Jimmy Railey Way street sign is at the intersection of Kemper Lane and William Howard Taft Road. Photo by Andria Y. Carter

By Andria Carter

Herald Contributor

A rainy Wednesday afternoon last week didn’t keep King Records artist Jimmy Railey and his family away from the intersection of Kemper Lane and William Howard Taft Road to see the honorary street sign that bore his name, Jimmy Railey Way.

Standing next to Councilmember Yvette Simpson, Railey smiled and listened to his family members express their delight in seeing the street sign for the first time.

When asked by Simpson what did he think, Railey responded, “It’s wonderful.”

Cincinnati City Council honored the former Famous Flame and songwriter with an honorary street sign during the Oct. 29, 2017 Council meeting in recognition for his remarkable musical history with King Records. Simpson sponsored the ordinance honoring Railey.

In January, Simpson and Council Member Wendell Young held a street naming ceremony for King Records artists, musician, singer and producer Bootsy Collins, singer and producer Otis Williams and studio drummer Philip Paul. Due to illness, Railey could not participate in that ceremony.

Jimmy Railey. Photo provided

Jimmy Railey was one of the late James Brown’s Famous Flames. He also recorded at King Records with musical groups Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and The Expressions. The Expressions were named by Syd Nathan, the owner and CEO of King Records.

Railey is also a songwriter, having written a variety of funk and soul songs, including “Nobody Knows But My Baby and Me,” “In My Lonely House,” and “Stand Up and Be Counted,” the last song which was recorded by James Brown and the Famous Flames at King Records, and was released by Harmless Records.

During his musical career, Railey has performed on the same venue with many artists such as The Miracles, The Platters, Sam and Dave, Bill Dogget, Little Richard, and Little Willie John.


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