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Syd Nathan

1904

Syd Nathan is born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1943

Queen record label is formed in Cincinnati, Ohio by Syd Nathan.

1943

The first records on Syd Nathan’s Queen label are released.

1947

The Cincinnati-based Queen label changes name to King.

1954

“Work With Me Annie,” by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, is released on Syd Nathan’s Federal label. It begins a half-year run on the R&B charts, which it tops for seven weeks. The same year “Sexy Ways” and “Annie Had a Baby” are released.

1956

“Please, Please, Please,” James Brown’s first single for Syd Nathan’s Federal label (a King subsidiary), is released, thereby launching the career of this legendary soul singer.

1956

Syd Nathan cracks the rock and roll market when “Honky Tonk,” an instrumental by Bill Doggett released on the King label, enters the pop charts. It reaches #2, topped only by Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender.”

1956

‘Dance to the Beat of Bostic’, by alto sax player Earl Bostic, is the first 12” long-playing album released on King Records. Prior to this, the label had issued its albums in the 10” format.

1960

Syd Nathan acquires the New York-based jazz label Bethlehem and moves its offices to Cincinnati.

1962

Against the objections of Syd Nathan, who felt that no one would be interested in a live album of previously released material, James Brown records his performance at New York’s Apollo Theater.

1963

James Brown’s ‘Live at the Apollo, Vol. 1,’ is released. Reaching #2 on the album charts, it the most successful album issued by Syd Nathan’s King Records. This same year, King/Federal releases albums by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Freddy King, Earl Bostic and the Stanley Brothers.

1965

“Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” the all-time biggest hit on Syd Nathan’s King Records, enters the Top Forty. It tops the R&B chart for eight weeks and reaches #8 on the pop chart.

1968

Syd Nathan dies of heart disease in Miami Beach, Florida.

1968

King Records is sold to Nashville-based Starday Records.

1997

Syd Nathan is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the twelfth annual induction dinner. Seymour Stein is the presenter.