Ray Pennington was a vocalist and led a western swing band in the Cincinnati area. He played the clubs in southwestern Ohio, alternating as Ray Pennington for country venues and Ray Starr for rhythm and blues nightspots such as the Twilight Inn in McGonigle. He later became a recording artist and eventually a well-known producer and part owner of Step One Records in Nashville. His early production activities were at King Records in Cincinnati, where he directed a lot of the Stanley Brothers recordings in the 1960s. He was co-writer of two of the Stanley Brothers’ most popular King records: “Stone Walls and Steel Bars” and “Don’t Cheat In Our Home Town” (the latter also recorded by Ricky Skaggs). Pennington also produced and played drums on Reno and Smiley sessions. After retiring from Step One Records he was killed in a garage fire on his Tennessee farm in 2020

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