Photos and Story
By Michael Mitchell
The initial Black Music Walk of Fame induction was held Saturday at Andrew Brady Music Center in Downtown Cincinnati. Many citizens and politicians turned out to witness the induction of four of Cincinnati’s Black music legends and, now, founding members of the honorary walk at the city’s new music venue.
Honorees included the late Dr. Charles Fold, Otis Williams, Bootsy Collins and The Isley Brothers, each with their own star to be placed in the walk between Paul Brown Stadium and the Andrew Brady Music Center. Paul Brown Stadium has been the site of the annual Cincinnati Music Festival.
Hamilton County Commissioner Alicia Reece, founder of the Black Music Walk of Fame, said, “The Black Music Walk of Fame will not only celebrate the rich history that (local) African Americans have contributed to music, but it will also attract visitors and tourists from all over the world to come and visit Hamilton County.”
Lincoln Ware, one of the speakers and radio 1230 AM The Buzz talk show host, said he had once told Alicia, “We need something permanent that will showcase all of the folks (Black musicians) who have come from this area.”
Cincinnati Funk music icon Bootsy Collins said, “This is much more than a Grammy, you know, for hometown to acknowledged their own. That’s some deep stuff, right there. That’s the funk.”
P. Ann Everson Price & All Star Band entertained the audience, and Alicia Reece held up an LP record cover of her mother Barbara Reece’s recording of Barbara Howard’s “On the Rise.”
Christine Brown, the sister of Gospel legend Charles Fold accepted the honored on her late brother’s behalf.
The 83-year-old Otis Williams of the Charms is a founding honoree. The 1953 group recoded their first song, “Heaven Only Knows,” and after a couple more releases moved to another King Record’s subsidiary label, De Luxe Records, in 1954. Their “Hearts of Stone” was # 1 on the R&B charts for nine weeks and # 15 on the pop charts Williams accepted his honor with the assistance of his son Kent Butts.