Originally issued on King 478, this is an official reissue dated 1982, on the Gusto label, from GMI, Inc., owners of the mighty King catalog, along with other great independents, including Sceptor/Wand. Sydney Nathan, the founder of King Records, opened a record shop in a poor district of Cincinnati in September 1943, and decided to start a new label, a year later Nathan borrowed $25,000 and King was successfully re-launched. His first pressings were of such poor quality, that he decided to open his own pressing plant too. Nathan had originally intended King to be a Hillbilly label, but seeing the market for Rhythm and Blues wide open he decided to double up, in August, 1945 he started Queen records to handle the Rhythm & Blues, the first release was Queen 4100 The Honeydripper by Bull Moose Jackson, two years later Queen merged with King (it was reactivated for a very brief spell in 1961). From 1948 until 1951 King was at the top of the tree in the Rhythm And Blues market. In November, 1950 Nathan launched the Federal label, boasting such artists as The Dominoes, and The Platters, who signed in 1953, they had three recording sessions, on the last one they recorded Only You but it was never released. The Platters were managed by Buck Ram, who also managed the Penguins, at that time Mercury was interested in the Penguins and Ram managed to get them to take the Platters in the deal, letting the Platters go was Nathan's biggest mistake, their first record for Mercury was Only You. James Brown signed to Federal in 1956 and was later to become their biggest star. Nathan died March 5, 1968 in Miami, Florida. That October King was sold to Starday Records with the understanding Starday would be sold to Lin Broadcasting in Nashville. Three years later Tennessee Recording and Publishing, owned by Leiber and Stoller, ex-King vice-president Hal Neely and music publisher Freddy Bienstock, purchased King Starday from Lin. In the July before the sale Lin had sold the James Brown contract and catalog to Polydor while retaining the rest. Tennessee Recording and Publishing sold the King Starday masters, but not the the music publishing, to its current owner GMI, Inc. of Nashville in 1975.
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