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Music of the United States
AK - AL - AR - AS - AZ - CA - CO - CT - DC - DE - FL - GA - GU - HI - IA - ID - IL - IN - KS - KY - LA - MA - MD - ME - MI - MN - MO - MP - MS - MT - NC - ND - NE - NH - NM - NV - NJ - NY - OH - OK - OR - PA - PR - RI - SC - SD - TN - TX - UT - VA - VI - VT - WA - WI - WV - WY

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland, Ohio. This state is also the home of three major symphony orchestras which are located in Cleveland, Akron and Cincinnati, as well as a "pops" orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops.

The 19th century composer Daniel Emmett, wrote many of the most popular songs in his era, including some that remain well-known to this day. Popular singers from Ohio include Dean Martin, Doris Day, The Isley Brothers, Marilyn Manson, and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders.



Ohio can claim a number of country musicians as part of the state's legacy. David Allan Coe was born in Akron, and frequently makes tour stops multiple times a year in Ohio. Roy Rogers was born in Cincinnati and his family moved and lived in Portsmouth and Lucasville as well. Dwight Yoakam, although born in Kentucky, grew up in Columbus. Rascal Flatts can also claim two members from Columbus. Country-rock band McGuffey Lane began in Columbus and has been based there since 1972. In Dayton "The Gold River Band" rocked the area with top 40 and country music. Members included Dan & Bev Schultz (vocals), Vic Olekas (guitar), Bill Borton (bass) and Loren Patten (drums).


During the 70's, southwest Ohio, and Dayton in particular, was known for its stable of funk bands, including Bootsy's Rubber Band, The Ohio Players, Lakeside, Slave, Heatwave, Sun, Faze O, and Zapp featuring Roger Troutman. One of the hottest Dayton bands in the early 70's was "The Magnificent 7" Very little has been written about them and they performed for years at the "Diamond Club." Members who made up the band varied from year to year; Phil Mehaffey(organ), Vic Olekas(guitar), Dan Schultz(bass),Vince Disalvo and Ron Pauley(drums), Bill and Ron witherspoon (horns), Marvin Smith (vocals)

Garage rock

Central Ohio and Greater Cleveland were home to a wide variety of garage bands from the 1960s, including The Myrchents. The Choir later added singer Eric Carmen and became The Raspberries, pioneers of power pop in the early 1970s.

Rock 'n' Roll

Members of the 80's rock band Warrant, Jani Lane (Kent/Brimfield) and Steven Sweet (Wadsworth) are from the Akron area.

The band Material Rejection hailed from the Akron, Ohio area, and were known for their one-hit "Our Way Out".

Gothic rock

In Cleveland in the early 90's, Gothic label Jevan Records established its first signing with the band Lestat, releasing Theatre of The Vampires (1990), Grave Desires (1991) and Vision of Sorrows (1994). They have also been featured on many compilations such as Jevan Records "One", and Cleopatra's "Goth Box", a 4 CD compilation. Other signed Jevan artists included experimental electro act Bath, who released Fools (1996), and N-Graver (1998), and electro industrial band Graven Image and their release Black Lung Cathedral (1998).

Indie Rock

The rock subgenre indie rock can look to Ohio where a number of bands and musicians originated. Bitch Magnet formed while attending Oberlin College. Mark Eitzel of American Music Club fame founded his first bands, most prominently The Naked Skinnies while living in Columbus, Ohio. Many critically acclaimed bands were stalwarts of the 80s/90s indie punk scene in Columbus, Ohio: Great Plains, RC Mob, Scrawl, New Bomb Turks, and Gaunt, to name a few. At the moment Columbus is seeing a renaissance in DIY/lo-fi bands, such as Times New Viking. There was also an indie rock movement in Dayton in the early 90's with bands such as Guided by Voices, The Breeders, and Brainiac. Cincinnati's indie rock scene produced much-admired groups, such as the Ass Ponys, Wolverton Brothers, and the Afghan Whigs, all active in the 80s/90s.

Punk rock

Ohio is known for a wide variety of punk rock icons from Akron, Cleveland and Cincinnati, primarily; these include The Dead Boys, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, The Cramps, Rocket From The Tombs, Pere Ubu, Robert Quine, Rachel Sweet, Pagans, Devo and the Rubber City Rebels. Hardcore punk had considerable beginnings in Ohio, most notably with Maumee's Necros and Dayton's Toxic Reasons. However, despite being an Ohio band, Necros played the majority of their shows in Detroit.

Pop Punk

Christian crossover band Relient K comes from Canton; Hawthorne Heights is from Dayton, Ohio; and The Initiative from New Lebanon, Ohio is a pop punk hardcore band with an infinite slogan "we are here to party". Another rising band out of Ohio is AdrenalineKid. Their mix of exceptional lyrics and great melodies have put them in the spotlight. They are currently signed to local label, Lucky Penguin Records. Life After Liftoff, a band based out of Dayton, Ohio, have been the first to not only copy the music genre played by national act Angels and Airwaves, but they have also mimicked the exact style and graphic concepts of the band.

Power pop

Ohio has produced a number of famous power pop bands. The Raspberries ("Go All the Way") from Cleveland and Youngstown's Blue Ash ("Abracadabra Have You Seen Her?") are considered seminal artists in this genre. Color Me Gone of Akron and Circus from Cleveland were also major exporters of the classic Ohio power pop sound. The Bears (band) aka Psychodots aka The Raisins are also considered a successful Cincinnati band.

Mainstream Hip Hop

Bow Wow and Fatty Koo are both from the Columbus area. Bone Thugs n Harmony, one of the biggest selling hip hop acts in the history of the genre compared to any other rapper all across the world, they are from Cleveland. Lyfe Jennings is from Toledo. Sony Recording Artist: Ray Cash, Cameron Grey, Chip tha Ripper, and Kid Cudi are also from Cleveland.

Underground hip hop

Scribble Jam, an annual underground hip hop festival, is held each year in Cincinnati. Columbus, Ohio boasts Weightless Recordings, home of Blueprint, Illogic, and DJ Przm, among others. DJ Hi-Tek, best known for his work with Talib Kweli on Reflection Eternal, is also from Cincinnati. Darren Scott from Columbus Ohio was known as one of powerpops firsts. PBT Entertainment is one of the up and coming groups to come out of Dayton. The Lab Rats are a newer outfit calling Columbus home. ICEE JAKE [1] the Columbus Ohio Award Winning Underground Hip Hop Realist, is an Essence Magazine and Berklee College of Music Take Back The Music Hip Hop Song writing contest winner [2] National Recording Artist Aeileon El Nino of Free Age Music. Maxheat a.k.a. MaD MaXxx or Michael V.T Mosley out of Akron Ohio is another underground jewel Ohio is proud to present. MaD MaXxx is a Media Production Mass Communications college graduate of the University of Akron who internationally published several audio and poetry works through his the Millennium Music Mission [3] record label based in Akron, Ohio. Maxheat is also responsible for helping to expose the underground music market and thousands of starving artists to the world on his internationally syndicated Pro Flow Radio show [4] that has featured interviews with notable artists like 4ize, Joan Cartwright, Sean Combs' Making of the Band contestant La Femme Nikita, Young Trump from TRU Records, BET freestyle Champ Bigg Jigg, Tequila from the Bay Area and many others.

Record Labels

There have been a number of record labels based in Ohio. Most prominent was King Records (USA), a label based out of Cincinnati that specialized in "Hillbilly Records" and "Race Records". Also prominent from Cincinnati were Jewel Records and Fraternity Records. Quality classical music is amply served by Telarc Records of Cleveland. Free Age Music, llc of Columbus, Ohio.


  • Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Los Angeles, California: Feral House. ISBN 0-92291-571-7.


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