Bob King (5)

Real Name:
Robert George King
Profile:
Born January 6, 1934 in Joyceville, Ontario, Canada. Died in 1989.

A native of Ontario, Canada, Bob King was raised in the Ottawa Valley, a little-known "down north" center of country music and hillbilly culture. King came close (without quite succeeding) to breaking into the American market and achieving lasting fame beyond the confines of rural Ontario. He had major hits in Canada, and a small following in the United States without ever finding substantial success there.

Bob King was born to a British mother and a Canadian father on January 6, 1934. His father abandoned the family when King was three years old, and his mother remarried -- King was raised on a farm near Kingston, Ontario until he was ten years old, when a fire destroyed their home, after which he lived with relatives in Ottawa. He got his first guitar from his mother when he was seven years old and quickly developed a love of country music, most notably the work of Hank Williams. His other idols included Canadian country stars Hank Snow and Wilf Carter (aka Montana Slim). He was winning local music contests by the time he was 14 years old, and had his heart set on a career in country music.

He left school to take a job in an Ottawa department store, but he also assembled his first band, the Country Kings, around this same time. King also left home around this time, due in large part to his strained relationship with his stepfather.

Luck turned his way at age 18, when the Country Kings caught the ear of a local disc jockey, who became their manager and got them on the air in early 1954, and later got King a gig on a radio station in the United States, on the Wheeling Jamboree on WWVA out of Wheeling, WV. He was only on the Jamboree for a few months before homesickness brought him back to Canada. His good luck continued, as King was signed as the lead singer for a group called the Happy Wanderers, who were employed by radio station CFRA, the leading country music broadcast conduit in Canada. In addition to his performances on-stage in personal appearances with the Wanderers, not only in Canada but northern New York State just over the border, King served as a host and disc jockey, and played backup to visiting American country singers such as Johnny Cash and Marty Robbins.

This activity led to a contract with Canadian RCA, and his first push toward international stardom. A handful of singles, including "Let's Make a Fair Trade," "Laurel Lee," and "Rockin' Jukebox" each made a good run up the Canadian charts and seemed poised to crack the U.S. market, but never did -- American RCA, which had been resistant for years even to releasing Hank Snow's sides south of the 49th parallel, seemed singularly uninterested in making even a token effort with King's music, despite the apparent interest from some deejays and promoters.

King left RCA in 1958 and moved to Rodeo Records, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The label continued to record him into the '60s, and he worked with the Happy Wanderers until they disbanded in 1967. With his wife Marie, King worked primarily in the Quebec province with the Family Brown, a large country ensemble, in which King sang covers of American country songs. Throughout the '60s, King was heavily influenced by American country and folk music. The husband-and-wife duo also played numerous smaller clubs in Quebec and northern Ontario, and they occasionally recorded together. King's health began to fail in the '80s, and he was diagnosed with lung cancer late in the decade.

Bob King's recordings showed the influence of everyone from Jimmie Rodgers to Flatt & Scruggs. His covers include songs associated with Eddy Arnold and Hank Williams, but he also acquired songs by way of Wilf Carter, with whom he toured many times. His recordings have a distinct flavor all their own, however, regardless of whether they are hits of his own of covers of others' songs.
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Artist

Albums

Bob King (5) - By Request (Bob King Sings Songs That Tell A Story, Vol. 2) album art Bob King (5) By Request (Bob King Sings Songs That Tell A Story, Vol. 2) (Album) Banff, Banff Canada 1959 Sell This Version
K-10055 Bob King (5) - Keepin' It Country album art Bob King (5) Keepin' It Country(LP) San-Lyn K-10055 Canada 1978 Sell This Version
D-1802 Bob King (5) - Marie Et Bob King, 25 Ans De Musique western album art Marie King, Bob King (5) Marie King, Bob King (5) - Marie Et Bob King, 25 Ans De Musique western(LP, Album) Diligence (2) D-1802 Canada 1981 Sell This Version
D-1808 Bob King (5) - "Musique Country" Une Tradition Familiale album art Marie King, Bob King (5), Carole* Marie King, Bob King (5), Carole* - "Musique Country" Une Tradition Familiale(LP) Diligence (2) D-1808 Canada 1984 Sell This Version
Bob King (5) - The Blue Grass Side Of Me album art Bob King (5) The Blue Grass Side Of Me (Album) Bonanza (3) Canada Unknown Sell This Version
RBS 1259 Bob King (5) - Songs For A Country Fan album art Bob King (5) Songs For A Country Fan(LP, Album) Banff RBS 1259 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
SBS.5317 Bob King (5) - 24 Golden Greats album art Bob King (5) 24 Golden Greats(LP, Album) Banff SBS.5317 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
RBS. 1103 Bob King (5) - Just Me & My Old Guitar (Bob King Sings Songs That Tell A Story) album art Bob King (5) Just Me & My Old Guitar (Bob King Sings Songs That Tell A Story)(LP, Album) Banff RBS. 1103 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
RBS 1237 Bob King (5) - A King In The Country album art Bob King (5) A King In The Country(LP, Album) Banff RBS 1237 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
RBS.1193 Bob King (5) - 10th. Anniversary - The Boy With A Future album art Bob King (5) 10th. Anniversary - The Boy With A Future(LP, Album, Mono) Banff RBS.1193 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
WRC1-2395 Bob King (5) - Sandwich Likin' Man album art Bob King (5) Sandwich Likin' Man(LP, Album) Armchair Records WRC1-2395 Canada Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Bob King (5) - Rockin' Jukebox album art Bob King (5) Rockin' Jukebox RCA Victor Canada 1958 Sell This Version
RO-3153 Bob King (5), Marie King Bob King (5), Marie King - Boy With A Future / I've Been Dreaming(7") Rodeo RO-3153 Canada 1963 Sell This Version
RO 3325 Bob King (5) The Wicklo Hills / Don Gibson Medley(7") Rodeo International RO 3325 Canada 1969 Sell This Version
0106 Bob King (5) - Louisiana Swampman album art Bob King (5) Louisiana Swampman(7", Single) San-Lyn 0106 US 1977 Sell This Version
103, 104 Bob King (5) Josephine(7", Single) San-Lyn, San-Lyn 103, 104 US 1977 Sell This Version
21 Bob King (5) - Another Lonely Night album art Bob King (5) Another Lonely Night(7") Area Records (2) 21 US Unknown Sell This Version
45-6697 Bob King (5) - Rambling Shoes / Working On The County Road album art Bob King (5) Rambling Shoes / Working On The County Road(7", Promo) 20th Century Fox Records 45-6697 US Unknown Sell This Version
45-RO-214 Bob King (5) - My Petite Marie / Hey Honey  album art Bob King (5) My Petite Marie / Hey Honey (7", Single, Mono) Rodeo Records (2) 45-RO-214 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
45-RO-226 Bob King (5) - No Parking Here / That's What's On My Mind album art Bob King (5) No Parking Here / That's What's On My Mind(7", Single, Mono) Rodeo Records (2) 45-RO-226 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
none Bob King (5) - Answer Your Heart / I Must Know album art Bob King (5) Answer Your Heart / I Must Know(7", Single) Suncoast Records none Canada Unknown Sell This Version
45-RO-227 Bob King (5) - Lonely City Park / I Dreamed About Mom Last Night album art Bob King (5) Lonely City Park / I Dreamed About Mom Last Night(7", Single, Mono) Rodeo Records (2) 45-RO-227 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
0106 Bob King (5) - Louisiana Swampman album art Bob King (5) Louisiana Swampman(7") San-Lyn 0106 US Unknown Sell This Version
57-3273 Bob King (5) Anxious / Did You Do It ?(7", Whi) RCA Victor 57-3273 Canada Unknown Sell This Version
CT. 3199 Bob King (5) - Texas Leather & Mexican Lace / Girl With The Sad Lonely Look album art Bob King (5) Texas Leather & Mexican Lace / Girl With The Sad Lonely Look(7", Single) Citadel (6) CT. 3199 Canada Unknown Sell This Version

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