Permanent Records: Dead at 26, Baby Huey left the world one grand LP
Permanent Records is an ongoing closer look at the records that matter most.
Surrounded by golden cornfields and rolling country roads, Richmond, Indiana, is a small Midwest enclave, located a few miles west of the Ohio border—less than an hour’s drive from Dayton. As the one-time home to the Starr Piano Company’s legendary Gennett imprint (showcasing Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and more), Richmond is hailed the “cradle of recorded jazz.” While Gennett’s memory is now reduced to a commemorative “Walk Of Fame” outside Richmond’s Whitewater Gorge Park, the declining city of roughly 37,000—decorated by a pastiche of historic buildings, chain businesses, and American flags—still takes pride in its musical legacy. And rightfully so.
It was out here that soul singer James “Baby Huey” Ramey was born on August 17, 1944. As the Chicago Tribune reported in his obituary, “Ramey played …