Cincinnati Moves Toward a King Record Museum

Cincinnati’s King Records had another good year in 2009, even though the pioneering R&B/Soul/Country label for all practical purposes left the city — and ceased having any meaningful impact on popular music — when its founder, Syd Nathan, died in 1968.

This year saw two books about King, a photo-oriented Arcadia one from Randy McNutt and a long-in-the-works thorough history, Jon Hartley Fox’s King of the Queen City.

Meanwhile, Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation placed a marker outside 811 Race St. honoring the 1945-1955 existence of the E.T. Herzog Recording Co., where several of King’s most influential early hits were recorded. The foundation also moved into the space that once housed the studio.

Elliott Ruther, CUMHF president, says his group is looking at building a King Records collection to display at its new space, as well as launch efforts to study and display other aspects of Cincinnati music history, like Cincinnati Blues, the old Fifth Floor Recording Studio and Ludlow Garage.

It also wants to develop a King Records course at Cincinnati State University, where Ruther is director of development. Meanwhile, Jim Tarbell, former city councilman (and Ludlow Garage founder), says a consortium trying to create a museum in Evanston hopes to start fundraising early next year. Tarbell serves on what is called the “King Studios” committee as a representative of the Norwood-based architectural firm SHP, for whom he does community work.

That committee has a daunting task in this economic clime — it wants to raise $10-$12 million for a 12,000-square-foot museum, for-profit recording studio, multipurpose space and visual arts studio along the west side of Montgomery Road, between Brewster and Clarion avenues. Xavier University, whose campus is partially in Evanston, is behind the effort and its president, the Rev. Michael J. Graham, has agreed to lead the effort, Tarbell says.

The group also has $900,000 in cityneighborhood-development money earmarked for Evanston Community Council for use in buying property. Anzora Adkins, Evanston Council president, says the city is now doing an environmental evaluation of the site.

But the “King Studios” effort, designed to help improve the business district, has no plans for purchasing and renovating 1540 Brewster, which is off in a little-traveled pocket of Evanston bordering Interstate 71. Its King-related contents are long gone.

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 1:20 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

Our Most Recently Submitted Hooter Girl Videos

We may be approaching Christmas, and while many people are busy shopping there are still those who have time to submit more Hooter videos. These we have received in the past couple of days. Although a winter freeze has gripped most of the nation, these gals are hot enough they can melt the arctic cap. They manage to raise more than my temperature by a few degrees.

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 8:20 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

New ‘Whisky & Jazz’ Coffee-Table Book Combines the Best of Two Worlds

According to Artie Shaw, “Jazz was born in a whiskey barrel …” — a perfect quotation for a book like this in which Hans Offringa ingeniously connects 10 famous jazz musicians with 10 excellent single malt whiskeys.

Evening Post Books is proud to present Whisky & Jazz, a one-of-a-kind coffee-table book about two of the finer things in life – great single malt whisky and jazz music. The beautiful, oversized, 208-page book covers not only the history of whisky and jazz, but highlights ten superlative single malt distilleries and the careers of ten legendary jazz artists. The book culminates in an experiential tasting and listening guide with recommended top picks from whisky connoisseur and international author Hans Offringa.

This museum-quality book, written by Mr. Offringa (with American jazz historian Jack McCray as contributing editor) rewards its readers with wonderfully lush photographs from award-winning artist, Gijs Dragt. The framework of the books is as follows:

— Foundational chapters on the history of jazz and whisky complete with origins, etymology and principal characteristics of each — Chapters on ten remarkable jazz performers describing not only their music, but what made them truly special artists — Chapters on ten whisky distilleries detailing their unique history and the single malt whiskies they superlatively produce — Wrap-up chapters provide a subjective “Best Of….” where Mr. Offringa beautifully pairs jazz selections with top-notch whisky, thereby giving readers an opportunity to further elevate their appreciation of the music and the drink

Whisky & Jazz appeals to a broad range of readers who enjoy history, music, whisky….or all three! The essence of the book is wonderfully captured in the introduction written by whisky journalist Dave Broom: “Jazz is not background music, it sets the mood, it opens the mind. A glass of malt does the same. So does this book.”

The book may be purchased online at

Evening Post Books is the new book division of Evening Post Publishing Co., a family-owned media corporation specializing in print and broadcast journalism headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina. Subsidiaries of the company include television stations and newspapers throughout the United States. Evening Post Books specializes in works by South Carolina Lowcountry authors.

Source: La Vita E Bella, LLC, headquartered in New York City and Charleston, is a marketing advisory firm handling clients in the luxury market and publishing sectors. Our clients range from International Management Group (IMG) to Atlantic Marine shipyards to Evening Post Publishing. For more information, please visit

Published in: on December 22, 2009 at 7:31 AM  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

For Your Sunday Morning Entertainment–Willie Dixon, “Bassology”

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 4:54 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

B.B. King And Joe Bonamassa Record Together

From the Gibson website:

Two generations of blues greats — B.B. King and Joe Bonamassa — have recorded a duet together in Las Vegas, according to the Facebook page of producer Kevin Shirley, who’s worked with Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Journey and The Black Crowes.

The song, a rendition of King’s “Night Life,” is said to be included on Bonamassa’s forthcoming album Black Rock, due out in March or April 2010 on the J&R Adventures label. The original cut of “Night Life” was included on King’s 1967 live disc Blues Is King.

32-year-old Bonamassa and 84-year-old King certainly aren’t strangers to one another. Bonamassa got his first big break at the age of 12 when King invited Bonamassa to open a summer tour for him.

Of Bonamassa, King has said, “This kid’s potential is unbelievable. He hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface. He’s one of a kind.” In turn, Bonamassa has named King as his “biggest traditional influence.”

Bonamassa is currently on a world tour that will last through May. See his website for all dates. His latest release is a double DVD called Joe Bonamassa: Live From Royal Albert Hall, on which he is joined on-stage by childhood idol Eric Clapton.

King has 30 U.S. tour dates scheduled through 2010. His most recent album is Live at The BBC: B.B. King, which captures two decades of performances from 1978 to 1998.

Ellen Mallernee, Editorial Director

Nashville, TN
Ellen Mallernee

Gibson Editorial Director Ellen Mallernee was born and raised in Nashville, Tenn., but has no Southern accent. She’s been a writer and editor for five years, and acted as the music editor for Knoxville’s Metro Pulse. Ellen recently wrote the next great American novel but has yet to put it down on paper. The same goes for her guitar skills — they’re mostly in her head. She lives in an East Nashville bungalow with her husband Nekos and their two dogs, Garp and Hattie.

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 9:31 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

B.B. King Opens New Club Near Vegas Strip

B. B. King has played the Chitlin’ Circuit, he’s played the biggest arenas of the world. Now, he’s got another place to call home, B.B. King’s Blues Club in Las Vegas.

Nestled in a cozy corner of The Mirage, the new club is actually the fifth in a chain that includes sites in Orlando, Fla., Memphis, Tenn., Nashville, Tenn. and West Palm Beach, Fla.

Last Friday, King christened his new digs. Steve Cropper, the legendary R&B guitarist who played with Booker T and the MG’s and co-wrote “Knock On Wood” with Eddie Floyd, “In the Midnight Hour” with Wilson Pickett, and “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” with Otis Redding, served as master of ceremonies.

Lee Roy Parnell, one of those Texas bluesmen who isn’t, but should be, a household name joined him for some impeccable slide guitar work.

Jazz great Lee Ritenour took the stage for a couple of numbers. Robert Cray, who has toured with and played with Eric Clapton many times, took the stage.

Cropper, Ritenour, Cray, Parnell and Guy, plus the guitarists from the house band, joined King for an extended jam..

The new Las Vegas club is set up for you to enjoy it all.

The sound system drives every pulsing bass guitar beat, every gunfire snare drum slap, every stilletto-through-the-heart lead guitar riff, every waterfall of the keyboard into your soul.

The stage is like one of those old gin-joint brick buildings, slightly elevated, but close enough for those on the dance floor or tables to feel the beat.

The club also offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night menus – everything from catfish and fried green tomatoes to burgers; ribs and pulled pork sandwiches to nice, juicy steaks.

Great music – the house band rocks and King will have a lot of his friends dropping in for shows – great food, great vibe.

For more information:

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 9:33 AM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Eight Alligator Artists Receive 14 Blues Music Award Nominations

On Wednesday, December 09, 2009, the Blues Foundation announced the nominees for the 2010 Blues Music Awards. Eight Alligator recording artists received a total of 14 nominations. Soul and R&B guitarist and vocalist Tommy Castro and harmonica master/songwriter/vocalist Rick Estrin (of Rick Estrin And The Nightcats) each received four nominations, tying for the most nominations given to any artist this year (two other artists also received four nods apiece).

Soul and blues singer Janiva Magness, electric blues guitar master Michael “Iron Man” Burks, Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women, Ann Rabson (of Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women), Buckwheat Zydeco, and Tinsley Ellis each received one nomination. In addition, the DVD, Hot Flash-The Documentary (a film about Saffire–The Uppity Blues Women) also received a nod.

The Blues Music Awards are recognized as the highest honor given to blues artists. The Blues Music Awards ceremony a! nd concert will be held May 6, 2010 at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis.

Alligator artists and nominations are as follows:

B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year
Band Of The Year
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year – Twisted
Instrumentalist Of The Year – Harmonica

B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year
Band of the Year
Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year – Hard Believer
Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year

Contemporary Blues Female Artist Of The Year

Contemporary Blues Ma! le Artist Of The Year

Acoustic Album Of The Year – Havin’ The Last Word

Traditional Blues Female Artist Of The Year

Instrumentalist Of The Year – Other (Acco! rdion)

Rock Blues Album Of The Year – Speak No Evil

Who Do You Love Presents An Intimate Look At Leonard And Phil Chess, Legendary Founders Of Chess Records

Following its acclaimed premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Who Do You Love-the new film from four time Tony Award-winner Jerry Zaks (Marvin’s Room)-will open in theaters beginning in March/April 2010. The film, which presents an intimate look into the lives of Leonard and Phil Chess, legendary founders of Chess Records, stars Alessandro Nivola (Coco Before Chanel, Junebug), Jon Abrahams (Meet The Parents), acclaimed musicians Robert Randolph (as Bo Diddley) and Keb’ Mo’, David Oyelowo (Last King Of Scotland), Chi McBride (“Pushing Daisies,” “Boston Legal”), Megalyn Ann Echikunwoke and Marika Dominczyk.

The film features authentic musical performances and a score steeped in hits from the Chess Records canon including Muddy Waters’ “Stuff You Gotta Watch,” Etta James’ “At Last,” and Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love.” The score is assembled by renowned music supervisers Budd Carr-who has provided his expertise to over 70 films including every Oliver Stone film (JFK, The Doors, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, etc.)-and Nora Felder, who has overseen A&R efforts for Paul Simon, Sinead O’Connor, Les Paul and Iggy Pop.

Who Do You Love tells the story of Leonard Chess, a Polish immigrant living in Chicago, who becomes enamored with the new blues sound emanating from the city in the mid-1940s. Chess and his brother Phil open a club called Macomba and gamble on producing “race records” with the help of bass player and songwriter Willie Dixon. After initial failure, they find tremendous success with the iconic bluesman Muddy Waters, and on the strength of his popularity, started Chess Records.

Chess Records quickly grew into an influential label, launching the careers of Waters, Bo Diddley, Etta James, Chuck Berry, among others, and introducing the Blues to American audiences on a broader scale. Who Do You Love tracks the growth of Chess Records, but more importantly, presents a poignant look into the strains the label placed on Leonard Chess’ family, namely his wife Revetta and his son Marshall.

Of the film, Marshall Chess says, “Who Do You Love is a great snapshot of the era in which the music that was to become the foundation of Rock & Roll was created. The music, the cars, the clothes, and the many amazing characters of my childhood are brought to life in this film, which also gives a taste of the many roads traveled by my family to make Chess Records one of the greatest record labels of all time.”

Jerry Zaks most recently directed Chazz Palminteri’s A Bronx Tale on Broadway. He has received four Tony Awards, four Drama Desks, two Outer Critics Circle Awards, an Obie and an NAACP Image Award Nomination for his national tour of The Tap Dance Kid. Who Do You Love is Zaks’ first feature film since Marvin’s Room. Directed by Zaks, Who Do You Love is written by Peter Wortmann and Bob Conte and produced by Les Alexander, Andrea Baynes and Jonathan Mitchell. David Franco is the director of photography and the original music is by Jeff Beal.

Entry Into Our Hooters Contest–Vote Fore Michelle Moya

We received these two entries to our contest today.

Vote on who you would like to see nominated for submitted video.

Remember, when submitting videos include your name and email address at the least. When we have a winner we can then contact you.

Email us at: dking at crossharpchronicles dot com

Published in: on December 17, 2009 at 12:56 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

Duke Robillard Earns Grammy Nominationa for His Most Recent Stony Plain CD, Stomp! the Blues Tonight

Stony Plain Records guitarist, producer, songwriter and bandleader Duke Robillard has earned his second Grammy nomination — this for his 16th Stony Plain album, Stomp! The Blues Tonight. The nomination is in the Best Traditional Blues album category.

Signed to a world-wide recording deal with the Edmonton, Alberta-based Canadian label, Robillard was previously nominated in 2007 for his Guitar Groove-a-Rama album.

Stomp! The Blues Tonight is a home-coming of sorts to the blues style that most people first heard from Robillard when he began his career in 1967 as a founding member of the seminal band, Roomful of Blues. As if to emphasize that aspect, the album features a horn section on many tracks that includes Doug James on baritone and tenor sax, Rich Lataille on tenor and alto sax and Al Basile on cornet – all former Roomful alumni.

The 16 tracks on Stomp! The Blues Tonight combine songs associated with the great blues and R&B shouters of the ‘40s and ‘50s, such as Wynonie Harris, Roy Milton and Big Joe Turner, along with originals that keep the groove going. The album also showcases Duke’s recent singing discovery, Sunny Crownover, who debuted on her critically-acclaimed 2009 Stony Plain release, Introducing … Sunny and Her Joy Boys, which featured a small acoustic-oriented band helmed by Robillard. On Duke’s album, Crownover channels the Helen Humes classic, “Million Dollar Secret” and “Hands Off,” a tune co-written by Kansas City legend Jay McShann, among the half-dozen tracks she contributes vocals to on the disc.

In addition to a long series of varied releases, Duke Robillard has also produced (and played on) albums for the label by more than a dozen artists, including Joe Louis Walker, Billy Boy Arnold, Jimmy Witherspoon, Herb Ellis, Jay McShann, Rosco Gordon and many others.

Besides his busy life in the studio, the Rhode Island-based Robillard is a road warrior who plays more than 200 dates a year in the U.S., Canada and Europe. His other credits include recording with Bob Dylan and touring as a member of Tom Waits’ band.

Stony Plain’s president, Holger Petersen, praised Robillard for his contribution to the label’s success. “Ever since we met (at the Winnipeg Folk Festival) in 1993, Duke has produced a constant stream of high quality recordings, each different from the one preceding it,” said Petersen.

“He exemplifies everything that’s fine about the blues idiom; he is deeply committed to the music, and his approach to the blues combines passion, technique and the non-stop ability to swing.”

For more information on Duke, visit or his own site at

Published in: on December 16, 2009 at 4:11 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,