Lloyd Price, singer and early rock influence, dies at 88

Cost was prepared and invested the mid-1950s in military service in Korea. He began a career restart with the 1957 ballad “Just Because” and hit the leading with the brassy, pop-oriented “Stagger Lee”, one of the catchiest, most celebratory tunes ever taped about a barroom murder. Composed by Price, “Stagger Lee” was based upon a 19th century battle in between two Black males.

Lee Shelton, sometimes known as Stag Lee, and Billy Lyons that ended with Shelton shooting and killing his rival. Their ever-changing legend was appearing in songs by the 1920s, and has inspired artists ranging from Woody Guthrie and Duke Ellington to Bob Dylan and the Clash. The band leaps in and Price shouts out the story of Stagger Lee and Billy battling over a game of dice, concluding with a bullet from Stagger Lee’s 44 passing through Billy and breaking the bartenders glass.

The tune reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop chart early in 1959, however not everyone was entertained. “American Bandstand” host Dick Clark stressed the tune was too violent for his teen-centered program and pressed Price to revise it. For “Bandstand” watchers and some future listeners, Stagger Lee and Billy peacefully solve their disagreement.

Price had to go comprise some lyrics about Stagger Lee and Billy being in some kind of squabble about a lady.

It did not make any sense at all. It was outrageous. Price followed with the leading 10 hits “Personality” and “I’m Going To Get Married” and the leading 20 songs “Lady Luck” and “Question”. He fared no much better than much of his contemporaries once the Beatles got to the U.S. in 1964, but he discovered his method into other occupations through a wide variety of acquittances and buddies.

Price lived for a time in the same Philadelphia apartment building as Wilt Chamberlain and Joe Frazier and, in addition to boxing promoter Don King, assisted stage the 1973 “Thrilla in Manila” between Frazier and Muhammad Ali and the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” championship battle in between Ali and George Foreman. He was likewise a house contractor, a booking representative, an outstanding bowler, and the developer of a line of food items. After Logan was killed, in 1969, Price ended up being so disheartened he eventually moved to Nigeria and did not return up until the 1980s.

Price would become a favorite on oldies tours, performing with Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis amongst others. He settled in New York with his other half, however was not forgotten back home. A street in Kenner was renamed Lloyd Price Avenue and for years Kenner has actually celebrated an annual Lloyd Price Day.

Price would credit tidy living and steady focus for his endurance.

Price never ever drank, smoked, used drugs, or had bad habits. He would drive a taxi cab to get himself the food he required to live. He had 23 hit records and he never looked for the next record to strike. Singer-songwriter Lloyd Price, an early rock n roll star and sustaining radical whose hits included such up-tempo favorites as “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, “Personality”, and the semi-forbidden “Stagger Lee”, has actually died.

He was 88. Price passed away Monday at a long-lasting care facility in New Rochelle, New York, of issues from diabetes. Lloyd Price, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, was amongst the last survivors of a post-World War II scene in New Orleans that expected the shifts in popular music and culture resulting in the increase of rock in the mid-1950s.

Along with Fats Domino and David Bartholomew to name a few, Price made a deep, abundant noise around the brass and swing of New Orleans jazz and blues that positioned high on R&B charts and eventually crossed over to white audiences. Price label was “Mr. Personality”, fitting for a performer with a warm smile and a tenor voice to match. Very essential part of Rock history.

Price was BEFORE Little Richard.

“Lawdy Miss Clawdy” of 1952 has a legitimate claim as the very first Rock hit. However Price was even more than an engaging entertainer. He was uncommonly independent for his time, running his own record label even before such stars as Frank Sinatra did the very same, hanging on to his publishing rights, and acting as his own agent and supervisor.

He would often mention the racial injustices he withstood, calling his memoir “sumdumhonkey” and composing on his Facebook page throughout the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations that behind his “affable outside” was “a male who is seething”. Born in Kenner, Louisiana, one of 11 siblings, Price had been singing in church and playing piano since youth. He was in his late teenagers when a local DJ’s favorite catchphrase, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, helped influence him to write his boundary-breaking initially hit, which he worked on in his mom’s fried fish dining establishment.

Featuring Domino’s trademark piano trills, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” struck No. 1 on the R&B charts in 1952, sold more than 1 million copies and ended up being a rock requirement, covered by Elvis Presley and Little Richard among others. Price would have mixed feelings about the tunes broad appeal, later remembering how local officials in the Jim Crow South resisted letting both blacks and whites attend his shows.

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