In late 1948 and the summer of 1949, Country music icon Hank Williams traveled to Cincinnati’s E.T. Herzog Recording Company studio to record a handful of songs that would become a part of American music’s DNA, including “Lovesick Blues” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
Dedicated to promoting the important people, places and moments of the Queen City’s musical legacy, for the past 10 years, Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation has occupied the spot where Williams laid down those historic tracks, in the downtown building at 811 Race Street (where CityBeat is also located). Since CMHF moved into the hallowed space, it has hosted numerous events and recording sessions. In 2017, Herzog Music opened a storefront on the building’s ground floor, offering lessons and repairs, selling musical instruments, gear and albums, hosting live music and more.
This Sunday (March 17) at noon, CMHF will honor its 10th anniversary and the 70th anniversary of Williams’ Cincinnati sessions with a special celebration at Herzog Music. Live music begins at 2 p.m. and includes Cincinnati Rockabilly/Honky Tonk crew Slick Willie and the Kentucky Jellies and Wilmington, Ohio’s Blowin’ The Damn Fuses. The event will also feature local Country music hero Dallas Moore, who was the first artist of the modern Herzog era to record music in the same spot Williams did 70 years ago and release it. Moore’s fittingly titled-album Hank to Thank was recorded at the site in 2010.
Here are the tunes recorded during Hank Williams sessions at the E.T. Herzog Recording Company:
Dec. 22, 1948 “Lost on the River”; “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight”; “I Heard My Mother Praying for Me”; “Lovesick Blues”
Aug. 30, 1949 “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”; “I Just Don’t Like This Kind of Livin’ ”; “A House Without Love”; “My Bucket’s Got a Hole In It"
Tickets for the March 17 celebration are $10 and available in advance through cincyticket.com. Proceeds will go to help Herzog Music stay open. Visit herzogmusic.com, facebook.com/historicherzog and takingyoutothebridge.org for more info.