Cincinnati-based King Records played an important role in Rock & Roll history. King was the first of the post-war indie record labals to integrate R&B and pop music, and by the early 1950's, was the sixth largest label in the United States. It was also an early home to artists including Merle Travis, Grandpa Jones, Homer & Jethro, Amos Milburn and Charles Brown. James Brown's biggest hits were also on the King label. In 1997, Syd Nathan was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
This is the real deal. Raw and ready to rock, all the artists compiled here put the pedal all the way to the metal and let it rock. And when they aren't rocking, they are tearing your heart out with a sobbing ballad. Kicking off with the original version of "The Twist" by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and ending an hour later with the Drivers' rock-boppin' "Smooth, Slow and Easy," there is not a single weak track to be found. Big names like Billy Ward & the Dominoes, the Platters, Wynonie Harris, and Percy Mayfield leave no doubt why they are big names, and the no-names like Pete "Guitar" Lewis and Lil Greenwood don't let down the side one bit. Classic tracks include Freddie King's landmark "Hide Away," the Swallows' slightly nasty "It Ain't the Meat, It's the Motion," and Rudy Ray Moore's "Step It Up and Go." If you are a fan of early R&B, you must own this record. It's that good. ~ Tim Sendra
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