Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

King Records — Day of My Birth

Ruppli‘s King Labels discography is a 2-volume reference set that can be hard to make sense of initially, given all the subsidiary labels and various quirks in its numbering systems, among other things.

Volume 1 features information pertaining to all the releases on the King label from 1943 to 1973, with a great many of these recordings laid down at King‘s Cincinnati studios.  It can be great fun to browse chronologically in order to determine whether any recording took place on the birthdate of someone you know, such as family members and friends.  At first I was disappointed to find out that no King artists were laying down any new sounds on the day of my birth — at least, in Cincinnati.

Page 470 concludes the post-Syd Nathan Starday-King era, with a listing for a Nashville session that took place on September 23, 1973 by a group called The B.K.‘s [Bob Kames + company], with only one song recorded “Choo Choo Choo” (the B-side of King 6426 — a 45 that appears never to have been issued).  However, pages 471-476 list a King 16000 master series of recordings that took place in Los Angeles between the years 1961-1963 (sessions with Johnny Otis and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, et al., including “Gangster of Love“).

But the real kicker is this announcement near the bottom of page 476:

Note:  Series discontinued and resumed later in Macon, Ga.”

Volume 1, thus, ends with four pages of King recording sessions between the years 1964-1965 that took place in Macon, Georgia at Bobby Smith Studios (and therefore serve as the “missing link” to all the later work* highlighted in last October’s celebration, “Bobby Smith’s King Productions“).  So, today I decided to browse these pages with a certain date in mind, and wouldn’t you know it:  The Fabulous Denos recorded two songs with Bobby Smith at the helm [“Once I Had a Love” & “Bad Girl“] on the day of my birth — April 13, 1964!

Bad Girl

The Fabulous Denos (1964)

Bad Girl” – the featured song in this King history piece – served as the B-side of a single released in June, 1964.

Tip of the hat (again) to 45Cat contributor davie gordon for this snippet from Billboard‘s August 22, 1964 edition that shows “Bad Girl” to be a ‘R&B Regional Breakout’ for the urban centers of Atlanta and Cleveland, the city where my dad would relocate by decade’s end — foreshadowing?

Bobby Smith Productions = 1964-1965
Info from The King Labels: A Discography compiled by Michel Ruppli

<click on all song titles below for streaming audio>

Sam Anderson & the Telstars (1964)

Wayne Cochran (1964)

Alice Rozier (March 16, 1964)

  • My Candy Man [King 5896]
  • George, BB and Roy [King 5896]
  • I Love You a Bushel and a Peck [unissued]
  • Love Me Like I Love You [unissued]

Eddie Kirk (March 17, 1964)

James Duncan [and The Duncan Trio] (1964)

Billy Soul (March 19, 1964)

Bobby Leeds (March 22, 1964)

  • Nothing Too Good for You [King 5928]
  • When I Fell [King 5928]
  • I’m Through, I’m Gone, I’m Free [King 5903]
  • Big Brick Wall [King 5903]

C.V. Williams (March 19, 1964)

  • I’ve Lost the Only One [unissued]
  • My Once-a-Week Love [unissued]

Eddie Kirk (September 8, 1964)

James Duncan (October 11, 1964)

Bobby Skelton (1964)

The Fabulous Denos (November 23, 1964)

King Keels (April 4, 1964)

  • Wondering, Wondering, Wondering [King 5969]
  • I Hear Love Bells [King 5969]

James Styles (April 4, 1964)

  • Sweeter Than a Flower [unissued]
  • I’m on My Way [unissued]

Bobby Cash (April 12, 1964)

Dennis Wheeler (April 12, 1964)

  • Down in Daytona [King 5898]
  • Rock Bottom [King 5898]

The Fabulous Denos (April 13, 1964)

Bennie Anderson and the Teals (April 28, 1964)

Billy Soul (March 19, 1964)

Oscar Toney Jr. (& The Kayos Band) (April 19, 1964)

Wayne Cochran (January 17, 1965)

  • Think [King 5994]
  • You Left the Water Running [King 5994]

James Duncan (March 12, 1965)

  • All Aboard [unissued]
  • My Baby Is Back [unissued]

Alice Rozier (February 24, 1965)

  • Lonely Girl [unissued]
  • Hold on to You [unissued]

Oscar Toney Jr. [& The Kayos Band] (February 1965)

James Duncan (March 12, 1965)

Stanley K.

  • [unknown title] [unissued]
  • [unknown title] [unissued]

Zero to 180 on his Father’s Lap –

Cincinnati, OH (March, 1966)

*Brian Powers was, indeed, correct in his assertion (back in October, 2018) that Bobby Smith Studios had been up and running prior to 1966

For Serious King Records Fans Only:

Page 481

Check out these random bits of King recording session info on the very last page of Volume 1 that fall under the catch-all title Additional King Sessions — including a live James Brown & the Famous Flames set at Baltimore’s Royal Theater in 1963.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Categories