Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: Starday-King

King Records: Oddball Historical Tidbits

Triple Threat – the debut album by jazz multi-instrumentalist Roland Kirk – was originally released on the King label in 1956, rereleased on Bethlehem as Third Dimension, and on the Affinity label as Early Roots.  Kirk on tenor sax, stritch, manzello, & siren (!), with James Madison on piano, Carl

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Frank ‘The Riddler’ Gorshin on King Records

From Nilsson’s brilliantly sung end credits for 1968 cinematic bomb, Skidoo, we learned that the film’s director, Otto Preminger, once essentially paid $7,600 to appear on an episode of TV’s Batman.  How interesting then to learn that Cincinnati’s King Records has its own – albeit indirect – connection to television’s

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“From the Back Side”: James Brown’s Parting Gift to King?

Son’s of Funk – i.e., Fred Wesley & the JB’s – with their 1972 single release on the King label: “From the Back Side (Pt. 1)”     Son’s of Funk     1972 Is it really true – as YouTube contributor, BuckeyeCat2002, recalls – that “this James Brown / Fred Wesley

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“In My Heart I’m a Free Man”: L.A. Sunshine Pop on King

I wish I could say that this slice of 1970 sunshine pop released by King Records was recorded in Cincinnati; however, Michel Ruppli’s 2-volume King discography indicates the recording to have taken place in Los Angeles on May 21, 1970.  Check out the fancy picture sleeve worked up by the

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Tokyo Happy Coats: Japanese Pop on King Records

There is, interestingly enough, a Japanese label that shares the name King Records.  Japan’s King Records even predates Cincinnati’s King Records by twelve years or so. But back in 1970, it was Cincinnati’s King Records who released two LPs and exactly three 45s by an “all-girl” Japanese pop group, The

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“A Satisfied Mind”: Country Meets Soul

Country meets soul in Roberta Sherwood‘s updated version of “A Satisfied Mind” – a home run of a hit, originally, for Starday in the mid-50s during the label’s early years: A Satisfied Mind – Roberta Sherwood [Pssst:  Click on the triangle above to hear Roberta Sherwood cover ”A Satisfied Mind.”

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“Big Blue Diamonds”: Early 70s Resurgence

I first encountered the song, “Big Blue Diamonds,” as covered by Little Willie John in 1962, from a Starday-King cassette entitled Country Tunes Done R&B. “Big Blue Diamonds” was penned by Earl “Kit” Carson and first issued on a 1950 King 78 sung by Red Perkins. Tex Ritter also put

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Freddy Fender’s Prison Album of Mystery

In 1975 – the same year Gusto Records acquired Starday-King Records from Tennessee Recording & Publishing – Gusto released an album entitled Freddy Fender: Recorded Inside Louisiana State Prison.  I suspect Gusto might have been trying to capitalize on the popularity (as well as notoriety) of Johnny Cash’s prison albums

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"Adios Aloha"
Zeroto180

“Adios Aloha”: Honky Tonk Internationale

In 1972 Starday-King released a country compilation LP (on their Nashville imprint) entitled, Almost Persuaded, that was strictly a ladies-only affair:  Rose Maddox, Dolly Parton, Jan Howard, Dottie West, Lois Williams, Betty Amos – and Ruby Wright.  Ruby’s playful little rocker, “Adios Aloha” — written by June Carter & Don

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“Cool Jerk”: Starday-King Goes Boogaloo

What a revelation to learn that The Coasters, along with producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, collaborated with Fania recording legend, Larry Harlow, on five tracks that were recorded in Autumn, 1971 – the highlight being a fresh boogaloo take on “Cool Jerk“: “Cool Jerk”     The Coasters     1971

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