King Records’ Opening Day float aimed at opening eyes to Cincinnati’s music history

The King Records building in Evanston is in the early stages of being restored and transformed.
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 10:35 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Hours after the King Records float makes its way through Downtown Cincinnati for during the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, the King Records Legacy Foundation will hold its largest fundraiser to date.

The money raised will help transform the once-famed recording studio in Evanston into an interactive educational space with health and wellness features for the community.

The King Records label started in 1943 and produced trailblazing hits in soul, bluegrass, doo-wop, jazz and blues while birthing new musical genres like rock and roll, funk and hip-hop. Artists like James Brown and Bootsy Collins recorded there.

“James Brown taught Bootsy what ‘on the one’ means,” King Records Foundation Executive Director Kent Butts said.

The city stepped in to save King Records from being demolished in 2015 by applying an historic landmark designation, according to city documents. It would purchase the complex in a property swap two years later, and in October 2018 funds were allocated to stabilize the buildings.

The building was added to the National Registry of Historic Places last year.

The King Records Opening Day Parade float will commemorate much of that history.

The fundraising event will be held at Revel OTR from 8-10:30 p.m.

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