Lloyd Price Biography

9 March 1933, Kenner, Louisiana, USA. Price, who launched his career in the early 50s performing rocking R&B, New Orleans-style, was - like his Crescent City compatriot Fats Domino - made for the rock ‘n’ roll era. He did not have to modify his approach at all to become a rock ‘n’ roll hit-maker in the late 50s. Price formed his own band in New Orleans in 1949 and in 1952 was signed with the Los Angeles-based Specialty Records, who made a practice of recording New Orleans artists. His first hit, ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ (US R&B number 1, 1952), established his career in the R&B field and he followed with four more Top 10 hits. Military service intervened and took Price out of action from 1954-56. On returning to civilian life he settled in Washington, DC, and set up a record company with Harold Logan. Price regained his place on the chart in 1957 with ‘Just Because’ (US R&B number 3 and pop Top 30). Signed to ABC-Paramount Records, the company transformed their R&B veteran into a rock ‘n’ roll hit-maker for the new teen market. He and Logan revamped an old blues, ‘Stack-O-Lee’, that had been a hit for Ma Rainey in the 20s, and made it one of his biggest successes (US R&B and pop number 1, 1959). In the UK, it entered the Top 10. Price’s chart career peaked in 1959, with such hits as ‘Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)’ (US R&B number 4 and pop Top 30), ‘Personality’ (US R&B number 1 and pop number 2) and ‘I’m Gonna Get Married’ (US R&B number 1 and pop number 3), all of which were similarly successful in the UK. The hits continued, to a lesser extent, the following year with ‘Lady Luck’ (US R&B number 3 and pop Top 20) and ‘Question’ (US R&B number 5 and number 19 pop).

Three years later Price resurfaced on the Double-L label (owned by Price and Logan), briefly making an impact on the emerging soul market with his reworking of jazz standards ‘Misty’ (US R&B number 11 and pop Top 30) and ‘Bill Bailey’ (US R&B Top 40 and pop Top 100 as ‘Billy Baby’). Double-L also released Wilson Pickett’s first solo sides, and in the late 60s Price began another label called Turntable for which Howard Tate, among others, recorded. Price’s last chart record was in 1976 on the LPG label, a label he formed in partnership with the notorious boxing promoter Don King. His former business partner Logan had been murdered in 1969. Price remains a popular live draw on the oldies circuit.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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