King Floyd

King Floyd

Born and raised in New Orleans, King Floyd grew up with a desire to one day become a great musical singer. After he was discharged from the army on November 1963, Floyd headed first to New York then to Los Angeles, recording his first song for Art Laboe's Original Sound label in 1965. Continuing a career in song writing, Floyd wrote by himself and with Dr. John. A multitude of artists used his songs due to their great potential for hits. Floyd then recorded a pop oriented album on the Mercury subsidiary Pulsar. Right before Floyd returned to New Orleans, he wrote Groove Me in September 1969.

"See, Groove Me was funky," says Floyd. "I always conceived of it as being funky, raw like. But, he (Bobby Freeman) had it all pretty with the flutes and all of that in it and I told Harold Batiste that I was not going to record it that night. I told Harold I wasn't going to record the song because that wasn't the arrangement I gave Bobby." Discouraged, Floyd continued to try and get his song recorded but to no avail until he was introduced to Elijah Walker who took his song and recorded it.

You see, Groove Me was actually inspired by a young college girl who worked about twenty feet from Floyd at an East L. A. box factory. She would always smile at him and would make it a point to be where he was at every part of the day. Floyd, being a shy person, wrote a poem for her entitled Groove Me and was going to give it to her the next day at work but, as fate would have it, she never came back to work for him to give it to her.

Nevertheless, Groove Me, along with many other great hits were released by King Floyd which continue to delight fans across the world

All Music Guide Biography
by Jason Ankeny
Best remembered for the smash "Groove Me," New Orleans soul singer King Floyd was born in the Crescent City on February 13, 1945, and raised in nearby Kenner, LA. He began singing on street corners while in his early teens, befriending local musicians like Earl King and Willie Tee. With the aid of New Orleans blues legend Mr. Google Eyes, Floyd landed his first paying gig at the Bourbon Street club Sho-Bar in 1961, although his fledgling career was soon put on hold by military duty. Following his army discharge in late 1963, Floyd migrated to New York City, signing with booking agents Shaw Artists and regularly performing throughout Manhattan. He also began writing songs, encouraged by the likes of Don Covay and J.J. Jackson. After about a year he resettled in Los Angeles, befriending another New Orleans expatriate, composer/arranger Harold Battiste. Through Battiste, Floyd met DJ Buddy Keleen, who in turn brought him to the Original Sound label, which in 1965 issued his debut single, "Walkin' and Talkin'." Floyd's debut LP, the Battiste-arranged King Floyd: A Man in Love, followed on the Mercury subsidiary Pulsar in 1967; the album went nowhere, and as he was barely making ends meet as a songwriter, he finally returned to New Orleans in 1969.

Now a family man, Floyd accepted a post office job upon returning home, but within a month he ran into producer Wardell Quezerque, then a staffer at Malaco Records. On May 17, 1970, they traveled to Malaco's Jackson, MS, studios to cut "Groove Me," recorded in just one take at the same session that would also yield another Quezerque-produced blockbuster, Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff." Floyd wrote "Groove Me" while working in an East L.A. box factory in honor of a young college girl on staff. He was set to give her the lyrics on the morning she abruptly quit, and he never saw her again. With Quezerque's assistance, he transformed the song into a deeply funky, percolating jam somewhere between the best of James Brown and Otis Redding, but ironically, the song first appeared on the Malaco subsidiary Chimneyville as merely the B-side of Floyd's soulful "What Our Love Needs." Only when New Orleans DJ George Vinnett flipped the record over did "Groove Me" begin meriting the attention it deserved, and as the record emerged as a local smash, Atlantic scooped up national distribution rights. "Groove Me" went on to top the Billboard R&B charts and hit number six on the pop charts, going gold on Christmas Day of 1970. Needless to say, Floyd quit his civil service gig and went on a national tour, returning to the R&B Top Ten early in 1971 with the follow-up "Got to Have Your Love," culled from his self-titled Atlantic LP.

Creative differences quickly undermined Floyd's relationship with Quezerque, however, and subsequent efforts, including the fine 1973 LP Think About It, attracted little attention. In a surprise move, Atlantic then issued as a single "Woman Don't Go Away" from the 1971 King Floyd album, earning a gold record three years after the song's original appearance. But Atlantic's agreement with Malaco soon ended, and the latter signed a new distribution deal with Miami-based TK, which also assumed Floyd's production reins for 1975's Well Done, which featured the minor hit "I Feel Like Dynamite." He split with Malaco soon after, landing with Mercury's Dial subsidiary for a one-off single titled "Can You Dig It?"; at the same time, Malaco issued Body Language, a collection of his unreleased recordings for the label. The emergence of disco left few outlets for Floyd's staunchly Southern brand of soul, and in 1978 he returned to L.A. in an attempt to reignite his career and battle some personal demons; upon coming back to Kenner three years later, he mustered up a few local gigs, and in 1982 spent a month touring South Africa. Floyd spent the remainder of the next two decades drifting in and out of the music industry, finally releasing a new Malaco effort, Old Skool Funk, in 2000.

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