"King Of The Queen City" by Jon Hartley Fox       KING-BOOK

"King Of The Queen City" by Jon Hartley Fox KING-BOOK

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234 Pages, Hardbound, University of Illinois Press During and after the second World War, the recording industry began a significant change that would have a profound effect on music in general in the USA. Instead of just 3 or 4 all-powerful labels, there began to be a steady stream of ’Independent' companies that were there to record and promote specialized forms of music that the big labels were not interested in (at least not until they saw the big dollars there). One of the first such labels to arise was KING RECORDS, started and run by the eccentric but highly successful Syd Nathan. His location in Cincinnati, Ohio was a perfect place to catch musicians, both white and black, as they traveled to perform in venues north and south, rural and urban. Starting in 1943 with a couple of records by Grandpa Jones & Merle Travis (under pseudonyms), Nathan built up a significant stable of artists and hit songs by musicians as diverse as James Brown and the Delmore Brothers, The Swan Silvertone Singers and The Stanley Brothers. Author Fox does a good job in telling the story of KING and it's other labels, mentioning most of the key artists in the Country, Bluegrass, Gospel and R & B genres, and giving us a pretty good idea of what Nathan was like (through interviews with many who worked for him). There is lots of interesting material in this excellent book that should appeal to lovers of country/western, rhythm & Blues and gospel music, as well as to anyone fascinated by the workings of the record industry, and independent labels in particular. $ 27.50