Photos by Scott Preston
Cincinnati, Ohio, August 24, 2012—MidPoint Music Festival (MPMF) has revealed its plan to host a special event to occur just prior to the Saturday, September 29 performance by bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley & His Clinch Mountain Boys at Cincinnati’s historically acclaimed and recently revived Emery Theatre.
To celebrate the return of Mr. Stanley and his relationship with the City of Cincinnati and King Records, two music legends, Philip Paul and Otis Williams, will give a short presentation on the impact and influence that King Records and Mr. Stanley individually and collaboratively have had and continue to have on the music industry.
Mr. Stanley’s MPMF appearance at the Emery is coincidentally just over one month shy of the 57th anniversary of his first show at the venue, when he first appeared with his brother Carter and performed as the Stanley Brothers on Sunday November 6, 1955. Mr. Stanley and his brother performed many times throughout the area during the1950s, but it was in 1958 when a connection with Cincinnati was cemented in the form of a big break.
As Mr. Stanley stated in his autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow – My Life and Times, his big break “came from a Cincinnati label called King Records, run by Syd Nathan, who gave us the freedom to make our music at a time when Nashville had shut the door on us.”
Between 1958 and 1966, the Stanley Brothers released 15 albums on King Records, making them one of the most recorded bands in all of bluegrass music.
“MidPoint Music Festival is about the pioneering artist,” said Dan McCabe, the festival’s executive producer. “We are very honored this year to present a bluegrass legend, who with the help of Cincinnati’s Syd Nathan of King Records, pioneered an entire genre of American music. Ralph Stanley pioneers in Cincinnati yet again with his performance in the Emery as he and MidPoint join efforts to re-open the historic theatre.”
About King Records
King Studios, a one of a kind education facility to be located in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Evanston, will tell the unique story of King Records, and will showcase the accomplishments of Ralph Stanley as well as other important contributors to American music, such as The Delmore Brothers, Cowboy Copas, Reno and Smiley, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Hank Ballard, Otis Williams, Freddie King, Wynonie Harris and James Brown.
About Philip Paul
Mr. Paul was a King Records session drummer, playing on more than 600 King recordings. He is credited as the drummer on the original recording of “The Twist”, a song whose beat many claim changed the way people danced. Mr. Paul can be found playing every Thursday through Saturday in downtown Cincinnati.
About Otis Williams
Mr. Williams was one of King’s biggest singers. Otis Williams and the Charms wrote and recorded the original version of “Hearts Of Stone.” Otis still lives in Cincinnati, and both he and his son serve as board members for King Studios.