Lloyd Price (born March 9, 1933) is an American R&B vocalist. Known as "Mr. Personality", after the name of one of his biggest million-selling hits. His first recording, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" was a huge hit on Specialty Records in 1952, and although he continued to turn out records, none were as popular until several years later, when he refined the New Orleans beat and achieved a series of national hits. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Born in Kenner, Louisiana, United States, and growing up in a suburb of New Orleans, Price had formal musical training in 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 a lifelong interest in business and in food from her.
When Art Rupe of Specialty Records came to New Orleans scouting for talent and heard Price's song, "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", he wanted to record it. Because Price did not have a band (though he would eventually start his own band in 1949), Rupe hired Dave Bartholomew and his band (which included Fats Domino on piano) to do the arrangements and back up Price in the recording session. The song turned out to be a massive hit and his next release cut at the same session, "Oooh, Oooh, Oooh" a much smaller one. Price continued making recordings for Speciality but did not chart any further hits at that time.
In 1954 he was drafted and ended up in Korea. When he returned he found he had been replaced by Little Richard. 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. The first single was "Just Because". It was picked up by ABC Records and from 1957 to 1959 Price recorded a series of national hits on ABC Records that were successful adaptations of the New Orleans sound, such as "Stagger Lee", "Personality", which reached #2, and the #3 hit "I'm Gonna Get Married". "Stagger Lee" topped the pop and R&B charts, sold over a million copies. Dick Clark insisted the violent content of the song be toned down when Price appeared on American Bandstand but it was still the "violent" version that was on top of the R&B charts of 1959. "Stack-o-Lee" is an old blues standard recorded many times previously by other artists. Greil Marcus, in a critical analysis of the song's history, has written that Price's was an enthusiastic hard rock version with a screaming saxophone.In all of these early recordings of Lloyd Price, Merritt Mel Dalton was the lead Sax Man on the recordings of "Personality, Stagger Lee, I'm gonna get married etc..," Merritt, was in the traveling band as well and appeared on the Ed Sullivan show with Lloyd Price.
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.
During the 1970s Price owned a Manhattan restaurant-nightclub called Turntable and helped Don King promote fights including Muhammad Ali's "Rumble in the Jungle." He later became a builder, erecting 42 town houses in the Bronx.
Price toured Europe in 1993 with Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Gary U.S. Bonds. He performed in 2005 with soul legends Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, and Ben E. King for the "Four Kings of Rhythm and Blues" tour, concerts captured for a DVD and PBS television special.
On March 9, 2010, his 77th Birthday, in New Orleans, Lloyd Price was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and on June 20, 2010, Price appeared and sang in 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.
In 2011 Price was promoting his autobiography The True King of the Fifties: The Lloyd Price Story and was working on a Broadway musical called "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," in conjunction with a team that includes producer Phil Ramone. The musical details how rock and roll evolved out of the New Orleans music scene of the early 1950s. He continues to sing.
- 1959: Exciting Lloyd Price
- 1959: Mr. Personality
- 1960: Fantastic
- 1960: Mr. Personality Sings the Blues
- 1960: Mr. Personality's Big 15
- 1961: Cookin' Music-Music
- 1981: This Is My Band
- 1989: Lloyd Price : His Originals, Speciality
- 1990: Greatest Hits, Pair
- 1990: Walkin' the Track, Speciality
- 1990: Personality Plus, Speciality
- 1992: Stagger Lee, Collectables
- 1994: Lloyd Price sings his Big Ten, Curb
- 1994: Vol. 2 : Heavy Dreams, Speciality
- 1994: Greatest Hits : The Original ABC Paramount, MCA
- 1995: Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Ace
- 1998: Body with No Body, Moms
- 1999: Mr Personality, Sba
- 1999: The Exciting, Sba
- 2002: Christmas Classics, Prestige
- 2002: Millennium Collection, Universal
- 2004: Classics : 1952-1953, Nad
- 2005: Lawdy !, Fantasy
- 2006: Speciality Profiles, Speciality
- 2006: Great, Goldies
- 2006: 16 Greatest Hits, Passport Audio
- 1952 "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" / "Mailman Blues" (#1 R&B)
- 1952 "Oooh-Oooh-Oooh" (#4 R&B)
- 1952 "Restless Heart" (#5 R&B) flip of above
- 1953 "Ain't It A Shame?" (#4 R&B)
- 1953 "Tell Me Pretty Baby" (#8 R&B) flip of above
* 1957 "Just Because" (#3 R&B/#29 Pop)
- 1957 "Lonely Chair" (#88 Pop)
- 1958 "Stagger Lee" (#1 R&B, #1 Pop, UK #7) (certified Gold)
- 1959 "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day?)" (#4 R&B/#23 Pop, UK #15)
- 1959 "Personality" (#1 R&B/#2 Pop, UK #9) (certified Gold)
- 1959 "I'm Gonna Get Married" (#1 R&B/#3 Pop, UK #23) (certified Gold)
- 1959 "Three Little Pigs" (#15 R&B) flip of above
- 1960 "Come Into My Heart" (#2 R&B/#20 Pop)
- 1960 "Wont'cha Come Home" (#6 R&B/#43 Pop) flip of above
- 1960 "Lady Luck" (#3 R&B/#14 Pop)
- 1960 "Never Let Me Go" (#26 R&B/#82 Pop)
- 1960 "No If's - No And's" (#16 R&B/#40 Pop)
- 1960 "For Love" (#43 Pop)
- 1960 "Question" (#5 R&B/#19 Pop)
- 1960 "Just Call Me (And I'll Understand)" (#79 Pop)
- 1960 "Who Coulda'Told You (They Lied)" (#103 Pop)
- 1961 "(You Better) Know What You're Doin'" (#90 Pop)
- 1961 "Mary and Man-O" (#110 Pop)
- 1962 "Under Your Spell Again" (#123 Pop)
- 1963 "Misty" (#11 R&B/#21 Pop)
- 1964 "Billie Baby" (#84 Pop)
- 1964 "I Love You (I Just Love You)" (#123 Pop)
- 1964 "Amen" (#124 Pop)
- 1965 "If I Had My Life To Live Over" (#107 Pop)
- 1969 "Bad Conditions" (#21 R&B)
- 1973 "Trying To Slip (Away)" (#32 R&B)
- 1976 "What Did You Do With my Love" (#99 R&B)