Solomon King (a.k.a Allen Levy) was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1930 and was 6’ 8” (over 2m) tall with an amazingly powerful voice.
He was the first white singer to open for Billie Holiday when he was on the circuit in the U.S. and he also worked as one of Elvis Presley’s backing singers in The Jordanaires. He met his wife, Henny Lowy, in ’60 when she interviewed him. They emigrated to the U.K. in 1965.
In the U.K. he was first represented by Gordon Mills (who managed Tom Jones), and had a big hit with “She Wears My Ring” (U.K. No. 3) in 1968, followed by “When We Were Young” which went to No.21.
They lived in Manchester and it was at a party thrown at their house that I met Henny’s best friend, Carole, and we were married in 1969.
Naturally, I became professionally involved with Solomon who had had most of his success as a crooner in the mid-sixties, so in the early seventies I wanted him to record more progressive material as well.
E.G. I arranged a single deal with Polydor for “When You Gotta Go” (co-written by Lynsey de Paul a.k.a. Lynsey Rubin) and still enjoy his interpretation on the flip-side, of a Ramases song called “Life Child”:
The musicians on this track would become 10cc and I hear the seeds of a riff in “Iceberg” from 10cc’s How Dare You album of ’76. Can you?
Solomon moved back to the U.S. in 1980 and passed away in 2005.