5th Post: K – (5 Groups) Last Names

1950 and 1960s MUSIC GROUPS (K’s)

This post represents my ongoing summary of musical artists (with last names starting with the letter K) of the 1950s and 1960s that are a part of the best all time era of music history. The five artists represented here are: The Kalin Twins, Andy Kim, Ben E. King, The Kinks and Gladys Knight and the Pips…

The Kalin Twins
Photo credit: discogs.com

The Kalin Twins (born February 16, 1934) were a pop music recording and songwriting duo, comprising twin brothers Harold Kalin and Herbert Kalin (died August 24, 2005 and July 21, 2006, respectively). The Kalin Twins, who were known affectionately as “Hal and Herbie”, are best known for their 1958 hit “When” (https://youtu.be/Ywnm0iQTMKY) (RQ 10).

Andy Kim
Photo credit: secondhandsongs

Andrew Youakim (born 5 December 1946), known professionally as Andy Kim, is a Canadian pop rock singer and songwriter. He grew up in Montreal, Quebec. He is known for hits that he released in the late 1960s and 1970s: the international hit “Baby, I Love You” (https://youtu.be/kdrpRKiVwi8) (RQ 9) in 1969, and “Rock Me Gently”, which topped the US singles chart in 1974. He co-wrote “Sugar, Sugar” in 1968 and sang on the recording as part of the Archies; it was #1 for four weeks and was “Record of the Year” for 1969.

Photo credit: ABC News
May 1, 2015

King, Ben E. 1938-2015

Was born with the name Benjamin Earl Nelson. He was an American soul and R&B singer. His best known single was: “Stand By Me” (https://youtu.be/hwZNL7QVJjE) (RQ 10) in 1961 (it was redone in 1986). The song made the top 10 in the U. S. He also was the lead singer for the Drifters which recorded “Save the Last Dance for Me” (https://youtu.be/n-XQ26KePUQ) (RQ 10). In 1960, he left the Drifters to go solo. His first hit was: “Spanish Harlem” (https://youtu.be/OGd6CdtOqEE) (RQ 9).

As a result of the popularity of these songs he earned a Grammy HOF award. In the summer of 1963, he had ten other well known songs in addition to: “I Who Have Nothing” (https://youtu.be/vOUyAwLz7Wg) (RQ 9) which reached the Top 10 charts.

Between 1966-75, he had three more hits:

“What is Soul?” (https://youtu.be/KQJs7rNoBn8) (RQ 6)

“Tears Tears Tears” (https://youtu.be/jxsx7UQu3rY) (RQ 7)

“Supernatural Thing” – Top 10 Pop Smash Hit and No 1 R&B. (https://youtu.be/wTNHb8jk1W0) (RQ 8)

Overall, King achieved five number one hits, 12 top 10 hits and 26 top 40 hits. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll HOF.

Photo credit: The Guardian – The Observer
Ivan Freeman – Redferns – 1969

Kinks, The. 1964-

Formed in Muswell Hill (north London) in 1964 by brothers Ray and Dave Davies (along with Pete Quaife and Mick Avory). Band emerged at the height of the British rhythm and blues and Merseybeat and were briefly part of the British Invasion until 1965. Then, they were banned from touring in the U.S. due to constant fighting between the brothers. They gained the reputation for reflecting upon English culture and fueled by Ray’s wittily observational writing style. Their third single “You Really Got Me” (https://youtu.be/fTTsY-oz6Go) (RQ 9) gained the Top 10 charts in the U.S. Through 1966-71, they produced six albums including “Lola Vs Powerman” (https://youtu.be/YV6WiJRAaiY) (RQ 9). Then, between 1977-83, they recorded four more albums which included “Give the People What They Want” (https://youtu.be/t9s02Rg4BKw) (RQ 6). It sold more than 500,000 copies. ASCAP, the performing-rights group, presented the group with an award for one of the most played songs in 1983 for “Come Dancing” (https://youtu.be/xRUE0aAI5o8) (RQ 9).

Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar and keyboard) and Dave Davies (lead guitar and vocals) remained members throughout their thirty-two year run. They had five Top10 singles in the U.S. including “Sunny Afternoon” (https://youtu.be/pzSWNEBdsVg) (RQ 10). They produced a total of twenty four studio albums and four live albums. They have sold more than 50M records worldwide. In 1990, the were inducted into the Rock and Roll HOF. Pete Townsend, of the Who, credited Ray Davies with inventing “a new kind of poetry and a new type of language for pop writing that influenced him for a very, very, very long time.”

Photo credit: Oxford Performing Arts Center
March 7, 2020

Knight, Gladys (& The Pips) 1952-61

Started out in 1952 in Atlanta, besides Gladys, the original members were brother Bubba, sister Brenda, and cousins Eleanor and William Guest. Their first hit single was “Every Beat of My Heart” (https://youtu.be/GXoHK1GKRuo) (RQ 8).

Then, beginning in 1967, they introduced a total of five hit singles:

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine (https://youtu.be/BQRcUxNJEbs) (RQ 10)

“Nitty Gritty” (https://youtu.be/p3hnadwsxOk) (RQ 7)

“Friendship Train” (https://youtu.be/tn9p_mTHEEM) (RQ 8)

“If I Were Your Woman” (https://youtu.be/qfORYJt3OJU) (RQ 10)

“Neither One of Us Wants To Say Goodbye” (https://youtu.be/n_Lh4MFiw08). (RQ 8)

In 1973, they recorded three more giant hits:

“Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (https://youtu.be/o7h3pcFIDE0) (RQ 10)

“I’ve Got to Use My Imagination” (https://youtu.be/0kPFrQPdKPM) (RQ 9)

“Midnight Train to Georgia” (https://youtu.be/A0F9lh8TiSM) (RQ 10)

In the early 1980s, they produced two more hits: “Save the Overtime” (https://youtu.be/Y36aBTuRr1o) (RQ 9) and the Grammy winner “Love Overboard” (https://youtu.be/wVZEibXOtko) (RQ 8).

On 1989, the group disbanded and Gladys went on with her solo career. Between 1991 and 2001, they were inducted into the Rock an Roll HOF as well as the Vocal Group HOF.