4 Kings of R&B
Legendary R&B singers Jerry â€œThe Ice Manâ€? Butler, Gene â€œThe Duke of Earlâ€? Chandler, Ben E. King and Lloyd Price team up to perform their greatest hits and soul classics from the 1950s and â€™60s in a rare group performance
"The 4 Kings of Rhythm & Blues" World Broadcast Premiere, Starring Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Ben E. King & Lloyd Price is airing Thursday, June 7 at 8 pm on WLIW21 New York Public Television with Lloyd Price LIVE in the studio!
Legendary R&B singers Jerry “The Ice Man” Butler, Gene “The Duke of Earl” Chandler, Ben E. King and Lloyd Price team up to perform their greatest hits and soul classics from the 1950s and ’60s in a rare group performance filmed July 1999 at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Backed by a 21-piece orchestra, led by music director/conductor Al Johnson, and the “Voices of Angels” quartet, The 4 Kings deliver top notch entertainment with old school style and superb soul singing, including tributes to music icons Sam Cooke and Sly & the Family Stone. Songs include Butler’s 1958 hit with the Impressions "For Your Precious Love" and solo #1 single "Only the Strong Survive" off the landmark 1968 album The Iceman Cometh; Chandler’s #1 1962 hit “Duke of Earl,” King’s solo smash “Stand By Me” and 1959’s “There Goes My Baby” - one of his many hits with the Drifters; along with Price’s 1952 debut single “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (1952) and #1 hit "Stagger Lee" (1959).
The brainchild of Lloyd Price, The 4 Kings of Rhythm & Blues joined forces in 1999. Playing only a handful of concerts each year, the power foursome has sold out 27 consecutive shows, including New York City’s world famous Apollo Theatre in 2005. The 4 Kings have collectively sold more than 100 million records.
“Stagger Lee” - Lloyd Price
“There Goes My Baby” - Ben E. King
“He Will Break Your Heart” - Jerry Butler
“Duke of Earl” - Gene Chandler
“Having a Party” - The 4 Kings
“Spanish Harlem” - Ben E. King
“Your Precious Love” - Jerry Butler
“Lawdy Miss Clawdy” - Lloyd Price
“Higher Ground” - Gene Chandler
“Only the Strong Survive” - Jerry Butler
“Personality” - Lloyd Price
“Stand By Me” - Ben E. King
“Rainbow” - Gene Chandler
“I Want to Take You Higher/Fame” - The 4 Kings
Jerry Butler's career spans four decades, with more than 50 albums to his credit as a solo artist and leading the quintet Jerry Butler & the Impressions, which included Curtis Mayfield. His nickname, “The Ice Man,” epitomizes Butler’s demeanor and distinguished voice—soulful but smooth as ice. Teaming with the pioneers of Philadelphia soul, production/songwriting duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, for 1968’s The Iceman Cometh, Butler earned three Grammy nominations. In 1991, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll of Hall of Fame as one of the Architects of Rhythm & Blues, and was awarded a Hall of Fame Image Award by the NAACP the following year.
Esteemed by soul fans as one of the leading members of the 1960s Chicago soul scene, Gene Chandler (born Eugene Dixon) began his career in the early ‘50s singing doo wop with The Gaytones and The Dukays. A powerful performer and singer, he personified the laid-back, carefree attitude of the early ’60s soul and R&B singers, landing 19 songs in the Top 40 from 1962 to 1970, including his career-defining #1 hit “Duke of Earl” and "Rainbow," one of Chandler's collaborations with Curtis Mayfield, which hit the charts in 1962, 1965 and 1980.
Ben E. King
Best known as the singer and co-composer of "Stand By Me," a Top 10 hit in both 1961 and 1986, Ben E. King (born Benjamin Earl Nelson), began his career in 1958 as part of the doo wop group The Five Crowns, which morphed into the second incarnation of The Drifters later that same year. Co-writing the new group’s first hit “There Goes My Baby” in 1959, King also sang lead (using his birth name) on the Drifters’ other hitss “Save the Last Dance for Me," "Dance With Me" and "This Magic Moment." In 1960 he left the group to go solo and assumed his stage name, scoring hits in 1961 with the stylish, Latin-tinged ballad “Spanish Harlem” and “Stand By Me,” co-written with with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The definition of R&B elegance, King's plaintive baritone put the passion of gospel into sophisticated R&B songs that were accessible to straight pop audiences. Influencing countless smooth soul singers, his records were key forerunners of the Motown sound.
In 1952 at the age of 17, Lloyd Price wrote and recorded his first song, New Orleans classic “Lawdy Miss Clawdy.” Released on Specialty Records, the song became the biggest R&B hit of the year, selling over one million copies by crossing over to the white record-buying market. From 1957 to 1959 Price recorded a series of national hits including "Personality," "I'm Gonna Get Married” and "Stagger Lee,” which topped the pop and R&B charts, sold over a million copies and was the top R&B record of 1959. A savvy business man Price formed several record labels, including Double L Records, which launched Wilson Pickett’s solo career, and Turntable Records - also operating the glitzy New York nightspot of the same name. Other nonmusical pursuits include teaming with Don King to promote Muhammad Ali boxing matches, philanthropic efforts like the “Lawdy Miss Clawdy Katrina Project,” and founding Lloyd Price Icon Food Brands, Inc. In 1998, Price was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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