Discovered while belting out “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” at his mother’s restaurant in rural Louisiana, Lloyd Price soon found himself in a studio with none other than Fats Domino on piano and Earl Palmer on drums. Their version of his souful “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” went on to rule the #1 spot on the music charts for seven weeks and was named Song of the Year, making Price the first teenager in history to sell over a million records.
11 hit singles followed in such rapid succession that at one point, Price had six songs on the charts all at once. Smash hits like “Just Because,” “Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day),” “Three Little Pigs,” “Stagger Lee,” “I’m Gonna Get Married,” “”Come Into My Heart,” “Question,” “Lady Luck” and “Misty.” And then there was his signature smash “Mr. Personality,” so wildly popular that fans still call him that to this very day.
In between performing over 250 concerts a year (including up to 35 shows a week at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem), Price devoted his rare free time to using his star power to launch multiple businesses, becoming the first African American to own a nightclub in New York City, building over middle-class 160 residences in the Bronx and co-producing the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” Ali vs Foreman boxing match with Don King. The fight and concert event drew over 120,000 fans and was the very first transatlantic television sports broadcast. He went on to develop Lawdy Miss Clawdy into an extensive line of food products currently sold in major retailers throughout the country including WalMart and 7-11.
In 1988, Lloyd was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His hometown named a street after him and Frank Sinatra counted himself among Lloyd’s biggest fans, declaring “Lloyd Price is the most complete entertainer I’ve ever known. I love my dear friend, Lloyd Price.”