A prominent midwestern American record label that operated in Cincinnati, Ohio from 1943 until 1968; also appears as "King" only.
For the Japanese label of the same name, please see King Records.
For the UK label of the same name, please see King Records (4).
For counterfeit editions and other unofficial versions of King releases, please see King Records (19).
Founded by Syd Nathan, it initially focused on the midwestern country music market, but proceeded to expand to pop, rock, R&B, soul, and other genres while working closely with several sister labels, which included Bethlehem Records, DeLuxe (2), Federal Records (2), Queen (5), and several others. During this time, it operated alongside Royal Plastics Corporation, a pressing plant, and King Studios, a recording studio, from adjacent buildings on Brewster Avenue in Cincinnati. King has since become known for its work with James Brown, who joined the label in 1950 and remained for nearly two decades. The departure of Brown coupled with the death of Nathan in 1968 precipitated King's demise and culminated in the sale of its catalog to Starday Records during October of 1968.
The label was owned by King Records, Inc. (3) and operated in Cincinnati, Ohio until 1968 when it relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where King Records, Inc. was reestablished as its owner. After King's sale to Starday Records, Starday-King Records, Inc. was formed and assumed ownership thereafter. In 1971, the Polydor label acquired James Brown's back catalog. The remaining catalog was ultimately acquired by King's present owner Gusto Records, Inc. in 1974. Collectables, a Pennsylvania reissue label, began to re-release some of King's recordings in 2001.
For its companies, please see:
King Records, Co.
King Records, Inc. (3) (pre-1968)
King Records, Inc. (post-1968)
- All 45rpms with the King crown logo are released in either blue or red color.
- All releases with cat. no. "45-KNG XXX" are reissues.
-According to Both Sides Now Publication, King used the record's price as the prefix for 10" LPs in the 1950s. For these releases, the prefix for the catalog number could be "295" ($2.95), "265" ($2.65), "219" ($2.19), or other values.