1933 - 2021
Lloyd Price hardly needs an introduction, also known by the nickname Mr. Personality, Price is the recipient of a 1994 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation, a 1998 inductee in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and a 2019 inductee in the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame. He was born in Kenner, Louisiana, on March 9, 1933 and raised in a family of 11 children. His parents owned a restaurant where he worked as a youth and he also sang in a Gospel Choir. Price had his first No. 1 hit at the age of 16 with the song "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." The song featured Dave Bartholomew's studio band, including the drummer Earl Palmer and pianist Fats Domino, and was recorded in New Orleans at the legendary J&M studios by Cosimo Matassa. Released on Specialty Records out of Los Angeles, CA. It was a crossover hit, before the marketing concept was formalized, by successfully selling in both Black and white markets. Price appeared at Carr's Beach in Annapolis twice during 1952. And he followed his first hit releasing a series of songs that placed in R&B top ten before being drafted in 1953 and serving in the Army through 1955.
After his military service Price returned to the music business, established residence in Washington, D.C., and married. He bought out his contract with Specialty Records and performed at the Howard Theater's 1955 New Year's review. Always the entrepreneur, Price bought the Casbah night club at 1211 U St. NW and Price, along with business partners Bill Bosket and Harold Logan, formed KRC (Kent Recording Company) Records with business offices on U St. NW, and released the No. 3 R&B hit "Just Because." Price established a contract with ABC-Paramount, a business practice Price would repeat later with Atlantic and Ace Records. During this period Price released the No. 1 R&B hit "Stagger Lee" in 1958, and the No. 2 hit "Personality" in 1959, followed that year with "I'm Gonna Get Married" which placed in the top ten on the pop charts. During this period he was constantly touring on the national circuit yet, on various occasions he was able to swing back through the Washington area and performed at Evans' Grill in Forestville, MD.
By 1959 Price moved to New York City and throughout the 1960s he continued his entrepreneurial endeavors. He established record labels during the 1960s, first Double L Records, and later the LPG Records, then Turntable Records, and with Harold Logan he opened the nightclub Lloyd Price's Turntable Lounge on 52 St. in NYC. During this period he released "Misty" which made the top 40 in 1963 his last release to place on the charts. Price took a break from music business after his partner was killed in 1969. His next business venture was in boxing with Don King, Price co-produced the 1974 Mohamad Ali and George Foreman "Rumble in the Jungle" match and the "Zaire 74" music festival in Kinshasa, Zaire. Both events were the subject of the documentary When We Were Kings, which won the 1996 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Price lived in Nigeria for four years ending in 1983, and then he entered into real estate, and a food products brand. And in the 1990s he toured in Europe. Price produced the The Four Kings of Rhythm & Blues tour, and a television special in 2007 featuring Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, and Ben E. King. In 2010 Price published an autobiography and 2017 He released the "This is Rock and Roll" an album of covers. Sadly Lloyd Price passed away at the age of 88 in May of 2021.
“Over and over I tried to prove my love to you”