The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame was launched at the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati by Hamilton County Commission President Alicia Reece, Founder of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame. The 2023 Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame Inductees are: The Deele, featuring L.A. Reid and Babyface, Louise Shropshire, Philippé Wynne, and James Brown.
“We are making history this year with the Grand Opening of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame,” states President Alicia Reece, visionary Founder of the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame. “This new state-of-the-art interactive tourism attraction celebrating the rich culture of Black musical artists, producers, and songwriters will educate, entertain, and attract tourists worldwide while bringing together multi-generations of families to enjoy this free park.”
The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame also honored over 60 “Top Music Influencers” who have made significant contributions to the music industry and are from Southwest Ohio. They are also in the new Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame. All of these artists will join the 2021 Founding Inductees- Bootsy Collins, The Isley Brothers, Dr Charles Fold, and Otis Williams. Plus, the 2022 Inductees- Midnight Star, featuring Reggie and Vincent Calloway, Penny Ford, Hi-Tek, and Wilbert Longmire.
Hamilton County Commission President Reece was joined by Stephanie Summerow Dumas, Hamilton County Commissioner; Denise Driehaus, Hamilton County Commissioner; Justin Wyborn, President, Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati; Lincoln Ware, Radio One; Damon Jones, Chief Communications Officer, P&G; Joe Santangelo, Promoter of the Cincinnati Music Festival; Kent Butts, President, King Records Legacy Foundation; Joe Mallory, President, Cincinnati NAACP; Christie Kuhns, President and CEO, Urban League of Greater SW Ohio; and Don Juan Fasho, Radio One.
A 1981 R&B band formed by Hughes High School students in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Deele was originally conceived as students. Among its original members were drummer Antonio “L.A.” Reid, bassist Kevin “Kayo” Roberson, vocalist/percussionist Darnell “Dee” Bristol, lead vocalist Carlos “Satin” Greene, guitarist/keyboardist Stanley “Stick” Burke, and guitarist Steve “Tuck” Walters. Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, hailing from Indianapolis, later joined the band in 1981. One of The Deele’s most memorable hits was “Body Talk,” which reached #3 on the R&B Chart and #77 on the Billboard Hot 100. As a result of their third album, Eyes of a Stranger, released in 1987, The Deele reached the height of their career with two top-10 R&B singles, “Shoot ‘Em Up Movies,” and their most famous song, “Two Occasions,” which reached #4 on the R&B charts and cracked the top 10.
Louise Shropshire (February 15, 1913 – November 26, 1993) was a composer of hymns and best known as the original composer of the iconic Civil Rights anthem, “We Shall Overcome.” The granddaughter of slaves, Mrs. Shropshire as a young girl demonstrated a gift for music and composed many hymns as a member of the African American Baptist Church. In the early 1950s, Louise Shropshire met Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and eventually become lifelong friends. She penned the song, “If My Jesus Wills,” which was the basis for the song, “We Shall Overcome,” that Dr. King adopted for his Civil Rights marches and activism.
Originally from the Cincinnati neighborhood of Madisonville, Philippé Wynne (April 3, 1941 – July 14, 1984) was best known as the lead vocalist for the famed musical group, The Spinners. Mr. Wynne voiced such notable hits as “Love Don’t Love Nobody,” “How Could I Let You Get Away,” “The Rubberband Man,” and “One of a Kind (Love Affair).” After leaving The Spinners, Mr. Wynne was featured in hits by other artists such as “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Funkadelic.
James Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006) was an iconic musician who recorded many of his hit songs at King Records located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The primary originator of Funk music, Mr. Brown was known as “the Hardest Working Man in Show Business” and the “Godfather of Soul.” In an illustrious career that spanned for more than 50 years, Mr. Brown voiced such memorable hit songs as “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “It’s a Man’s World,” “Get Up,” and “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.” Mr. Brown was one of the first ten Inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23, 1986. He is an Honorary Inductee for the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame.
The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame is Ohio’s newest tourism attraction that will feature augmented reality activations, an experiential drum machine, a musical waterfall, nightly jam sessions, as well as interactive kiosks that honor the contributions of Black musical artists from Southwest Ohio (i.e., Cincinnati, Dayton, Hamilton, Middletown, and Springfield). The historic Grand Opening on July 22, 2023 will feature the 2023 Induction Ceremony, guided tours of the attraction as well as a free concert by the Ohio Players. The Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame sits on the Ohio Riverbanks next to the Andrew Brady Center and across from Paycor Stadium, home of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals and the Cincinnati Music Festival.
Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame’s historic Grand Opening in 2023 is sponsored by P&G, Kroger, Hard Rock, All in Cincinnati, First Financial Bank, Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Cincinnati Music Festival, and the Cochran Firm. You can learn more about the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame by visiting https://www.cincyblackmusicwalkoffame.org.