Translate

Follow by Email

Sunday, June 28, 2020


Wayne Perry on Discogs


The Story of “Pain”
Little Flint Featuring Wayne Perry





The Boys In The Band & Little Flint - Queen City Soul Dynamite





By RANDY McNUTT



If you dance and you live in the UK, you might have heard my record “Pain.” Its evolution is a bit long, as is the story behind it. So here we go. I must warn you that this is without a doubt the most confusing, weird, convoluted, overwritten, and strange record story I have ever heard. If you understand it, you are a likely candidate for a doctoral degree in insanity. Even I get lost, and the ride happened to me. So if you have a headache right now, put off reading this story until you have a clear mind. Please.


“Pain” began in 1972, when Wayne Perry and I were very young independent record producers in Cincinnati. One label guy in Nashville asked us if we were too young to sign a contract. We were not, but we certainly weren't record-biz veterans.

Wayne did a lot of the arranging in the studio, and I picked all of his material and sought leasing deals. Where I found the rock song "Pain," I don't recall, but I believe it came from a Grass Roots album. I do know that I had not heard of Novas Nine's original version on ABC Records, from 1968. Since those days, I’ve heard at least five different single versions of the song, but none were cut in the style that Wayne and I recorded it. Ours was faster, with the force of a hurricane.

The song I found was credited to "B. Mann." I knew it wasn't the legendary Barry Mann, so I assumed it was a studio musician named Bob Mann. As I understand the story today, the song was actually written by his son, Brian Mann, who played with Novas Nine. Brian once said he composed “Pain” in about 30 minutes. It was only the second song he had ever written. Because at 17 he was too young to sign a contract with the publisher, his father signed it for him. Thus, the B. Mann meant Bob Mann. Novas Nine, from North Carolina, was a popular club group in that area. It broke up a few years after ABC released the band’s version. (Sadly, Brian died in 2018.)

I played the song for Wayne, he liked it, and we decided to do it in the style in which we worked: power soul-rock. They call it Northern Soul in the UK. We call it funky roadhouse rock here in Cincinnati. These white soul groups were all over Cincinnati at the time. The most well-known one was the Dapps, a King Records act that often backed Hank Ballard. The band once featured the funk drummer Beau Dollar. Wayne and I were influenced by the Dapps.

We cut "Pain" in the summer of 1972 at Rusty York’s Jewel Recording in suburban Cincinnati, where we did much of our local work. Now this part is important--vital--to understanding this story: We cut two versions of the song. Both shared the same rhythm track, so they sound nearly identical. Wayne sang the first version; Wayne and a guy from Alaska sang the second as a duet. Their voices sounded a lot alike, and they sang the choruses together and exchanged on the verses. Shortly after recording the duet version of “Pain,” the narrative began to get muddied. We had two vocal versions that used the same rhythm track.

The track cooked from the start. This was due to the musicians. They included Roger "Jellyroll" Troy, a singer-bassist who led the group Jellyroll on Kapp Records. Roll, as we called him, had come home on vacation, and Wayne asked him to play on the session. On drums was Jerry Love, a popular blues-rock drummer in Cincinnati. He did a lot of sessions over at King Records. He was a favorite of guitarist Lonnie Mack, the father of Cincinnati's blue-eyed soul movement. The B-3 organist was a kid (only 17) named Terry Hoskins, who lived in our home city, Hamilton, Ohio, about 25 miles northwest of Cincinnati. We just let him wail on that song. We had to get his father's permission to take him to the studio with us. On guitar we hired Gary Boston, a freelance session man at King and a local band veteran. Like so many of these guys, Gary also did some work at King's studio and at times worked on sessions with James Brown. (Today, I use Gary on new recordings.) The horn guys, both sax men, were Craig Shenafeld and Terry Burnside. They also played on some James Brown sessions over at King. On the day we cut the rhythm track, we were all standing in the little studio, talking about the song, and suddenly a guy we didn't know walked in and asked, "Hey, who owns the cool Firebird sitting out front?" Jellyroll said proudly, "Why, I do!" The guy said, "Well, it just got repossessed."

When we finished that day, I asked Wayne if he wanted his name on the record. Without much thought, he said let's put it out as Little Flint. Such a "group" did not exist, but in those days producers used this routine quite often. We made plans. I founded the tiny label Beast Records. In 1973, I made plans to release the Wayne-Alaskan guy's duet on Beast, which had a logo of a big gorilla throwing a paper airplane from the Empire State Building. Our plan was to make the A side “Gonna Have a Good Time,” an Easybeats song we had recently done with a Lebanon, Ohio, band called The Chamberly Kids. They were led by a high school senior named Rick “Bam” Powell, a soulful rock vocalist and drummer. (We loved his voice and drumming. Rick went on to play with many area bands, including the Blue Birds.) The single's B side would be "Pain," the duet version, not Wayne's solo one. Both "Good Time" and the duet "Pain" would be credited to Little Flint.

The problem was money. Neither Wayne nor I had much. About this time, Wayne’s father asked me what I planned to do with the songs and, being a college student, I said I didn't have the money to press it as a single. Wayne’s dad, a wonderful man, wrote a check to me on the spot to pay for the pressing. I went to Cincinnati and asked my friend Shad O’Shea at Counterpart Records to take care of the pressing end of it for me. He asked if I wanted Counterpart to distribute Beast, and I was elated. Counterpart was a successful regional label with rock bands such as the Fifth Order from Columbus, Ohio, and the Mark V from Dayton. As our cockeyed plan took shape, "Good Time" came out as Side A and "Pain" the duet as Side B. ("Good Time"? A bad judgment call on our part.)

Shad told me to take two of my records over to his distributor, A-1 in downtown Cincinnati, and in the rain that day I lugged two boxes into the company's old office. Being inexperienced in distribution matters, I assumed Shad meant two boxes. The crotchety old fellow who co-owned A-1 looked at me and said in disdain, “Kid, I need two records, not two boxes!” I returned to my car to find a parking ticket, which I could hardly afford. Frustrated and trying to make it in college, I gathered all the boxes of records, with a total of 500 copies in them, and took them to the basement of my mother’s house. I placed them on a wooden work bench that was once my grandfather’s. There they sat for 25 years, or who knows how long, gathering dust and obscurity. During that time she repeatedly suggested that I throw them away, but I wouldn’t part with them. Years passed. So did other records. After I moved, most of the boxes mysteriously disappeared. (The suspect, my mother, proclaimed her innocence.) Then one day, years later, a songwriter friend called me and said, “Man, your record is all over You Tube.” I assumed he meant one of my a country records that had been on the Cashbox chart and other ones. But he meant "Pain," both Wayne's solo version as well as the duet version. By then both tracks had appeared on a 2012 CD compilation called “Souled Out” on the Fraternity label in New York. The CD included a lot of other soul-rock tracks that we had recorded in the 1970s and leased to Avco-Embassy and other indie labels across the country. Unbeknownst to me, the UK dance-club DJs were playing both "Pain" versions, which they had picked up from "Souled Out."

Then, in 2018, Nik Weston at Mukatsuko Records in London contacted me about releasing Wayne’s solo version as a single. Nik, a record producer and buyer for Juno Records, is known for introducing Japanese music to England. He said "Pain's" popularity had made the song something of an underground hit among club dancers. He wanted to release it as a vinyl 45. After some negotiating with Fraternity, Nik obtained the UK rights. "Pain" the duet by Little Flint was the B-side on Beast, and the B-side of his record as well. However, the acts had different names. The "Souled Out" CD had credited Wayne's solo version to a group called the Boys in the Band. Instead of Little Flint, Nik used the Boys in the Band name for his A-side. As release time approached, Nik wanted to use an instrumental of the song for his B-side, but an instrumental did not exist. So in 2018, I recorded from scratch an instrumental B-side of "Pain" for him. Unfortunately, I did it too late. Instead, as his B-side he used the duet version under the name Little Flint. Nik got the version he wanted, Wayne's original, as his A. By then, my head was spinning faster than a 45.

Here's how the Boys in the Band came into the picture. In 1977, a producer friend named Herman Griffin, Motown’s first artist, cut an original track with us. (You can hear it on "Souled Out" as Wayne's "Get 'Em While They're Hot," by the Boys in the Band.) Meanwhile, I played "Pain" for Herman, and he asked if he could use the duet version on an album he was recording for his Boys group, which only a few years earlier had hit the national R&B and pop charts, on Polydor Records. Like Little Flint, the Boys in the Band didn't exist. It was a paper band with Herman singing lead. His studio players were hired. Unfortunately, a recession hit in the mid-1970s, and by the late '70s its effects were still being felt. As a result, Herman was unsuccessful in placing his album with a New York label. He dropped the project. I thought Wayne's duet version of "Pain" had died with Beast. As for Wayne's solo track, it was never released until it landed on the "Souled Out" CD. By this time I had mothballed Beast and considered it a one-record label.

More years passed. I became a newspaper reporter, magazine writer, and freelancer. By this time, Wayne had moved to Nashville, where he wrote five No. 1 country hits and did some movie-music work. He got off the soul train. I thought I had too. I segued into rockabilly in a big way and wrote books on music and other subjects. At times I made records for other artists, and one for Wayne. We remained close friends. Eventually, he stopped singing except for doing demos of his own songs. I temporarily quit producing, taking a 16-year hiatus until my ill-fated "Pain" instrumental came along.

Wayne died in 2005. No longer could we laugh at our stories and misadventures in the pre-digital record business, and at what a pain the business could be at times. With my new instrumental version of the song in the can (I cut it on tape, of course), I decided to call it "Pain" by the Fabulous Coins. I had rounded up a bunch of the original players, and let them rip. The track is named in honor of another white soul band from Cincinnati.

The fascinating part is, our 1973 "Pain" record was 47 years old when Nik released it in another country. Despite its mileage, it is still appreciated by fans of Northern Soul and dance music. This B-side-turned-A-side, by two groups that never existed and two singers who did, simply refused to die.

Nik rescued what I believe is one of the better efforts by PM Productions. I wish I could tell Wayne about it, and Herman too, and Shad as well. I can almost hear their laughter in the air. I appreciate the dancers' interest, and Nik’s persistence and encouragement, in making "Pain" a viable disc again.

By the way, Nik's "Pain" 45-rpm disc "sold out" in three months.

When and where will that record end? Or start again?



https://mukatsuku.kudosrecords.co.uk/release/mukat068/

the-boys-in-the-band-little-flint-queen-city-soul-dynamite




Saturday, April 18, 2020

Wayne Perry: Songwriter



Learn How Hit Songwriter Wayne Perry Began His Career

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow night, between 7 and 8 p.m. on WVXU, Cincinnati's top public radio station, I will be interviewed about my late production partner and friend Wayne Perry. Many of you will remember Wayne as a successful Nashville songwriter who wrote five No. 1 hits on the country chart, a composer of nationally charted records, and a wonderful vocalist. Artists recording his songs include the Back Street Boys, Lorrie Morgan, and Tim McGraw. Wayne and I produced many records together in the 1970s and early 1980s. One is a blue-eyed soul song named "Pain" by Little Flint featuring Wayne Perry. Those of you in the UK might know of his popular dance club song. But I will save that story for another day. If you can't find my interview tomorrow night, you can also find it on WVXU's web site. I will insert a link below. Wayne's vocal track "Take the Chance to Love Again" will be used at the end of the interview. Sometime I hope to do a story about Wayne's days as a blue-eyed soul singer in Cincinnati, where he started singing at age 14. He was too young to get into the Inner Circle nightclub, so older band members had to vouch for him (a different era, for sure).

Stay well,

Randy



Wayne Perry in the mid-1980s.

Local Music Producer & Author Randy McNutt Shares Memories Of Singer-Songwriter Wayne Perry
  • Randy McNutt
  • Author and music raconteur Randy McNutt joins our Elaine Diehl to talk about his friend and one-time writing partner Wayne Perry, probably the second most successful modern local songwriter (behind Troy Seals.) Perry, whose music has been recorded by Backstreet Boys, Tim McGraw, and others, completed his first song 50 years ago this year.










    Friday, February 28, 2020

    King Records Interview, Part 2

    For Immediate Release
    Media inquiries contact: Emily Higgins, Publicist 
    843.853.2070 x 113
    ehiggins@arcadiapublishing.com






    Randy McNutt stands in front of the
    King Records history exhibit, 2018.




    An Interview with

    Randy McNutt

    Author of King Records of Cincinnati

    Part 2

    Publication date: June 1, 2009
















    Continued from previous page.




    Why is King Records important?
    Because it became a model for labels that followed later in the 1940s. Syd Nathan, the owner with the goggle glasses, knew what he was doing. Few companies could afford to build their own studios, launch a series of sales offices across the nation, and hire a staff of more than 600 people. But other label owners did take time to follow Nathan's lead in taking charge of his own business model. They realized that one-stop's and jukeboxes would play a large role in selling records. They began to milk these ideas. New labels also took King's vision and applied it to their music. They learned that the bulk of any label's long-term income came from publishing, so they courted writers and producers. Newer labels also gave BMI a good look, as Nathan had done before he signed his Lois Music Publishing to the rights organization. In those days, BMI as just beginning, and it was trying to find as many publishers as possible.


    How did you research the information for the book?
    After producing records on my own for years, in Cincinnati, Nashville, New York, and other places, I became interested in the session players who worked with me in Cincinnati. I had heard many stories about them, of course; they had accomplished many things during their long careers. But I didn’t know that some of the white musicians had played on James Brown’s recording sessions. I didn’t know that some of the country musicians had played on R&B sessions at King. So I started interviewing them—the people who made the music at King. I became so fascinated that I continued talking with more and more of them, over 15, 20 years. Then I interviewed the company’s executives and songwriters and office workers. Finally, I decided to write a book about King. But my focus was always on the performers and the songwriters and all the other people who created the music. They really achieved something. They made something that lasted.


    What will readers find interesting about the book?
    They will find the book full of surprises. They will say, “Why, I didn’t know that Joe Tex recorded for King—or the Platters, or Guy Mitchell.” So many singers recorded for King. Unfortunately, some were either at the very beginning or the very end of their long careers, so their work at King isn’t all that well known to the public—in and out of Cincinnati. But many other excellent performers did end up on the charts for the first time with King Records in Cincinnati. And the location, I’m sure, will intrigue a lot of local people. They just assume that very little ever happened musically in their hometown when, in fact, a lot happened here. The infrastructure for having hit records existed here in those days, making Cincinnati one of the top music cities in the country, along with New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, and a few others. When I told their stories in my book Guitar Towns, I called them regional music centers—cities with music establishments that operated independently of the major recording cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville. And King Records helped Cincinnati become the big music town that it was. Hundreds of nationally charted recordings came out of Cincinnati, most of them on King.


    What writing advice would you give to aspiring authors and historians?
    Find a subject you are passionate about, and learn all you can about it. Continue to pursue your idea and don’t give up. If you don’t document fading history, chances are it will be lost to time. Ask yourself, Why not me? You don’t need a doctorate in history. Those people have their place in the world of history, but I prefer to read what is known popular history. It’s the people’s history. University professors used to write it to educate and entertain the public—and to become well-known writers. Then in the 1970s they gave up on this kind of writing to focus on their inside-the-education-community work. I write about how the history connects to us. Past to present. I enjoy writing about the people behind the movements. The people are the most important part of any record company or music movement. Really, about anything. Write about them in a moving but simple way so that anyone can understand your message. I write about all kinds of subjects, but I usually return to music history because I—and many of the people I knew—was a small part of it.


    What lasting impact do you hope your book will leave?
    I hope that a century from now, someone will discover a copy of King Records of Cincinnati, blow the dust off the covers and say, “Wow, I didn’t know any hit records came out of Cincinnati.” Then that person will turn on the latest high-tech listening device and play “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and “Train Kept a Rollin’.” I suppose that’s what every writer hope to achieve—longevity of the work. In King Records and other books, we have time capsules made of paper.


    Randy McNutt is former reporter with The Cincinnati Enquirer and a contributing editor for several national magazines. He has written twenty-three books and hundreds of stories for book anthologies, magazines, and newspapers across the United States. His music books include The Cincinnati Sound; King Records of CincinnatiGuitar Towns: A Journey to the Crossroads of Rock ’n’ Roll; Little Labels—Big Sound: Small Record Companies and the Rise of American Music (with Rick Kennedy), We Wanna Boogie: An Illustrated History of the American Rockabilly Movement; and Too Hot to Handle: An Encyclopedia of American Recording Studios of the Twentieth Century.








    Sunday, January 12, 2020

    King Records of Cincinnati

    For Immediate Release
    Media inquiries contact: Emily Higgins, Publicist 
    843.853.2070 x 113
    ehiggins@arcadiapublishing.com


    An Interview with Randy McNutt

    Author of King Records of Cincinnati

    Publication date: June 1, 2009, Arcadia Publishing






    Indie producers Randy McNutt (left) and Wayne Perry 
    at the board at Jewel Recording, Cincinnati, 1972.



    Recently I found this old interview that was done for promotion purposes some years ago. I thought I'd share it with my friends. No doubt you will have a favorite King story of your own.


    What inspired you to write the book? 

    The record company itself. I’m interested in how labels operated years ago, their founders, and their places in the overall record industry of their time. Fortunately, I was able to talk to many of these guys. I learned a lot from them. I was also inspired by King Records' studio and the musicians who worked over at 1540 Brewster Avenue in Cincinnati. I grew up listening to King recordings, but honestly I didn't think much about them when I was a kid. I was too caught up in Motown and the more commercial rock sounds. We were lucky then, before I could even drive, because radio gave us a broad music education. We heard everything from "Take Five" by Dave Brubeck to "Harper Valley PTA" and even the lush Percy Faith stuff. I guess you could call it jazz collides with mini skirts and begets "A Summer Place." But later, a few of King's hard-edged records began to leave a lasting impression on me. Just listen to the echo on "Cold Sweat"! Listen to the recording's clarity. They did this on tape, you know, and probably on no more than four tracks. Recently, I was driving down the road and that record came on the radio. Suddenly, a thought struck me. Those King records were so good because they were made by people, not machines. If there was a mistake, a little one or two, you kept the best take anyway because it was the one with the most emotion. I know that's how King worked, and even Sun Records too. I didn't get in on that [practice] because I started working on eight tracks, and we overdubbed. You really had to know how to sing and engineer records back in King's heyday because you didn't have Autotune and drum machines and Pro Tools. Too many of the new recordings are compressed to death until there is little humanity left in them. They sound like robots. On purpose, too. I know robots might build my car, but I don't want them making my music.


    How did you become interested in pursuing a book about King?

    I never intended to do one, not a picture book, anyway. It sort of morphed over the years. I suppose it started many years ago. Once I began to learn about recording techniques, and to make my own records, I started appreciating what went on over there at 1540. I'd "interview" anybody who would talk to me. We had conversations. I didn't even know what an official interview was back then. This happened long before I became a newspaper reporter and magazine writer. I became hooked on the place, and on the mystique of recording studios in general. They were like some kind of sanctuaries where you went to do special work. As a kid, I corresponded with a producer up in New York, and he'd type out long letters, single-spaced, explaining whatever I was curious about. I didn't even know this guy. Can you imagine this happening today? You'd get a text that reads like a telegram. He mentioned King a number of times. I admit that King was never on the cutting edge of recording, but that studio on Brewster Avenue could get funky with the best of them. What was it? Magic? I don't know. I have a friend who is a veteran engineer. His name is Gene Lawson, who played drums on "Memphis" by Lonnie Mack at King. He claims the special sound comes from the Ohio River. It is some kind of mystical deal, he tells me, and it runs through cities [located] on rivers. Well, I guess so. I don't know about that kind of thing. All I know is that studio had a sound that made soul and funk stand out. Good grief, it had a big concrete-block echo chamber on the roof. That'll give a record a jolt of adrenaline. King was special in more ways than one. Cincinnati had some terrific players, guys like Troy Seals and Roger "Jellyroll" Troy come to mind. Oh, man. Wayne Bullock, the organ man, and Lonnie Mack, the guitar player. Well, then there was Wayne Perry, the singer. We produced records together and had a great time. I loved the guy. We were comrades. He sounded really good on tape, too. As "the kids," as the older guys called us, we got to work with some of those older guys. They were larger-than-life to us. Jellyroll did some sessions over at King. Once, he came to another studio where I was recording, in the early '70s. He was to play bass. He was wearing a pair of red, white, and blue shoes. I said, "Hey, man, where'd you get those shoes?" That night I went out and bought a pair, even though I was a broke college student. I didn't care. I was wearing Jellyroll shoes! That afternoon when we recorded, somebody repossessed his car. Oh, the big time. The odd thing was, country music sounded good in the King studio, too. When it came to innovation, King Records was right there at the top of the list.


    What is your personal connection to King?

    It predated my own recording, but not by much. In 1971, Wayne Perry and I were lucky to be given a private tour of the King plant. It was on a chilly night, not long before the plant's doors were closed for good. The place felt as cold and lonely as a tomb. James Brown operated a record-production company out of there. I knew that much. I also knew I wanted to get one of our singles placed with King. This is when one of Brown's top promotion guys, Bob “Mr. Movin’” Patton, escorted us through the whole place. I dropped my jaw. Bob had been a DJ on WMOH in Hamilton, Ohio, where Wayne and I grew up. Wayne knew Bob. So Wayne asked him if King was taking any masters, and Bob said no, sorry, but he could show us around the place if we wanted. I thought it would be in some fancy building. Well, now I know that fancy wasn't a word used at King. I can still recall stopping to enter the studio. It had little red lights blinking on and off, and a big mic was standing upright. Wayne went right up to it and yelled like James Brown. "Hey, all right!" You know, when when we walked down a dimly lighted hallway decorated with dozens of album covers, I felt out of place. I thought I must be on Mars. Many of the artists’ names were unfamiliar to us then. We were too uninformed to recognize the names Cowboy Copas, the Delmore Brothers, Grandpa Jones, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Hank Ballard, James Brown, Tiny Bradshaw, and other acts. But when I was 18, 20 years old, I had no idea who these people were or what they meant to their kinds of music. I guess we were like any up-and-coming generation. We didn't know our music history. We were all that mattered then.


    Why did King close in 1971?


    Founder Syd Nathan had died. The whole operation had rested on his shoulders. The company was sold, and sold again. The closing of the plant signaled the beginning of the end of an era in independent music—in Cincinnati and the nation. King meant that much to the independent record industry. There was never a label as independent as King, and there never will be again. It did just about everything except make the cardboard shipping boxes and the record sleeves, and they were made up in Miamisburg, Ohio, just a modest truck drive [away] from Cincinnati. Indie labels would continue, and they will always be around as long as somebody has the gumption and desperation to do it himself. But there will never be a label like King Records again.


    King ad shows the label's 
    diversity in the late 1940s.


    What made King so successful? Was it versatility? 

    Sydney Nathan. King Records was his vision. He literally built it from nothing. Some of his ideas weren’t totally original, although he might not have even heard of some of those early indie labels that had tried a few similar ideas 20 to 30 years earlier. Nathan came up with his ideas, borrowed some others, and eventually came up with his own series of nationwide distribution offices. Starting his pressing plant back in the '40s was the most important decision he made because it gave him the freedom to manufacture his own records. King became the bridge between America’s old-time labels of the 1920s, like Gennett Records of Richmond, Indiana, and the radio-oriented indies of the single’s golden age, the '60s. King's presses were humming with Brown's records by the mid-'60s. Oh I knew about James Brown, for sure. Wayne and I used to see him around town. I used to joke about it to Wayne and say, "Hey, there he is! James Brown!" He'd tell me I'm an adolescent. Pretty soon, he was doing it, too. Then one day downtown I really did see James Brown, and by the time Wayne caught a glimpse of him, Mr. Dynamite was dashing into a store. Wayne used to see Brown, when he was in town, over at the Inner Circle nightclub in Cincinnati. Wayne sang blue-eyed soul there when he was something like, oh, I guess he was sixteen years old. He couldn't legally get in there! It was there that Brown discovered what would become the Dapps, which I consider the first white funk band and for sure one of the earliest funk bands in the country. The Dapps were on the scene early on, not long after "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." That record saved King from going under. Brown signed the Dapps to his production company, and that's how they got on the King label. I believe Mr. Nathan was gone by then.


    What made King different from other independent labels?

    By example King showed other independent labels how to stay in business. You should create a lucrative publishing company, squeeze out every dime you can by cross-pollinating your own songs from one genre to another, build a large pool of studio musicians, cover the right hits, make everything under one roof, and so forth. Say what you will about Nathan, but he practically invented the concept of the one stop. He pioneered the development of modern country music. Why isn’t he in the Country Music Hall of Fame? This is a rhetorical question. He isn’t in it because he wasn’t from Nashville, and he was a crotchety fellow who displeased some competitors down there. Few younger people in the current record business know who he was or what King meant to the industry. It’s the same thing that happens in baseball, in any field. You’re a has-been in ten years. He was cutting hit “hillbilly” and roots records before Nashville ever dreamed up the name Music City, U.S.A. And he was doing his thing up here in Cincinnati. Obviously, he didn’t fit in. 


    How did you research the information for the book? 

    I had help from a number of people, from various corners. A friend of mine, Brian Powers, is a librarian in Cincinnati. He is as crazy about this stuff as I am. We both love the old record business and the way it operated. We trade anecdotes about music pioneers. I gathered a lot of my information slowly, in my spare time, mainly from people who were there at ground zero on Brewster. I had heard many stories about them, of course; they had accomplished many things during their long careers. But I didn’t know that some of the white musicians had played on James Brown’s recording sessions. I didn’t know that some of the country musicians had played on R&B sessions at King. Keep in mind that I did this just for fun. If you had told me it would be used in a book, I would have said you are crazy. So I started interviewing them—the people who made the music at King. I became so fascinated that I continued talking with more and more of them, over 15, 20 years. Then I interviewed the company’s executives and songwriters and office workers. But my focus was always on the performers and the songwriters and all the other people who created the music. They really achieved something special, something that has lasted.

    Coming soon: Part 2 of Randy McNutt's interview. You will find his "King Records of Cincinnati " in bookstores and through Amazon.com.



    James Brown was keeping the 
    label going by the 1960s.


    The Delmore Brothers came to
    King early, in the 1940s.


    Thanks to the people at Arcadia, 
    and especially to record man Howard Lovdal, 
    my mentor and friend, for interviewing me 
    for a change. We had a blast at lunch over 
    at the Tiny Cove, didn't we Shad? 
    You are missed.--RM