|All of the Greatest Hits of Rock 'n Roll Pioneer Lloyd Price, From "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and "Stagger Lee" to "Personality," on New "Best Of" Collection
Between September 1958 and December 1959, Lloyd Price recorded an astonishing eight Top 10 R&B hits, including the #1s "Stagger Lee," "I'm Gonna Get Married" and "Personality," all Top 3 pop as well. Setting the stage for rock `n' roll, he was one of the few black performers of his time who crossed over to the pop side, and one of the rare singers who wrote nearly all of his hits. In 1995, the Rhythm and Blues Foundation honored him with its Pioneer Award, and in 1998 he won induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. Yet, even with that, it can truly be said that Price is not nearly as renowned as a man with the nickname "Mr. Personality" ought to be.
For those unaware of Price or his contributions, "The Best of Lloyd Price" edition of "20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection" (MCA/UME), released July 2, 2002, sets the record straight with 11 digitally remastered classics.
The New Orleans native wasn't old enough to vote in 1952 when he recorded "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and found himself with a #1 R&B hit for seven weeks (the version included here is a 1959 album remake). After his discharge from the Army, entertaining the troops in the Far East, he moved to Washington, D.C. and established the Kent Recording Company. Its 1957 debut release, "Just Because," became a local hit, and he signed with ABC-Paramount to push it national -- #3 R&B and his first pop Top 40.
In 1958, "Stagger Lee," a reworking of a venerable folk blues song, became a career-defining blockbuster that sat atop both charts for a month. The follow-up, "Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)?," raced to #4 R&B/#23 pop. His next two efforts, "Personality" and "I'm Gonna Get Married," were #1 R&B, peaking at #2 and #3, respectively, on the pop chart. "The Best Of Lloyd Price" also includes the Top 10 R&Bs "Come Into My Heart" (#20 pop), "Wont'cha Come Home," "Lady Luck" (#14 pop) and "No If's - No And's" (#19 pop) plus the Top 30 R&B "Never Let Me Go."
Price exited the label in 1962 and with Harold Logan formed Double-L, which debuted the solo Wilson Pickett. But after Logan's 1969 murder, Price emigrated to Africa, where his business acumen reaped success (including Ali prizefights), but little was seen of him on the music scene. He returned to America in the '80s and in the '90s to recording and performing, including headlining the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Though his absence stalled his recognition, Price is now receiving the credit due one of early rock's greatest.
The series "20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection" features new "best of" albums from the most significant music artists of the past century.
Source: Universal Music Group