Price, Lloyd

Price, Lloyd, 1933-2021, b. Kenner, La. Price began his first band at age 18 while also working in construction. Signed to Specialty Records, his first record was a major chart hit,“Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (1952; #1 R&B), which he also wrote. On the recording session were New Orleans musicians including pianist Fats Domino, and the song helped popularize the loping rhythm that would become one of the key ingredients of early rock and roll. However, Price’s career was interrupted when he was drafted into the Army (1953-54); on his discharge, he founded his own label but struggled to repeat his initial success until recording his adaptation of the folk ballad, “Stagger Lee” (#1 pop and R&B, 1959). He followed that success the same year with his bests known hit, “Personality” (cowritten with Harold Logan), which earned him the nickname of "Mr. Personality." After his final charting song in 1963, Price moved into running his own label and nightclubs, as well as promoting prize fights, including the famous bouts “Rumble in the Jungle” (1974) and the “Thrilla in Manila” (1975). Price relocated to Nigeria from 1979-83, but then returned to the U.S., organizing and performing on several “oldies” tours along with other ‘50s-era acts.

See his autobiography (2009).

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