Jim King (saxophonist)

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Jim King (born Alec Woodburn; 5 May 1942 in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England – 6 February 2012 in Middlewich, England) was an original member of the British rock band Family.[1] He played saxophone and harmonica, and sang occasional lead vocals on the band's first two albums, Music in a Doll's House and Family Entertainment. King also sang the entire lead vocal on "Observations From a Hill", a song on the latter album.

Jim, as he became known, formed James King and the Farinas (later just The Farinas), a blues based rock and roll group, with guitarist Charlie Whitney in Leicester in 1962. He sang the lead vocal on the group's single "You Better Stop" b/w "I Like it Like That". When Roger Chapman joined as vocalist in 1966, the group had begun to perform under the name The Roaring Sixties. The name Family was decided upon later. King's influence on the group's first two albums can be heard clearly with his freewheeling saxophone solos and his blues-based harmonica passages.[citation needed] Because he fulfilled the same role in Family as Chris Wood did in Traffic, comparisons between the two were inevitable.[citation needed]

Jim left Family in October 1969 due to health issues and the usual 'musical disagreements'. As well as session work for Dave Mason and Gordon Jackson, he joined jazz-rock band Ring Of Truth for a brief period, doing a few gigs, then concentrated on composing and playing solo concerts, mostly classical sax with some jazz. In February 2012, he died while living in Cheshire, but left his mark clearly on Family's first two albums with his melodic smooth sax work and bluesy harmonica playing.


  1. ^ "Jim King". Family Bandstand. Retrieved 2012-08-21. 

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