Personalities | Earl King | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

(Guitar, vocals, 1934–2003)

Earl Silas Johnson IV was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was influenced by Guitar Slim and made his recording debut for Savoy, as Earl Johnson, in 1953. Upon switching to Specialty in 1954, he became Earl King. Often associated with New Orleans blues pianist Huey ‘Piano’ Smith in the 1950s, King scored his biggest hit with ‘Those Lonely, Lonely Nights’ for Ace Records in 1955. A favoured songwriter among New Orleans R&B artists, King recorded for many small New Orleans labels over the years. He remained an active performer until shortly before his death.

Styles & Forms | Fifties | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | Steve Lacy | Fifties | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


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