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THE KING RECORDS STORY is a 3 CD set of 75 tracks.
BUT Amazon have not given us the actual tracks.

Other reviewers have written great reviews about it so this is not a review just an aid to see what's on the 3 CDs.

All tracks are the original recordings from 1956 to 1959.

CD 1

1. After Hours - Ace Harris
2. Hearts Of Stone - The Charms
3. Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2) - Bill Doggett
4. Work With Me Annie - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
5. Let's Do The Stroll - Donnie Elbert
6. Dedicated To The One I Love - The 5 Royales
7. Boogie At Midnight - Roy Brown
8. Need Your Love so Bad - Little Willie John
9. You Ain't Treatin' Me Right - Mac Curtis
10. Let's Make It - James Brown
11. Ring-A-Ding-Doo - Little Esther
12. Grinding - Doc Bagby
13. Whipped Cream - Big Jay McNeely
14. Blues Stay Away From Me - The Delmore Brothers
15. Chicken Blues - The York Brothers
16. Johnny Had A Yo Yo - Ruth Wallis
17. Blood Shot Eyes - Wynonie Harris
18. 24 Sad Hours - Jimmy Witherspoon
19. I'm So Tired Of Living All Alone - Lonnie Johnson 20. Have Mercy Baby - Clyde McPhatter & The Dominos

21. Stormy Weather - Roland Kirk
22. Rattlesnakin' Daddy - Hawkshaw Hawkins
23. Over The Rainbow - Billy Ward & His Dominoes
24. Cherokee Boogie - Moon Mullican
25. Bump On A Log - Lula Reed


1. Sixty Minute Man - The Dominos
2. Ko Ko Mo - Otis Williams & His Charms
3. There Must Be A Reason - James Brown
4. I Paid My Dues - Little Esther
5. Just A Little Bit of Lovin' - Donnie Elbert
6. Jungle Drums - Earl Bostic
7. Good Rockin' Tonight - Wynonie Harris
8. Voo Vee Ah Bee - The Platters
9. Seventeen - Boyd Bennett and His Rockets
10. Rock Candy - Big Jay McNeely
11. Pedal Pushin' Papa - Clyde McPhatter & The Dominoes
12. Freight Train Boogie - The Delmore Brothers
13. Annie's Aunt Fannie - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
14. I Done Told You - Jimmy Witherspoon
15. Green Mountain Hop - Reno & Smiley
16. Bar Room Blues - Roy Brown
17. Jealous Heart - Ivory Joe Hunter
18. The Dinghy Song - Ruth Wallis
19. Old Rattler - Grandpa Jones
20. Fever - Little Willie John
21. Messin' Up - The 5 Royales
22. Train 45 - The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys
23. Beside You - The Swallows
24. Tennessee Wig Walk - Bonnie Lou
25. One For My Baby - Bill Jennings
26. Spurn'd Point Baby - Beverley Westwood.


1. Please, Please, Please - James Brown
2. Ling, Ting, Tong - Otis Williams & His Charms
3. Only You - The Platters
4. Blop Up - Blop Down - Cozy Cole Orchestra
5. Switchie Witchie Titchie - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
6. Lonesome Road - Lonnie Johnson
7. Rock Love - Lula Reed
8. Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A - Moon Mullican
9. Bubbins Rock - Earl Bostic
10. Heart To Heart - Little Esther
11. Seven Lonely Days - Bonnie Lou
12. In The Morning - Washboard Bill
13. Limehouse Blues - Reno & Smiley
14. Slow Walk - Bill Doggett
15. How Mountain Girls Can Love - The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys
16. Heavy Juice - Tiny Bradshaw
17. What Can I Do - Donnie Elbert
18. Steamboat Bill Boogie - The Delmore Brothers
19. Too Late - Ivory Joe Hunter
20. Filipino Baby - Cowboy Copas
21. I'm Weak But I'm Willing - Eddie Cleanhead Vinson
22. Steppin' Out Kind - Grandpa Jones
23. Soft One - Doc Bagby
24. Tremblin' - The York Brothers
25. Walkin' The Chalk Line - Tiny Bradshaw
26. Dairy Cotes Stomp - Stevie D'Or and The Dockers.
22 comments|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Founded by the legendary - and myopic - Syd Nathan in 1943, by the 50's this was the go-to label for artists in the r&r, r&b, rockabilly, doo wop and country world. King (and its subsidiaries) could offer the complete package, from recording, pressing, publishing and distribution. It's said the only item they had to buy in was the paper inner sleeves for albums.

This triple set of 75 tracks is a reasonable overview of the King output of the period, majoring on r&b, what with names such as Roy Brown, Little Willie John, James Brown, Wynonie Harris, Jimmy Witherspoon, Lula Reed, Big Jay McNeely, Bill Doggett, Little Esther (with McPhatter & Dominoes on one track) etc. Then there's your doo wop, to include Billy Ward & The Dominoes (the ponderous "Over The Rainbow", which doesn't really count as doo wop), The Charms, led by Otis Williams and, erm, not much else. R&b vocal groups, The "5" Royales, The Dominoes, 'country' from such as Grandpa Jones, The York Brothers, Bonnie Lou, Reno & Smiley, The Delmore Brothers and others. Sole rockabilly, "You Ain't Treatin' Me Right", Mac Curtis, not his best. The cute but suggestive Ruth Wallis - or do I have a dirty mind? Blues from Lonnie Johnson, even jazz, Roland Kirk and Ace Harris spring unbidden to mind, urgh! Mostly solid r&b tho, followed by 'country', plenty banjo and fiddle.

If you can live with the mix - I was happy to, minimal jazz content apart - rich rewards, at silly money. Or if you need more r&b, seek out 'The King R&B Box Set' (1995) - now that IS silly money! The dates in the title of this set bear scrutiny, much from the early 50's, in fact first track, "After Hours" by Ace Harris, goes back to 1948, when it was released on Hub. Finally, if you want the back stories on these One Day label 'stories' releases, suggest you shell out on John Broven's mighty tome, 'Record Makers & Breakers: Voices of The Independent Rock'n'Roll Pioneers'.
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After Hours, The King Records Story, 1956-1959, DAY3CD066

This latest label compilation from One Day Music comprises 75 examples of the artistes signed to King Records by Cincinnati based Syd Nathan. Founded in 1943 the label continued until the late 1960s. One of the key factors in the success of the label was that they had their own in house recording facilities through to production and shipping. Syd Nathan had an eye and ear for a hit record and released across a wide range of musical styles. If you are not familiar with this label then you are in for quite an eclectic mix all thanks to Syd.

The liner notes are by regular Michael Heatley. The inner packaging includes 9 small round images of some of those featured. The information provided includes years of recording and the record numbers. The sound transfers are excellent throughout. Great value yet again from One Day Music...

The running times are CD1 71.49; CD2 67.22 & CD3 66.22

Here are a few details about some of the artistes I did not know...

Ace Harris, 1910-1964
Disbanding his small working unit in 1953, he relocated to Chicago and began working as a solo singer/pianist at nighteries like The Cloister Inn. He enjoyed a one-off reunion with his brother-in-law Erskine Hawkins' band in 1955 to record a couple of singles for Decca, and the following year he was featured playing the title track of a King LP called After Hours, when the Cincinnati-based record company used his decade-old Hub recording for a compilation album.

Roland Kirk, 1935-1977
Triple Threat is the debut album by jazz multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk originally released on the King label in 1956. The album features the first recorded examples of Kirk's trademark playing of multiple wind instruments at the same time as well as two tracks ("Stormy Weather" and "The Nearness of You") where he overdubbed manzello and tenor saxophone.

Ruth Wallis 1920-2007
Her signature number, “The Dinghy Song,” is an ode to Davy, who had “the cutest little dinghy.

The Swallows are an R&B group. They are best known for their 1951 recording of "Will You Be Mine", which appeared in the US Billboard R&B chart. In 1952, The Swallows released "Beside You", which became their second national hit, peaking at Number 10 on the Billboard R&B chart.

Cozy Cole orchestra
William Randolph "Cozy" Cole (1909 – 1981) was a jazz drummer who scored a number 1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record "Topsy Part 2". Cozy Cole ‎– Cozy Cole on King Records dates from 1959.

Aubrey Wilson Mullican (1909 –1967), known as Moon Mullican, was an American country and western singer, songwriter, and pianist. However, he also sang and played jazz, rock 'n' roll and the blues. He was associated with the hillbilly boogie style which greatly influenced rockabilly; Jerry Lee Lewis cited him as a major influence on his own singing and piano playing. Moon Mullican With Boyd Bennett And His Rockets ‎– Honolulu Rock-A Roll-A / Seven Nights To Rock was released in 1956.

Tiny Bradshaw
Myron Carlton Bradshaw (1907 – 1958), known as Tiny Bradshaw, was a jazz and rhythm and blues bandleader, singer, composer, pianist, and drummer. His biggest hit was "Well Oh Well" in 1950, and the following year he recorded "The Train Kept A-Rollin'", important to the later development of rock and roll; he co-wrote and sang on both records. 4621 Heavy Juice/The Blues Came Pouring Down (1953)

The York Brothers
George York (1910 - 1974) and Leslie York (1917 - 1984), known as The York Brothers, were an American country music duo, popular from the late 1930s through the 1950s, known for their close harmony singing. Their country boogie style, a precursor to rockabilly, combined elements of hillbilly, jazz, and blues music. Although originally from Kentucky, they are often associated with the city of Detroit, where they were based for several years, and which they paid tribute to in songs such as "Hamtramck Mama", "Detroit Hula Girl", and "Motor City Boogie".
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King Records was founded by Syd Nathan in 1943 in Cincinnati. Initially the label was devoted to country music, or, to be more precise, hillbilly. Nathan subsequently opened two more labels under the King umbrella: Queen Records which was set up to cater for the black market, and, Federal Records which was largely (but not only) used to promote the career of James Brown. Queen Records was folded up in the fifties and its roster distributed within the other labels.

Given the presence of James Brown in this set, it's evident that One Day have included at least some Federal material here. Whether there's other Federal material I haven't checked (and there is a separate One Day release devoted to Federal) but it's probably easier to think of King / Federal as a single label. Outside of the hillbilly the broad flavour of the content for the labels was similar.

I confess I don't find the strong smattering of hillbilly mingled in with the R&B to be entirely comfortable though I'm happy with a lot of the individual tracks, in particular, "Blues stay away from me" from the Delmore Brothers. Rather to my surprise the rockabilly that the label branched into as a logical progression of hillbilly, hardly gets a look in here. The single Mac Curtis track is pleasing but it's not one of his stronger ones. Near rockabilly man Moon Mullican isn't represented by his better tracks. There's also Boyd Bennett who's more of a Haley stylist but that's about it. There's a separate set devoted to King rockabilly which is probably why they cut back here.

One Day have pushed the boat out on this one and gone for a 3 CD, 75 track set. Although the price is still very attractive it does result in the gems being rather more thinly spread. But gems there certainly are. The aforesaid Mr Brown is the most obvious one of course. His Federal debut, "Please, please, please" from 1956 is a veritable soul classic and wipes the floor with the opposition. While hardly matching those heights, his other tracks here are also excellent.

Little Willie John's "Need your love so bad" (written by his brother) is another classic. The Fleetwood Mac cover will be known by many. John's work for the King label is a well kept secret - uniformly good and displaying many of the traits that we'd later associate with soul music. If you've never heard him you're in for a treat.

Unlike many labels at the time King didn't really do doo woppers. There are vocal groups present but few give us those typical harmonies; they're more what I'd term R&B vocal groups. Best of the lot are the 5 Royales, a totally magnificent outfit and one we were unaware of in the UK at the time. Their "Dedicated to the one I love" is the number later covered by the Mamas and Papas but I prefer the more spirited original.

There are plenty of honking sax led instrumentals from the likes of Bill Doggett, Earl Bostic, Big Jay McNeeley and Tiny Bradshaw. Jump blues heroes Roy Brown, Wynonie Harris and Jimmy Witherspoon strut their stuff. The ladies also get a look in with blues favoured songs; Little Esther (protegee of Johnny Otis, who was arranger and bandleader for a lot of King material) is splendid but the relatively unknown Lula Reed is also well worth a listen.

Heading up the R&B quotient of this album is/are Hank Ballard (and the Midnighters). Their first offering is the famed "Work with me Annie" which was to spark off a series of answer records each similarly heaving with innuendo. Buddy Holly's excellent rockabilly single, "Midnight Shift" (not contained here) is but one and confirms, if it needed confirming, that Holly was listening to the black radio stations.

There are one or two surprises: some extremely early country soul from bluesman Ivory Joe Hunter, the presence of jazz multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk, and the near single entendre "Johnny had a yo-yo" from Ruth Wallis

A wide variety of material and a generous helping of same. Unlike many other indies whose more noteworthy tracks traversed the ocean to us folk in the UK via the estimable London label, King and Federal had minimal coverage on our shores in the fifties and early sixties. Consequently a high proportion of the music contained herein will not have been previously heard. So, education and pleasure at the same time!
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on 14 August 2014
This really is first rate! King Records recorded a whole bunch of really interesting artists ranging from Rockabilly to Soul and all ;points in between. A few of the tracks have been taken from vinyl recordings and are none the worse for that. Highlights include the full length version of Bill Dogget's Honky Tonk, Ruth Wallis' Johnny Had A Yo-Yo, Sixty Minute Man by the Dominoes, Early James Brown, Donnie Elbert, Little Esther, the list goes on.

I have only one thing to say; buy it! You won't be disappointed if you like rhythm and blues from the 40s onwards.
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on 14 September 2014
another good selection from One Day-something for most people interested in RnB ,Soul,Blues,Doo Wop,from one of the most important Indie labels of the era
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on 21 September 2014
King hade many good performers and this release assembles the best of them.
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on 29 July 2014
one of the very best the of these rockin bluesy compilations ........
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on 2 October 2014
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on 7 September 2014
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