The Twist,” “Blues Stay Away From Me,” “Fever” and “Need Your Love So Bad.” Cincinnati King shines a spotlight on this revolutionary music label and its Queen City roots. 

Darren Blase and Shake It Records Top 50 King Records

Check out the Cincinnati's very own Darren Blase & Shake It Record's Top 50 King Records, from Little Willie John to The Stanley Brothers we can't wait to see how Darren and the crew at one of the nation's beloved record shops ranks their favorites on display at Memorial Hall.

King Me

Nina Wells, AKA NinaMDot, is a self-taught photographer. Her motto “What you see is what you become” was brought to life with the installation of King Me, a collection of photographs of men of color wearing crowns. With the use of lenticular photography and printing, each image morphs depending on the vantage point, highlighting the power of image to transform perception.


C.Smith Photography

C.Smith has been capturing images of people and places from in and around Cincinnati for more than 60 years. We're excited to showcase C.Smith's work at Celebrate the King, we're sure you'll enjoy a look back at Cincinnati greatness.

Art Academy of Cincinnati Students celebrate 75 YEars of King Records 

The Experience Design students of the Art Academy of Cincinnati celebrated the diversity of King Records by creating a 75th Anniversary logo a Visual Style Guide as well, reimagining vintage King Records artists posters in the Cincinnati, Ohio area and a coloring book that celebrates the 75th year of King Records through the eyes of the Art Academy of Cincinnati students.

DJ Bryan Dilsizian Spins King Records

We look forward to the After Party at Memorial Hall as we Celebrate the King: Honoring 75 Years of King Records. Enjoy an incredible night with the musicians and artists that made King Records a household name in the 1940s through the early 70s. Cut loose with DJ Bryan Dilsizian as he spins all King Records.


Celebrate the King
Honoring 75 Years of
KinG Records

August, 25th 2018

Memorial Hall, Over-the-Rhine,
Cincinnati, OHio

Join us Saturday, August 25th, 2018 at Memorial Hall for "Celebrate the King: Honoring 75 Years of King Records." The night will feature performances and stories from King Records artists and musicians, panel discussions, lifetime achievement awards and so much more.