We lost another one.
Lloyd Price, an R&B singer from New Orleans whose 1950s became crossover hits crucial to the development of rock and roll, died May 3 at a care facility in New Rochelle, New York from diabetes complications. He was 88.
At a very young age Price worked carting huge blocks from ice and eventually tired of the grueling job. So he took up piano and led a band in high school. When Price was 19 he had an audition with Fats Domino’s arranger and music producer, Dave Bartholomew, who was blown away by the upbeat Price who packed a lot of charisma.
But in 1954, when Price was enjoying the success of “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” he was drafted, and his career was put on hold. Price blamed segregation.
“Truly, that’s one of the reasons why I got drafted in the service,” he told the New York Times decades later. “It was a revolution underground that nobody could stop. The lady at the draft board said Washington wanted me in the Army. Their children were dancing to ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy.’ “
Ironically after Price’s return to civilian life another entertainer had stolen his popularity, a singer Price had helped get started in the business: The flamboyant Little Richard.
Price bounced back, though, with some huge recordings in the late 50’s and early 60’s.
This one soared to #2 in 1959 and is very easy to sing along.
Price’s widow Jackie said, “Lloyd’s music crossed many boundaries and carried him to all corners of the world. He got the nickname ‘Mr. Personality’ because of his biggest hit but he also earned that name because he was charismatic, generous, smart, funny, talented with a very kind heart.”
Price had tremendous influence.
You saw in the opening video Huey Lewis introduce the late Lloyd Price. From early 2020…