Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
#758 (Week of 5/19/12- 5/25/12)



"Soldier Man Blues"/"New That Ain't Right"
by Inez Washington
And The Four Kings Of Rhythm
on Cincinnati 2301B/A
released in 1946

Above: Inez Washington performing in Harlem. Ad is from New York Age Newspaper dated 5/27/44. Included on this webpage is what I could find on this Miss Washington. If anyone can contribute more, it will be appreciated. Flora Washington, who is also in three ads on this page, was featured in last week's Record of the Week.

Inez and the group backing her are obscure. This is the only known record by either of them. No reference to either could be found in any issue of The Billboard. The Cincinnati label is also somewhat obscure, with the one minimal "Music Distributing Company" ad (shown below) as the only mention found in The Billboard.


Above: Clippings related to Inez Washington from New York Age newspapers dated (Left) 6/10/44 and (Right) 7/1/44. The three ads for Elk's Rendezvous indicate that most of the listed performers had a good long stay there.

The following are edited excerpts from the book "Going To Cincinnati" by Steven C. Tracy:

Cincinnati Records seems to have leased material from other labels; so far as is known, none of the material issued on the label was recorded in Cincinnati, though in fact not much is known. We do know that the label issued recordings by the following artists: Joe Williams with the Three Chocolates, Inez Washington and the Four Kings of Rhythm, Roosevelt Sykes, Lem Johnson, and Brother John Sellers.

(From The Billboard dated 6/30/45)

Joe Williams' Cincinnati label recording, "Round The Clock Blues Pts. 1 and 2," was issued as Cincinnati 2300 featuring a purple label with silver lettering. The Inez Washington release, Cincinnati 2301, "New That Ain’t Right"/ "Soldier Man Blues" featured a red label with silver lettering. Roosevelt Sykes’s Cincinnati release, "I Wonder"/"Tender Hearted Woman" was reissued as Cincinnati 3500 with a black label with silver lettering. Lem Johnson’s "Eskay Blues"/"It's A Good Deal" was Cincinnati 3501. No information is available on Brother John Sellers’s record. The records by Sellers and Johnson were recorded in New York City——indeed, Johnson had recorded for Decca in New York City in 1940 and l942——and the Williams record was probably recorded there, too, but Sykes cut his in Chicago, suggesting that the small label may have been leasing material. Both Sellers and Johnson recorded for Mayo Williams's Southern label and for King Records as well, but no connection between Cincinnati and Southern or King has been established. Additionally, Sykes’s recording of "Tender Hearted Woman" on Cincinnati 3500 also appeared on Black and White 100, suggesting a connection between those labels. Paul Reiner, who took over Black and White around 1946, was a distributor from Cleveland, Ohio, so he had connections with the state but not, so far as is known, the city. A search of city directories and telephone books from the 1940s and 1950s turns up no references to a Cincinnati Record Manufacturing Company, so for now the mystery of the name of the record label remains just that——a mystery.

(NOTE: Paul Reiner's name is shown in the above ad.)

Above: Label image of Cincinnati 2301 stating "LICENSED BY CIN'TI. RECORD MF'G. CO. CIN'TI. O." This is the only known record by Inez Washington And The Four Kings Of Rhythm, or by either of them separately for that matter. The composer on the flip side is Wesley "Sox" Wilson, a piano player who was later with Sidney Bechet. Could Wilson be playing piano on these two sides?

Listen to this week's selections by Inez Washington And The Four Kings Of Rhythm on Cincinnati 2301B/A from 1946:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

     A. Stream RealAudio...
          1. Soldier Man Blues
          2. New That Ain't Right
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. Soldier Man Blues
          2. New That Ain't Right

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. Soldier Man Blues
          2. New That Ain't Right

     [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]


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