King in 2007
|Born||Kenneth George King
6 December 1944
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge|
|Occupation||Record producer, impresario, singer, songwriter, film maker|
|Known for||Discovery of Genesis, Bay City Rollers, 10CC, The Rocky Horror Show|
|Notable work(s)||(As singer, songwriter, or both): "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" (1965), "It's Good News Week" (1965), "Johnny Reggae" (1971), "Sugar, Sugar" (1971), "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" (1971), "Lazybones" (1971), "Hooked On A Feeling" (1971), "Loop di Love" (1972), "Una Paloma Blanca" (1975), "It Only Takes a Minute" (1976),"One For You, One For Me" (1978) "Gloria" (1979).|
|Parents||Jimmy King (died June 1954) and Ailsa (died 24 August 2007)|
|Relatives||Jamie and Andy (brothers)|
|Awards||British Phonographic Industry Man of the Year, 1997|
Jonathan King (born Kenneth George King; 6 December 1944) is an English singer-songwriter, impresario, record producer and film maker. His films are Vile Pervert: The Musical, Me Me Me and The Pink Marble Egg. He is also the author of three novels, Bible Two (1982), The Booker Prize Winner (1997), and Beware the Monkey Man (2010 - he used the pen-name Rex Kenny), and an autobiography, 65 My Life So Far (2009). In December 2012 he published Three Months - A Diary. In December 2013 he published a novel under his real name - Kenneth George King - Death Flies, Missing Girls and Brigitte Bardot.
King first came to prominence as an undergraduate, at the University of Cambridge in 1965, when he wrote and sang "Everyone's Gone to the Moon," which became an international best seller. He went on to become a media entrepreneur, discovering and producing material for a number of artists, including Genesis, whom he signed up as producer in 1967, giving them their name and producing their first album, From Genesis to Revelation. He ran Decca Records twice and created his own record label in 1972, UK Records, reported as the most successful independent label in the business, and worked with 10cc and the Bay City Rollers.
He also became known for a string of 1970s hits, such as "Una Paloma Blanca", "It Only Takes A Minute", "Johnny Reggae", "The Sun Has Got His Hat On", "Loop di Love" and "Sugar Sugar". Billboard reported in September 1972 that he had produced ten of the Top 30 singles in the UK in the previous 12 months. Rod Liddle described him in 2010 as "truly talented and fabulously cynical, someone who could storm the pop charts at will, under a hundred different disguises ...".
King was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2001 for the sexual assault of five teenage boys between 1983 and 1989. He was released in 2005, having served three and a half years of his sentence. He continues to protest his innocence.
Early life and education
King was born in London and was the first child of an American-born father and English-born mother. His father was the managing director of a textile firm who died when King was nine. The family moved to Surrey, and King and his two brothers, James and Anthony, were raised in the village of Ewhurst near Dorking. He was sent to Stoke House boarding school in Seaford, Sussex and later Charterhouse, in Godalming, Surrey - both private schools. He took six months off to travel round the world before taking up a place at Trinity College, Cambridge. During his travels he met a number of pop managers, including Brian Epstein, manager of The Beatles, who were on tour in Hawaii; Derek Taylor, the Beatles' press officer; Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon; and Tommy LiPuma, a record producer. He recorded several tracks with producer Joe Meek but they were not released. He has an M.A. in English literature.
While still a first-year undergraduate, King wrote and sang his Number One hit, "Everyone's Gone to the Moon", which sold over a million copies in the UK and 4.5 million around the world. It was later performed by Marlene Dietrich, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, Bette Midler, Chad and Jeremy, Percy Faith and many others; it won King a gold disc.
While still at university King wrote and produced other hits such as "It's Good News Week" by Hedgehoppers Anonymous. During a visit to his old school, Charterhouse, he was handed a recording by a friend of one of the school bands, which included Peter Gabriel as their lead singer. He decided to produce them, choosing their name—Genesis—to mark the start of his production career. He produced their first album, From Genesis to Revelation, which was a flop at the time, partly because shops placed it in their religious music sections. Since then the album has sold many millions and a vinyl copy of the first single The Silent Sun recently sold on E Bay for $3850. Bassist Mike Rutherford later commented:
Jonathan King, for all his faults—he has a funny reputation in England—did give us a fantastic opportunity. Because in those days, in England, you couldn't get in the studio. I mean, now a new group can very easily get a chance to go and record a single, just something, you know, to show there's something going for them. In those days, to get any sort of record contract, was really magical. And he gave us a chance to do a whole record. You've got a bunch of musicians who were really amateur, could barely play well, were barely a group, and were able to go in one summer holiday and make a record.
Soon after graduating, he hosted a Saturday evening talk show on ITV, Good Evening; I'm Jonathan King, which was broadcast nationally for six months. He continued to perform and produce a large number of hits under a variety of names. Among these were "Let It All Hang Out" (a cover of the 1967 track by The Hombres), "It Only Takes A Minute" (a cover of Tavares' track) as One Hundred Ton and a Feather, "Sugar, Sugar" as Sakkarin, "Loop di Love" as Shag, "Hooked on a Feeling" (a cover of the song by B J Thomas), "Lazybones", "It's The Same Old Song" (originally by Four Tops) as The Weathermen, "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" as Nemo, and "Johnny Reggae" as The Piglets. He produced such hits as "Leap Up And Down And Wave Your Knickers in the Air" for St Cecilia and also acts such as Bay City Rollers, singing all the backing vocals on their first hit, "Keep on Dancing". He was one of only two original investors of the London production of the play The Rocky Horror Show with Michael White and produced the original cast soundtrack album in one 48-hour session over a weekend.
He was twice involved in running Decca Records, at the request of the founder Sir Edward Lewis, who had also been at Trinity College, Cambridge many years earlier. In September 1972, he set up his own record label, UK Records, which had dozens of hits with artists such as 10cc, whom he also named, Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs with "Seaside Shuffle", Roy C with "Shotgun Wedding", Carl Malcolm with "Fattie Bum Bum", The First Class with "Beach Baby", Lobo "Baby I'd Love You To Want Me", and many others, sometimes three or four being in the charts at the same time. King frequently performed under pseudonyms such as "Shag", "Sakkarin", "Bubblerock", "100 Ton and a Feather" and "Nemo", although, in 1975, a rendition under his own name of the song "Una Paloma Blanca (White Dove)" was awarded the Record of the Year trophy at the Ivor Novello Awards. Between 1965 and 1979, King had 17 hits in the UK Singles Chart under a variety of pseudonyms and his own name, five of which made the Top 10. In April 1978, standing under his real name as a Royalist candidate he polled 2,350 votes (5.3%) in the Epsom and Ewell by-election. The Guardian reported he sold over 40 million records as a singer during his active career.
King moved on from the music industry in the 1980s to further his involvement in television and radio. He presented a daily talk show on New York's WMCA radio from 10–12 weekday mornings throughout 1980 and 1981 and regularly reported from the U.S. on Top of the Pops. A spinoff series, Entertainment USA, was very successful on BBC2, getting over nine million viewers each week. He also created the youth TV show No Limits which topped the BBC ratings. He hosted the ITV programme Ultra Quiz during 1983. King wrote a page in The Sun for eight years called "Bizarre USA" and his criticism of Band Aid and Live Aid provoked 18,500 letters in one day. He wrote regular features in many other newspapers and magazines such as the Daily Mail and The Sunday Times. He also completed two published novels, Bible Two and The Booker Prize Winner. He continued some music projects, including the bizarre supergroup project "Gogmagog" with ex-members of Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, and other classic rock bands.
In 1987, he suggested in his Sun column that the Pet Shop Boys had borrowed the melody of Cat Stevens's 1970 song "Wild World" for their UK number one single "It's a Sin". King also released his own cover version of "Wild World" as a single, using a similar musical arrangement to "It's a Sin", in an effort to demonstrate his claims. The Pet Shop Boys sued The Sun, accepting out-of-court damages from the newspaper that they donated to charity. King had done the same in the 1970s with his version of "He's So Fine" to the arrangement of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord", which was played in the plagiarism court case, which The Chiffons eventually won.
King wrote and hosted the BRIT Awards for the BBC in 1987 and, after two famously disastrous years without him, he returned to produce them from 1990 to 1992. On the day Margaret Thatcher left No 10 Downing Street in 1990, he released "We Can't Let Maggie Go" under the name The Faithful on Chrysalis Records; it did not chart. He produced "A Song for Europe", the BBC quest for a Eurovision Song Contest entrant, from 1995. The 1996 entrant by Gina G, "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit", went to number one on the UK Singles Chart, and the 1997 entry by Katrina and the Waves, "Love Shine a Light", won the contest. He is also responsible for the concept and format of the Record of the Year shows on British television, regularly shown in December, which continue online.
During 1995-96 he hosted the 10-12 daily show on Talk Radio in the UK, now TalkSport.
In 1997, he was awarded the British Phonographic Industry Man of the Year Award with a message of support from the then-prime minister Tony Blair for his "important contribution to one of this country’s great success stories."
He recorded the original studio version of the song "Who Let The Dogs Out" under the name Fatt Jakk and his Pack of Pets and persuaded his friend, producer Steve Greenberg, to cover it with The Baha Men. He signed up Chumbawamba and placed their single Tubthumping for release. He signed The Cuban Boys to EMI and had a top five hit with their Cognoscenti vs Intelligentsia.
King was arrested for sexual assault in November 2000 after a man approached Max Clifford, a British publicist, with allegations, originally about other men. He was released on £150,000 bail, £50,000 of it put up by Simon Cowell, the impresario, and was re-arrested, after the media publicity, in January 2001. He was acquitted of all charges stemming from a second case against him when a witness, whom King maintained he had never met, said that he had consented to sex and had been older at the time than he had initially told police. 
Several commentators felt the prosecution was unfair, among them Charles Shaar Murray, Howard Jacobson, Lynn Barber, Richard Stott, Carol Sarler and Danny Hammill. King maintained his innocence, protesting that there was no statute of limitations for sex offences, which he said meant he had been unable to defend himself adequately because of the length of time that had passed; that there was no requirement to corroborate the allegations; and that the complainants were allowed to maintain their anonymity. He sought leave to appeal, which was refused in January 2003, and was released on first parole in March 2005.
In January 2006, the BBC reported that the Criminal Cases Review Commission had agreed to examine his case. King argued that he was in New York in September 1985 when one of the incidents is alleged to have taken place in King's home in London. He said he had not presented this evidence at his trial because the date of the alleged offences on the charge sheet had been changed after he had completed his defence.
In 2008 it was reported that the European Court of Human Rights was considering his application for an appeal.
In May 2008, he released a 96-minute film, Vile Pervert: The Musical, which included 21 characters played by King, caricaturing the police, media, PR industry, legal system, and his accusers. It has received over 100,000 views and downloads since release.
In October 2011, then BBC Director-General Mark Thompson apologised to Jonathan King, following the removal of King's performance of "It Only Takes a Minute" from a 1976 episode of Top of the Pops that was repeated on BBC Four. Thompson stated: "We accept that this should not have happened and we would like to apologise for any upset this caused." King had accused the BBC of a "Stalinist" revision of history.
In January 2012, he appeared as a witness at the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, ethics and practice of the press and media in the United Kingdom. He spoke about the dangers of media publicity provoking false allegations.
In April 2012, he was featured at length in a front cover article for The Independent on Sunday Review magazine covering his large online following. "I believe," King was quoted as saying, "in pursuing my own morality. That is all I have ever stuck by. It is my own morality that really matters."
In December 2012, he published Three Months - A Diary: a daily account of his summer whilst filming segments for his third film.
In December 2013 he published a novel under his real name - Death Flies, Missing Girls and Brigitte Bardot.
|Year||Title||UK Singles Chart||Credited to|
|1965||"Everyone's Gone to the Moon"||#4||Jonathan King|
|1970||"Let It All Hang Out"||#26||Jonathan King|
|1971||"It's the Same Old Song"||#19||Weathermen|
|1971||"Lazy Bones"||#23||Jonathan King|
|1971||"Johnny Reggae"||#3||The Piglets|
|1971||"Hooked on a Feeling"||#23||Jonathan King|
|1972||"Loop di Love"||#4||Shag|
|1974||"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"||#29||Bubblerock|
|1975||"Una Paloma Blanca (White Dove)"||#5||Jonathan King|
|1975||"Chick-a-Boom (Don't Ya Jes Love It)"||#36||53rd and 3rd featuring the Sound of Shag|
|1976||"In the Mood"||#46||Sound 9418|
|1976||"It Only Takes a Minute"||#9||One Hundred Ton and a Feather|
|1978||"One for You, One for Me"||#29||Jonathan King|
|1978||"Lick A Smurp for Christmas (All Fall Down)"||#58||Father Abraphart and The Smurps|
|1979||"You're the Greatest Lover"||#67||Jonathan King|
- "Beware The Monkey Man". Beware The Monkey Man. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- "65 My Life So Far". 65 My Life So Far. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- "The rise and fall of a pop tsar". The Guardian (London). Press Association. 29 March 2005.
- Also see Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; and Brown, Tony. The Complete Book of the British charts: Singles & Albums. Omnibus Press, 2004, p. 602.
- For its becoming an international bestseller, see Nite, Norm N. Rock On. Crowell 1978, p. 262.
- Welch, Chris. The Complete Guide to the Music of Genesis. Omnibus Press, 1995, pp. 1–3.
- Ronson, Jon (1 December 2001). "The fall of a pop impresario" The Guardian (London).
- "Jonathan King jailed for child sex abuse". The Guardian (London). 21 November 2001.
- Also see Barber, Lynn. "The King and I". The Observer (London). 20 October 2002.
- "King Forms U.K. Records". Billboard (New York). 9 September 1972.
- Also see Pearse, Damien (25 November 2000). "Pop svengali King puts faith in justice over child sex charges". The Birmingham Post.
- Liddle, Rod (11 April 2010). "McLaren was no cultural genius just a lucky punk". The Sunday Times (London).
- "King loses appeal bid". BBC News. 24 January 2003.
- Jonathan King. "King of Hits". Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- For the brothers' names, see 65 My Life So Far, p. 6 and p. 10. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- King, Jonathan. "Biography", kingofhits.co.uk, 16 January 2006. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- *For the NME, see New Musical Express, 20 August 1965.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs. Barrie and Jenkins. p. 192.
- Eder, Bruce. "Genesis", Allmusic. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- Cohen, Claire (4 June 2009). "The Boll Weevils, the Beatals, The Arkansas Rollers - Now that's what I call music". Daily Mail (London).
- King, Jonathan. "Biography" , King of Hits, 16 January 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- Neer, Dan (1985). Mike on Mike [interview LP], Atlantic Recording Corporation.
- "Jonathan King (IV)", IMDB. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- King, Jonathan. 65: My Life So Far, part 5, p. 4.
- "10CC", Snopes, citing Dolgins, Adam. Rock Names: From ABBA to ZZ Top. Carol Publishing, 1998, pp. 254–255.
- "Paloma Blanca by The George Baker Selection", Songfacts. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- Roberts, David. British Hit Singles & Albums. Guinness World Records Limited, 19th edition, 2006, p. 302.
- Ronson, Jon (1 December 2001). "The fall of a pop impresario". The Guardian (London).
- Munro, Eden (25 March 2009). "Gogmagog", Vue (Edmonton, Alberta). Retrieved 29 December 2010.
- O'Connor, John Kennedy. The Eurovision Song Contest — The Official History. Carlton Books, 2007.
- Burrell, Ian (24 October 1997). "Ian Burrell reveals that Tony Blair is a secret fan of Jonathan King, the man who brought the world 'Una Paloma Blanca'". The Independent (London).
- For the arrests, see "Jonathan King arrested". New Musical Express (London). 24 November 2000, and "Second arrest for Jonathan King". The Guardian (London). 24 January 2001.
- "Jonathan King jailed for child sex abuse". The Guardian. 21 November 2001.
- Proof of my Acquittal on all charges. King of Hits.co.uk. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- Clough, Sue; O'Neill, Sean (22 November 2001). "Pop veteran Jonathan King given seven years for abusing schoolboys". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "Weekly Worker". Communist Party of Great Britain. 29 November 2001.
- "Stotty On Sunday: Time to Free King", Sunday Mirror (London). 26 December 2004.
- "King abuse case 'to be reviewed". BBC News. 29 January 2006.
- "Jonathan King wins right to appeal to Europe over his convictions for sexual assaults on teenage boys". Daily Mail (London). 10 November 2007.
- Grove, Valerie (27 June 2006). "Prison routine do time walk out hit brick wall". The Times (London).
- "JK in Commons" (21 June 2006) King of Hits
- "Families' anger over Shipman song". BBC News. 12 July 2007.
- "Jonathan King as Oscar: Wilde About Boys". YouTube. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- Moore, Matthew (15 May 2008). "Jonathan King makes Vile Pervert: The Musical". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Vile Pervert movie website, Vilepervert.com. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- AmazonKindle. King of Hits.co.uk. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- Sharp, Rob (12 May 2011). "Cannes Diary: From disgraced D-listers to ex-drug dealing singers, festival embraces them all". The Independent (London).
- Me Me Me movie website, MeMeMeMovie.com. Retrieved 8 June 2011.
- "64th Annual Cannes Film Festival The Tree of Live Photocall Pictures". Monsters and Critics. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- "BBC apology to Jonathan King after he is cut from repeat". The Daily Telegraph (London). 19 October 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- Rayner, Gordon (25 January 2012). "Leveson inquiry: Jonathan King claims his was miscarriage of justice victim". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- "Jonathan King writes". Inside Time Newspaper. Insidetime.org. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- O'Carroll, Lisa. "Leveson inquiry: Jonathan King applies for 'core participant' status". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Chalmers, Robert (22 April 2012). "Jonathan King: 'The only apology I have is to say that I was good at seduction'". The Independent on Sunday (London). Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "Madame Arcati: Jonathan King's whopping 'Christmas card': A review". Madamearcati.blogspot.co.uk. 16 December 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- Wells, Dominic (2013 [last update]). "Cannes Film Festival 2013: Marilyn Monroe, Lesbian Weddings, Nuns of the Future and Occupy Movement - Entertainment & Stars". ibtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Jonathan King website, KingsofHits.com. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- King Discography. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- UK Records discography, Beautiful-Records.com. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Vile Pervert (movie) website, vilepervert.com. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- Jonathan King autobiography, 65mylifesofar.com. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
- JK second film, MeMeMeMovie.com. Retrieved 15 June 2011.
- JK novel as Rex Kenny, BewareTheMonkeyMan.com. Retrieved 9 July 2011.
- JK third film, PinkMarbleEgg.com. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Walker, Tim (28 November 2011). "Jonathan King: 'My book's an online hit, millions click on my videos. How about lifting the media ban on me?'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 29 November 2011.