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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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