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Episode #530 – King Records, Pt. 5: 1951

Air Week: June 29-July 5, 2020

King Records, Pt. 5: 1951

This week, it’s part 5 of a multi-part feature on the great King Record Label, out of Cincinnati. Syd Nathan, who began putting out records under the King logo in 1943, developed King as a hillbilly music label. After seeing the sales potential in the Rhythm & Blues market, Nathan launched the Queen Records subsidiary in 1945, but folded it into King in 1947 and transferred his R&B acts over. King established itself in the R&B field with Bull Moose Jackson, Ivory Joe Hunter, Wynonie Harris and Lonnie Johnson all scoring enormous hit records. This week in part 5, we take a look at King’s spectacular releases during 1951. Wynonie Harris scores his last 2 career charting records, while fellow blues shouter Tiny Bradshaw continued his hit streak. Earl Bostic scores a #1 record with “Flamingo,” a tune made popular ten years earlier by Duke Ellington. Bull Moose Jackson becomes Moose Jackson and Sonny Thompson starts scoring hits for King. In 1951, King Records continued selling millions of records and this week, Matt The Cat stocks the “Juke In The Back” with the best of them. 

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Episode #529 – King Records, Pt. 4: 1949-50

Air Week: June 22-28, 2020

King Records, Pt. 4: 1949-50

This week, it’s part 4 of a multi-part feature on the great King Record Label, out of Cincinnati. Syd Nathan, who began putting out records under the King logo in 1943, developed King as a hillbilly music label. After a rough start, he relaunched King in 1944 with investment from his various family members. Nathan, seeing sales potential in the Rhythm & Blues market, launched the Queen Records subsidiary in 1945, but folded it into King in 1947 and transferred his R&B acts over. King established itself in the R&B field with Bull Moose Jackson, Ivory Joe Hunter, Wynonie Harris and Lonnie Johnson all scoring enormous hit records. This week in part 4, we take a look at King’s spectacular releases at the end of 1949 through ’50. Bull Moose Jackson racks up another hit record with a big #2 charter, “Why Don’t You Haul Off And Love Me,” which originally hit #1 for hillbilly singer Wayne Raney. In early 1950, Ivory Joe Hunter had already moved on to MGM Records, but King continued to release singles by him and “I Quit My Pretty Mama” hit big for the label in the wake of his #1 for MGM, “I Almost Lost My Mind.” Wynonie Harris continued to rack up hits for King in 1950 and Sonny Thompson and Tiny Bradshaw both made their King Records debuts that year. Matt The Cat’s got the ol’ Rockola Juke full of those records, plus a few surprises, so get ready to groove on part 4 of King Records on this week’s “Juke In The Back.” 

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Episode #528 – King Records, Pt. 3: 1948-49

Air Week: June 15-21, 2020

King Records, Pt. 3: 1948-49

This week, it’s part 3 of a multi-part feature on the great King Record Label, out of Cincinnati. Syd Nathan, who began putting out records under the King logo in 1943, developed King as a hillbilly music label. After a rough start, he relaunched King in 1944 with investment from his various family members. Nathan, seeing sales potential in the Rhythm & Blues market, launched the Queen Records subsidiary in 1945, but folded it into King in 1947 and transferred his R&B acts over. King established itself in the R&B field with Bull Moose Jackson, Ivory Joe Hunter, Wynonie Harris and Lonnie Johnson all scoring enormous hit records. This week in part 3, we take a look at King’s spectacular releases at the end of 1948 and through most of ’49. Wynonie Harris would score his biggest hit in ’49 with the multi-week chart-topper “All She Wants To Do Is Rock,” while both Lonnie Johnson and Ivory Joe Hunter would have records stall at #2 on the chart. Bull Moose Jackson continues to score hits while King finds major success with a few instrumentals by Joe Thomas and Todd Rhodes. So get ready to groove as we continue our salute to King Records in part 3 on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”

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Episode #527 – King Records, Pt. 2: 1947-48

Air Week: June 8-14, 2020

King Records, Pt. 2: 1947-48

This week, it’s part 2 of a multi-part feature on the great King Record Label, out of Cincinnati. Syd Nathan, who began putting out records under the King logo in 1943, developed King as a hillbilly music label. After a rough start, he relaunched King in 1944 with investment from his various family members. As King began to make a dent in the hillbilly field, he recognized that it would be more cost effective to offer other musical genres to clients who were already buying the hillbilly music from him. Not wanting to confuse King’s intention to be a hillbilly label, Nathan launched a rhythm & blues subsidiary that he named Queen Records. By 1947, King had fully established itself as a hillbilly label, so Nathan felt it was time to take on the R&B market and so he folded the Queen label into King and moved many of the R&B artist over to the parent label. King kicked off 1948 with a #1 smash with Bull Moose Jackson’s, “I Love You, Yes I Do.” Jackson would score a 2nd #1 later in the year with “i Can’t Go On With Out You.” Wynonie Harris also put up big numbers in 1948 with the chart-topper, “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and Ivory Joe Hunter scored several top 10 records for King that year. The King roster was full of veteran artists from jazzer Todd Rhodes to bluesman Lonnie Johnson, who’s version of “Tomorrow Night” also topped the charts for King. So get your hands on some nickels as we salute King Records with part 2: 1947-48. 

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Episode #526 – King Records, Pt. 1: Queen Records

Air Week: June 1-7, 2020

King Records, Pt. 1: Queen Records

This week, we begin a multi-part feature on the great King Record Label, out of Cincinnati. Syd Nathan, who began putting out records under the King logo in 1943, developed King as a hillbilly music label. After a rough start, he relaunched King in 1944 with investment from his various family members. As King began to make a dent in the hillbilly field, he recognized that it would be more cost effective to offer other musical genres to clients who were already buying the hillbilly music from him. Not wanting to confuse King’s intention to be a hillbilly label, Nathan launched a rhythm & blues subsidiary that he named Queen Records. Nathan admitted that he did not have an ear for R&B, so he bought at least one third of the Queen releases from other producers, most notably, African American producer Mayo Williams. Queen only scored one national R&B hit during its 2 years of existence, Bull Moose Jackson’s “I Know Who Threw The Whiskey In The Well” in 1946. By mid-1947, Syd Nathan felt that King had properly established itself as a hillbilly label and now he was comfortable going after other genres with King. There was no need for Queen Records any longer, so he closed the subsidiary and moved many of Queen’s artists over to King. Now King would take on the R&B market and prove super successful at it. Matt The Cat digs up Queen’s finest releases this week as we feature part 1 of King Records. So drop a nickel in for Bull Moose and let’s go! 

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Episode #520 – 10th Anniversary Show!

Air Week: April 20-26, 2020

10th Anniversary Show!

The “Juke In The Back” celebrates 10 years on the air with this special 10th anniversary program, featuring records that have never been played on any previous “Juke” shows. Matt The Cat loads the ol’ Rockola Jukebox with stacks o’ shellac of the rare and groovy variety to mark this special occasion. There are even some surprise guests on the program as we get a taste of some quality jump blues, honkin’ instrumentals, smooth vocal groups, spectacular ladies and down home blues. Matt plays a few records that didn’t make it on to recent programs due to time constraints as well as other discs by artists that haven’t been covered on any previous programs. So get ready to jump n’ jive to the rhythm as we celebrate 10 years of hanging out in the back of Rosie’s Juke Joint, diggin’ the sounds coming from the Juke In The Back. 

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Juke In The Back: Demo The Show

 

Click below to hear a demo episode of “Juke In The Back.”