On the Singers of Cincinnati

When locals think of a title of this blog post, people like Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, Andy Williams, and Nick Lachey come to mind. So do groups such as the Isley Brothers, The Lemon Pipers, Blessid Union of Souls, Pure Prairie League, Walk the Moon, and 98 Degrees. We old timers can add Roy Rogers, Homer & Jethro, and Grandpa Jones to the list.

But this post isn’t about any of the above. If anyone influenced this post, it’s Resa – the Canadian lady in Toronto who features murals on her blog (Graffiti Lux and Murals).  After all, because of Resa, I notice murals now more than I ever did.

Special thanks to Art Works: “an award-winning non-profit organization that employs and trains local youth and talent to create art and community impact through three strategic programming areas: Public Art, including an extensive mural program; an art therapy division, ArtRx; and an entrepreneurial arm, Creative Enterprise.” (from their website)

FYI: ArtWorks recently announced that local icon Rosemary Clooney (a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner) will be honored with her own mural, which is to start this summer.

Mr. Dynamite @ 1437 Main Street
Yep, that’s The King of Soul. No, James Brown wasn’t born in Cincinnati nor did he live here, but many of his early hits were produced at Cincinnati-Based King Records.

Singers Brown

The Singing Mural @ 1223 Central Parkway
This mural is a celebration of the arts and a salute to Cincinnati’s cultural legacy with the arts. Fittingly located near Music Hall, the mural features locals, cultural icons, and classic characters. Do you recognize anyone? (The list of people is below the last image.) What song do you think they are singing?

Singers 1

singers 2

singers 3

Singers 4

Singers Whole

Top row, left to right: Cincinnati arts patron Patricia Corbett, Sesame Street’s Grover, the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, rock artist Elton John, opera singer Beverly Sills, a euphonium player to represent Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, jazz singer Cab Calloway, the lead role from opera Madame Butterfly, and legendary composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Bottom row, left to right: Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker to represent Cincinnati Ballet, opera singer Leontyne Price as lead role in opera Aida, beloved Cincinnati Pops conductor Maestro Erich Kunzel, Cincinnati Police Officer Al Staples, PBS icon Mr. Rogers; the lead role from opera Pagliacci, Cincinnati broadcasting legend Ruth Lyons, a local youth, and the Cincinnati Reds’ own Mr. Redlegs.

61 thoughts on “On the Singers of Cincinnati

  1. Very sweet post, Frank! Lol.. recognized Grover.
    Love the art! The James Brown piece is outstanding.
    I’m so thrilled you enjoy street art or murals partly because of my influence. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post reinforced my support of former Cincinnati City Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan’s call for Cincinnati to be known as the ‘City That Sings.’


  3. Beautiful post, Frank. Seeing more murals popping up in the Cleveland area as well – mostly in urban areas – which I prefer over the suburbs anyway. They really do add character and color to an area. Thanks for sharing this! 🙂


    • Sylvia,
      Absolutely a fabulous line-up … and on a parking garage! … but Music Hall is directly across the street (our many hall for symphony, ballet, opera) … oh those German immigrants loved music, so they gave us a great hall.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. AFA:
    Thanks for a wonderful and thought provoking post. Murals, as opposed to graffiti, are a fairly rare art form. I wrote an old post entitled Going Postal (https://curmudgeon-at-large.com/2012/04/29/going-postal/) about colorful artwork – many of them murals created during the WPA of the 1930’s – that covered the walls of post offices. I could not find any for the Cincinnati central post office but Cincinnati’s Union Terminal has beautiful art deco mosaics.
    I got to see Cab Calloway at a closed performance a number of years ago. Cab was about 83 at the time but, whenever he got going with an old favorite like Minnie the Moocher or Hi-De-Ho, he shed about 50 years.


    • Mudge,
      Awesome post … and I commented there … many thanks for the link!

      The Union Terminal murals are local treasures. Ceramic mosaics. When part of the terminal was torn down, some of them moved to the airport … and now part of the old airport terminal is down … so they have been moved again. Glad you found them online!

      I too saw Cab Calloway late in his career … and he brought the house down with Minnie the Moocher!


  5. Pingback: Cincinnati Murals – Self-Guided Walking Tour | Everyday Wanderer by Shutterbug Sage

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