Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price

Price at New Orleans Jazz Fest, 1996
Background information
Born (1933-03-09) March 9, 1933
Kenner, Louisiana, United States
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, bandleader, entrepreneur, record executive
Years active 1952–present
Website LloydPriceMusic.com

Lloyd Price (born March 9, 1933) is an American R&B vocalist,[1] known as "Mr. Personality", after one of his million-selling hits. His first recording, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", was a hit for Specialty Records in 1952. He continued to release records, but none were as popular until several years later, when he refined the New Orleans beat and achieved a series of national hits.[2] He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.[3]


Price was born in Kenner, Louisiana, and grew up in a suburb of New Orleans. He had formal training in playing the trumpet and piano, sang in his church's gospel choir, and was a member of a combo in high school. His mother, Beatrice Price, owned the Fish 'n' Fry Restaurant, and Price picked up lifelong interests in business and in food from her.

Art Rupe, the owner of Specialty Records, based in Los Angeles, came to New Orleans in 1952 to record the distinctive style of rhythm and blues developing there, which had been highly successful for his competitor Imperial Records. Rupe heard Price's song "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and wanted to record it. Because Price did not have a band,[4] Rupe hired Dave Bartholomew to create the arrangements and Bartholomew's band (plus Fats Domino on piano) to back Price in the recording session. The song was a massive hit. His next release, "Oooh, Oooh, Oooh", cut at the same session, was a much smaller hit. Price continued making recordings for Speciality, but none of them reached the charts at that time.

In 1954 he was drafted and sent to Korea. When he returned he found he had been replaced by Little Richard.[5] In addition, his former chauffeur, Larry Williams, was also recording for the label, having released "Short Fat Fannie".

Price eventually formed KRC Records with Harold Logan and Bill Boskent. Their first single, "Just Because", was picked up for distribution by ABC Records. From 1957 to 1959 Price recorded a series of national hits for ABC, which were successful adaptations of the New Orleans sound, including "Stagger Lee" (which topped the Pop and R&B charts and sold over a million copies), "Personality"[6] (which reached number 2), and "I'm Gonna Get Married" (number 3).[2] When Price appeared on the television program American Bandstand to sing "Stagger Lee", the producer and host of the program, Dick Clark, insisted that he alter the lyrics to tone down its violent content, but it was still the "violent" version that was on top of the R&B chart in 1959.[3] "Stagger Lee" was Price's version of an old blues standard, recorded many times previously by other artists. Greil Marcus, in a critical analysis of the song's history, wrote that Price's version was an enthusiastic rock rendition, "all momentum, driven by a wailing sax".[7] In all of these early recordings by Price ("Personality", Stagger Lee", "I'm Gonna Get Married", and others) Merritt Mel Dalton was the lead sax player; he was also in the traveling band and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show with Price.[8] The personnel on the original hit recording of "Stagger Lee" included Clarence Johnson on piano, John Patton on bass, Charles McClendon and Eddie Saunders on tenor sax, Ted Curson on trumpet and Sticks Simpkins on drums.

In 1962, Price formed Double L Records with Logan. Wilson Pickett got his start on this label. In 1969, Logan was murdered. Price then founded a new label, Turntable, and opened a club by the same name in New York City.[9]

During the 1970s Price owned a Manhattan restaurant-nightclub called Turntable and helped the boxing promoter Don King promote fights, including Muhammad Ali's "Rumble in the Jungle". He later became a builder, erecting 42 town houses in the Bronx.[10]

Price toured Europe in 1993 with Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Gary U.S. Bonds. He performed with soul legends Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, and Ben E. King on the "Four Kings of Rhythm and Blues" tour in 2005; concerts were recorded for a DVD and a PBS television special.

On March 9, 2010, his 77th birthday, in New Orleans, Price was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. On June 20, 2010, he appeared and sang in the season 1 finale of the HBO series Treme.

Price currently manages Icon Food Brands, which makes a line of primarily Southern-style foods, including Lawdy Miss Clawdy food products, ranging from canned greens to sweet potato cookies, and a line of Lloyd Price foods, such as Lloyd Price's Soulful 'n' Smooth Grits and Lloyd Price's Energy-2-Eat Bar (with the brand slogan "Good taste … Great Personality"), plus Lawdy Miss Clawdy clothing and collectibles.[11]

Lloyd Price Avenue in Kenner, Louisiana, was named for the singer, and the city celebrates an annual Lloyd Price Day.[12]

In 2011 Price was promoting his autobiography The True King of the Fifties: The Lloyd Price Story and was working on a Broadway musical, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," with a team that included the producer Phil Ramone. The musical details how rock and roll evolved from the New Orleans music scene of the early 1950s. He continues to sing.[10]

Price lives with his wife in Westchester County, New York.[10]




Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
1952 "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
b/w "Mailman Blues"
1 Lloyd Price
"Oooh-Oooh-Oooh" / 4 Non-album tracks
"Restless Heart" 5
1953 "Ain't It A Shame" / 4 Personality Plus
"Tell Me Pretty Baby" 8 Lloyd Price
"What's The Matter Now?"
b/w "So Long" (from Lloyd Price)
Walkin' The Track
"Where You At?"
b/w "Baby Don't Turn Your Back On Me" (Non-album track)
Lloyd Price
"I Wish Your Picture Was You"
b/w "Frog Legs" (from Walkin' The Track)
1954 "Too Late For Tears"
b/w "Let Me Come Home Baby" (Non-album track)
"Jimmie Lee"
b/w "Walkin' The Track" (from Walkin' The Track)
"Chee-Koo Baby"
b/w "Oo-Ee Baby" (from Walkin' The Track)
1955 "Lord, Lord, Amen!"
b/w "Tryin' To Find Someone To Love"
Non-album tracks
1956 "Just Because"
b/w "Why"
Original release on KRC
The Exciting Lloyd Price
"I Yi Yi Gomen-A-Sai (I'm Sorry)"
b/w "Woe Ho Ho" (Non-album track)
Walkin' The Track
"Country Boy Rock"
b/w "Rock 'N' Roll Dance" (Non-album track)
Lloyd Price
"Forgive Me, Clawdy"
b/w "I'm Glad, Glad"
Walkin' The Track
1957 "Just Because"
b/w "Why"
Second release on ABC-Paramount
29 3 The Exciting Lloyd Price
"Baby, Please Come Home"
b/w "Breaking My Heart (All Over Again)"
Non-album tracks
"Lonely Chair"
b/w "The Chicken and The Bop"
b/w "Hello Little Girl"
"Mailman Blues"
b/w "Oh, Oh, Oh"
The Exciting Lloyd Price
1958 "To Love and Be Loved"
b/w "How Many Times"
Non-album tracks
"No Limit To Love"
b/w "Such A Mess"
Mr. Rhythm & Blues
"Stagger Lee"
b/w "You Need Love"
1 1 7 The Exciting Lloyd Price
1959 "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day?)"
b/w "Is It Really Love?" (from Mr. "Personality")
23 4 15
b/w "Have You Ever Had The Blues"
2 1 7 Mr. "Personality"
"Gonna Let You Come Back Home"
b/w "Down By The River" (from Mr. Rhythm & Blues)
Non-album track
"I'm Gonna Get Married" / 3 1 23 Mr. "Personality"
"Three Little Pigs" 15 "Mr. Personality's" 15 Hits
1960 "Come Into My Heart" / 20 2
"Wont'cha Come Home" 43 6
"Lady Luck" / 14 3
"Never Let Me Go" 82 26
"No If's – No And's" / 40 16 Non-album tracks
"For Love" 43
b/w "If I Look A Little Blue"
19 5
"Just Call Me (and I'll Understand)" / 79
"Who Coulda' Told You (They Lied)" 103
1961 "You Better Know What You're Doin'"
b/w "That's Why Tears Come and Go" (from Cookin')
"Boo Hoo"
b/w "I Made You Cry"
"One Hundred Percent"
b/w "Say, I'm The One"
"String Of Pearls"
b/w "Chantilly Lace"
"Mary and Man-O"
b/w "I Ain't Givin' Up Nothin'"
"Talk To Me"
b/w "I Cover The Waterfront"
"Mr. Personality" Sings The Blues
1962 "Be A Leader"
b/w "'Nother Fairy Tale"
Non-album tracks
"Twistin' The Blues"
b/w "Popeye's Irresistable You"
"Your Picture"
b/w "Counterfeit Friends"
"Under Your Spell Again"
b/w "Happy Birthday Mama"
1963 "Who's Sorry Now"
b/w "Hello Bill"
"Pistol' Packin' Mama"
b/w "Tennessee Waltz"
b/w "Cry On"
21 11
"Auld Lang Syne"
b/w "Merry Christmas, Mama"
Non-album tracks
1964 "Billie Baby"
b/w "Try A Little Bit Of Tenderness"
84 38
"You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You"
b/w "I'll Be A Fool For You" (Non-album track)
"I Love You, I Just Love You"
b/w "Don't Cry"
123 Lloyd Price Swings For Sammy
b/w "I'd Fight The World" (Non-album track)
1965 "Woman"
b/w "Oh, Lady Luck"
"If I Had My Life To Live Over"
b/w "Two For Love"
107 Non-album tracks
"You're Reading Me"
b/w "Go On, Little Girl"
1966 "Misty" (re-recording)
b/w "Saturday Night"
"Peeping and Hiding"
b/w "Every Night"
"The Man Who Took The Valise Off The Floor
Of Grand Central Station At Noon"
b/w "I Won't Cry Anymore"
1967 "Cupid's Bandwagon"
b/w "Feelin' Good"
1968 "Send Me Some Lovin'"
b/w "Somewhere Along The Way"
"Take All"
b/w "Luv, Luv, Luv"
"The Truth"
b/w "Don't Stop Now"
1969 "The Grass Will Sing For You"
b/w "I Understand"
Lloyd Price Now
"Bad Conditions"
b/w "The Truth" (Non-album track)
1970 "Little Volcano"
b/w "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"
Non-album tracks
1971 "Hooked On A Feeling"
b/w "If You Really Love Him"
The Best Of Lloyd Price
"Natural Sinner"
b/w "Mr. and Mrs. Untrue"
1972 "Sing A Song"
B-side unknown
To The Roots and Back
"In The Eyes Of God"
b/w "The Legend Of Nigger Charley"
Non-album tracks
1973 "Love Music"
b/w "Just For Baby" (Non-album track)
"Trying To Slip Away"
b/w "They Get Down" (from To The Roots and Back)
32 Golden Dozen
1976 "What Did You Do With My Love"
b/w "Love Music"
99 Music-Music

[13] [14]


  1. 1 2 Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5.
  2. 1 2 DeCurtis, Anthony; Henke, James, eds. (1980). The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll: The Definitive History of the Most Important Artists and Their Music (3rd ed.). New York: Random House. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0-679-73728-6.
  3. 1 2 "Lloyd Price". history-of-rock. Retrieved 2006-11-24.
  4. "The Great R&B Pioneers – part 2". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2012-04-23.
  5. Dawson, Jim; Propes, Steve (1992). What Was the First Rock 'n' Roll Record?. Boston and London: Faber & Faber. pp. 108–111. ISBN 0-571-12939-0.
  6. Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 17 – The Soul Reformation: More on the Evolution of Rhythm and Blues. [Part 3]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu.
  7. Marcus, Greil (1997). Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music. 4th ed. New York: Plume. p. 238. ISBN 0-452-27836-8.
  8. "Hall of Fame Inductee". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2006-11-24.
  9. Lloyd Price at Musician Guide
  10. 1 2 3 "Dine Out with Rock Legend Lloyd Price". Newsday, April 7, 2011.
  11. Icon Food Products web page
  12. "Kenner Mayor Brousard Presents ..."
  13. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records. p. 438. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  14. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 117. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
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