From the Land of Band Box Records

They Gave Us Rock and Roll: Part 5

June 4, 2017

The Roots of Rock and Roll on Long Play in the U.S.

A hat’s off to these pioneers who set the stage – Here are their earliest long plays – Artists K through L.  Ben E. King has always been high on my list both fronting the Drifters and as a solo artist on Atco Records.  And the Kingsmen from the e Northwest United States influenced so many garage bands back in the 1960’s.  Check out my two new pages for a complete “Roots of Rock” listing: Artists A through O and listing: Artists P through Z –

Fun project – getting all of these pioneers rounded up – learning about where they’ve been – and where they went.

B.B. King was born in September of 1925 in Berclair, Mississippi Riley Ben King – He died on May 14th, 2015

  1961 – Ben E. King – Atco 133 – “Spanish Harlem”

Ben E. King was born in September of 1938 in Henderson, North Carolina Benjamin Earl King – He died on April 30th, 2015

1959 – King Curtis – Atco 33-113 – “Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow”

King Curtis was born in February of 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas Curtis Ousley – He died on August 13th, 1971 (Murdered by drug dealers in New York) – Curtis migrated into rock and roll backing musicians such as The Coasters and Aretha Franklin – with his backing band “The Kingpins”.

Members included Jerry Jemmott, Cornell Dupree, Bernard Purdie, and Truman Thomas among others.

1961 – Freddy King/Freddie King – King 773 – “Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King”

Freddy King was born in September of 1934 in Gilmer, Texas Fred King – He died on December 28th, 1976 – In the early 1950’s King was a member of “The Every Hour Blues Boys” and with Earl Payton’s “Blues Cats”.

1963 – The King Pins – King 865 – “It Won’t Be This Way Always”

The King Pins were formed in 1962 out of Clarksdale, Missippi – This was a vocal group and not to be confused with the King Curtis backing band – Members:  Andrew Kelly, Curtis Kelly, Robert Kelly, Charles Lee and Offe Reece.

1963 – The Kingsmen – Wand WDS 657 – “The Kingsmen In Person”

The Kingsmen formed in 1959 out of Portland, Oregon – Original members were: Lynn Easton, Jack Ely, Mike Mitchell and Bob Nordby.  – The Kingsmen are an essential to any Rock ‘n’ Roll listing having contributed the all-time baby boomer anthem “Louie Louie”.

Oddly, “Louie Louie” was held out of the nation’s top chart spot on Billboard by the Singing Nun’s “Dominique” and Bobby Vinton’s “There, I’ve Said It Again” – What were we thinking?  Lynn Easton was the front man of the group but drummer Jack Ely was the vocalist on the iconic “Louie Louie”.

1957 – Buddy Knox – Roulette R-25003 – “Buddy Knox”

Buddy Knox was born in July of 1933 in Happy, Texas Buddy Wayne Knox – He died on February 14th, 1999 – He was a member of The Rhythm Orchids with Jimmy Bowen and Dicky Doo.

 1959 – Buddy Knox & Jimmy Bowen – Roulette 25048 – “Buddy Knox & Jimmy Bowen”

1963 – Major Lance – Okeh OKS 14105 – “The Monkey Time”

Major Lance was born in April of 1939 in Winterville, Mississippi – He died on September 3rd, 1994.  Lance was a member of a group called “The Floats” before going solo.

1961 – Brenda Lee – Decca DL 8873 – “Grandma What Great Songs You Sang!”

Brenda Lee was born in December of 1944 in Atlanta, Georga Brenda Mae Tarpley – She broke onto the scene before she was even a teenager and quickly established solid rock and roll credentials.  In later years she turned to country music to prolong her impressive career.

1963 – Barbara Lewis – Atlantic 8086 – “Hello Stranger”

Barbara Lewis was born in February of 1943 in Salem, Michigan – Lewis is a talented composer and penned all the songs on her debut long play for Atlantic Records.

 1961 – Bobby Lewis – Beltone 4000 – “Tossin’ and Turnin'”

Bobby Lewis was born in February of 1933 in Indianapolis, Indiana Robert Allan Lewis

1958 – Jerry Lee Lewis – Sun 1230 – “Jerry Lee Lewis”

Jerry Lee Lewis was born in September of 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana – Lee

1961 – Smiley Lewis – Imperial – “I Hear You Knocking”

Smiley Lewis was born in July of 1913 in DeQuincy, Louisiana Overton Amos Lemons – He died on October 7th, 1966 – He was a very early pioneer of a definite rock sound but gained little notoriety – although he was indeed an influence to those in the know.

1960 – Lightnin’ Slim – Excello 8000 – “Rooster Blues”

Lightning Slim was born in March of 1913 in St. Louis, Missouri Otis Verries Hicks – He died on July 27th, 1974

1959 – Little Anthony & The Imperials – End 303 – “We Are The Imperials Featuring Little Anthony”

Little Anthony and the Imperials formed in 1957 first being known as “The Chesters” – Original Members were Clarence Collins, Tracey Lord, Nathaniel Rodgers and Ronald Ross.  Anthony Gourdine soon joined becoming their lead singer (Little Anthony)

1962 – Little Eva – Dimension 6000 – “Llllloco-Motion”

Little Eva was born in June of 1943 in Belhaven, North Carolina Eva Narcissus Boyd – She died on April 10th, 2003 – Little Eva showcased some of composers Carol King and Gerry Goffins finest teen rock from the Brill Building era.

1965 – Little Milton – Checker LP-2995 – “We’re Gonna Make It”

Little Milton was born in September of 1934 James Milton Campbell, Jr. He Died on August 4th, 2005

 1957 – Little Richard – Specialty 100 – “Here’s Little Richard”

Little Richard was born in December of 1932 in Macon, Georgia Richard Wayne Penniman

Little Walter – 1957 – Chess LP 1428 – “The Best of Little Walter”

Little Walter was born in May of 1930 in Marksville, Louisiana – He died February 15th, 1958. (Died after an altercation in Chicago)

1963 – Barbara Lynn – Jamie 3023 – “You’ll Lose a Good Thing”

Barbara Lynn was born in January of 1942 in Beaumont, Texas

One Comment

  1. Wow – more great stuff!

    Small correction: Ben E. King was born Benjamin Earl Nelson. He had a voice “twice the size of normal.”

    I saw Barbara Lynn at Lincoln Center in NYC last summer (2016) – she’s still got it!

    Jumping into the next one…

    Country Paul

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