Lloyd Price (March 9, 1933 - May 3, 2021) was a highly acclaimed R&B/pop singer and songwriter (a.k.a. "Mr. Personality") who was a major influence in the development of rock and roll during its early stages. Born in Kenner, Louisiana, Price began his formal training on the trumpet and piano as a child, sang in the church choir, and was a member of a combo in high school. While still in his teens, he was discovered by Specialty Records owner, Art Rupe, who came to New Orleans in 1952 to record this city's distinctive and then-emerging style of R&B. He heard Price performing "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and arranged to have him record it for Specialty Records, with instrumental backing by Dave Bartholomew's band and Fats Domino on piano.
Price made his debut later that year on the R&B charts with "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" where it spent seven weeks at #1 and became one of the top selling records of 1952. This R&B classic has since then been covered numerous times by such bands and artists as Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Eric Burdon, Johnny Rivers, and The Beatles. Price released several more songs that became Top 10 R&B chart hits before his career was temporarily cut short in 1954 when he was drafted and sent to Korea. Upon his return, he scored his first Pop/Rock crossover hit in 1957 with "Just Because." He then topped both the Pop/Rock and R&B charts in 1958 with his impassioned rendition of the folk-blues standard, "Stagger Lee." This smash was followed by a long string of other hits on both charts through the early 1970s that included "Come Into My Heart" (1959), "I'm Gonna Get Married" (1959), "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)?" (1959), "Lady Luck" (1960), "Question" (1960), and his signature song, "Personality" (1959).
Price was also a savvy businessman and entrepreneur who had launched a number of record labels and other enterprises over the years. In 1957, he co-founded KRC Records and in 1962, formed Double L Records where Wilson Pickett recorded his earliest hits. In 1969, Price founded another label, Turntable, and opened a restaurant-nightclub with the same name in New York City. He later became a builder in the Bronx and managed Icon Food Brands.
Price's many honors and accolades included being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2010. A street in Kenner, Louisiana was named after him, and the city also celebrates an annual Lloyd Price Day.
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- Lady Luck 1960
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