THE ICON: Lloyd Price
THE LEGACY: It was 1952, and a 19-year-old Lloyd Price was working out a new song on the piano at his mother’s Kenner restaurant when he caught the eye, and ear, of local bandleader and talent scout Dave Bartholomew. Price soon found himself in Cosimo Matassa‘s soon-to-be legendary J&M Studios, where he recorded that song, “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” with none other than Fats Domino on piano and Earl Palmer on drums. It would become an immediate hit, selling a million copies and spending seven weeks atop Billboard’s R&B charts. It would also mark the start of a career that would see Price crank out 15 top-ten R&B hits, including “Personality” and “Stagger Lee,” raising the national profile of the then-burgeoning New Orleans sound — and earning Price recognition one of the earliest architects of rock ‘n’ roll.
THE ARTIST: Queen Hope Parker
THE INSPIRATION: “It was two weeks, the record (had been playing) on the radio. I’m hearing it every day. And my brother, my elder brother said, ‘Ain’t no other Lloyd Price in Kenner. They keep saying (Lloyd Price). Is that you?’ I said, ‘I think so!’ I had never heard myself. I never heard nothing about a microphone. And a week or so later, the world just blew loose.” — Lloyd Price, discussing “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” in a 2009 interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame