Mr. Personality, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lloyd Price talks with Big Joe
Lloyd Price is an amazing person. His monumental hits Stagger Lee and Personality catapulted him to the top of the music charts in late 50’s early 60’s.
When I found out that Lloyd Price was going to be on my TV show a few years ago I was pretty excited. He’s a legend. As I prepared for our show with him I was fascinated to learn so many interesting facts about the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
Lloyd always sang, he made a rough demo of a song Lawdy Miss Clawdy and a record company exec from Los Angeles was in New Orleans, heard Lloyd sing that song and wanted to record him but Lloyd didn’t have a band. They hired a couple of players including one guy by the name of Fats Domino on piano and then the record was cut and well received.
Lloyd started to make the rise in record sales and star power but that would be cut in 1954 when he was drafted and served in Korea. He came back only to find his place with the record company had been taken by a guy named Little Richard. Determined, he was picked up by ABC Records and recorded Stagger Lee and Personality which were chart toppers.
Lloyd was born in Kenner, Louisiana which is a suburb of New Orleans. Lloyd’s mom owned a fish fry restaurant which would be instrumental to Lloyd a few years after he established his singing career. With his money making records Lloyd work hard and invested in food products distribution called Icon Food Brand.
In 1962 he formed his own record company and Wilson Pickett got his famous start on the label. In the 70’s Lloyd helped Don King promote boxing matches including the famous Muhammad Ali Rumble in the Jungle. Later in the 70’s he became a builder and erected 42 townhouses in the Bronx.
Before we started taping my TV show Lloyd wanted to grab a bite downstairs. Back then we taped two shows on one day. It’s controlled chaos. The band is rehearsing, the director is putting up the lights, and the set director is putting our set together. Cue cards are written, my monologue is rehearsed so I never go anywhere before taping but how can I turn down Lloyd Price.
In that half hour over a bite we talked about everything, we shared gumbo recipes, talked about his passion for music and life. He was amazing. Lloyd is a person who you connect with immediately.
You can see the interview above and I invited him back last year to do my Variety Show on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. He finished his dialysis and got in a car from Westchester, New York just to be with us. He’s 87 years young and cherishes every minute of his life. He is Mr. Personality and I’m very lucky to have met him.