The single was released in 1952, spending seven weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B chart. It was also the R&B Record of the Year in both Billboard and Cashbox magazines, and went on to sell over a million copies.
Sadly, Price wasn’t able to build on his success, because he was called into the army and sent to serve in the Korean War. When he came back home, he was a bit older and a lot wiser. He bought out his contract with Specialty Records for a thousand dollars and teamed up with a friend Harold Logan to set up his own record label KRC (Kent Record Company). What a brave move for a young black musician. At the same time, he left New Orleans and moved to Washington DC, signing for ABC-Paramount Records. He was obviously a brave and ambitious young man.
When Price’s contract with ABC ended in 1963, he once more took control of his career. With his partner Harold Logan, he founded Double L Records, in order to release his own records. He also signed other acts, including a young singer called Wilson Pickett, whom he heard singing at a show in Flint, Michigan.
Price also saw an opportunity to develop live music. He bought the famous jazz club Birdland on Broadway in New York and renamed it the Lloyd Price Turntable. He had played at the club in April 1964 and could see that there were very few venues in New York where R&B stars could play. He booked James Brown, Maxine Brown, The Coasters, Chubby Checker, Patti LaBelle And The Bluebelles, King Curtis and many others.
His own songs were less successful now and, when his partner and friend Harold Logan was murdered in 1969, Price decided to take a different road. Price moved to Africa, where, working with his friend Don King, he helped to promote Muhammad Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle boxing match. He also produced the Zaire 74 music festival in Kinshasa.
Price toured Europe in 1993 with Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Gary U.S. Bonds, playing at Wembley Arena in front of 11,000 people. It was his first live performance in the UK. Twelve years later, Price performed with soul legends Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler and Ben E. King on the “Four Kings of Rhythm and Blues” tour in 2005. Price received the Pioneer Award at the sixth annual Rhythm and Blues Foundation ceremony in Los Angeles in 1994 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame on March 9th 2010, his 77th birthday, in New Orleans.