Jonathan King

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Jonathan King
King in 2007
Born Kenneth George King
(1944-12-06) 6 December 1944 (age 71)
London, England
Education MA, English literature, Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Record producer, singer-songwriter, music entrepreneur, TV presenter
Known for Pop music, discovery of Genesis, early 10cc and Bay City Rollers hits
Notable work "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" (1965) and other singles
Television Entertainment USA (BBC)
Awards Music Industry Trusts Award, 1997[1]

Jonathan King (born Kenneth George King, 6 December 1944) is an English singer-songwriter, record producer, music entrepreneur, and former television and radio presenter.

King first came to prominence in 1965 when "Everyone's Gone to the Moon", a song he wrote and sang while still an undergraduate, became an international hit [2] As an independent producer, he discovered and named Genesis in 1967. He produced their first album, From Genesis to Revelation. After founding his own label, UK Records, he went on to produce songs for 10cc and the Bay City Rollers. In the 1970s King became known for a string of hits that he performed and produced under different names, including "Johnny Reggae", "Loop di Love", and "Una Paloma Blanca"; between September 1971 and 1972 alone he produced 10 top 30 singles in the UK.[3] Rod Liddle described him as someone who could "storm the pop charts at will, under a hundred different disguises".[4]

While living in New York in the 1980s, King continued to appear on radio and television in the UK, including on the BBC's Top of the Pops and Entertainment USA. In the early 1990s he produced the Brit Awards, and from 1995 he selected and produced three British entries for the Eurovision Song Contest, including the winning entry in 1997, "Love Shine A Light" by Katrina and the Waves.[5]

King was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2001 for having sexually assaulted five boys, aged 14 and 15, in the 1980s. He was released on parole in March 2005.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Family background[edit]

Brookhurst Grange, Ewhurst

King was born in a nursing home in Bentinck Street, Marylebone, London, the first child of Jimmy King (d. 1954) and his wife, Ailsa Linley Leon (1916–2007), a former actress.[7] Originally from New Jersey, Jimmy King had moved to England when he was 14. He attended Oundle School and Trinity College, Cambridge, before he joined the American Field Service during World War II and later Tootal Ties and Shirts as managing director.[8]

King's birth was a forceps delivery and his upper lip was damaged during it, giving him his slightly crooked smile.[9][10] After he was born, the family lived in Gloucester Place, Marylebone, then moved to Surrey, where King and his younger brothers, James and Anthony ("Andy"), were raised in Brookhurst Grange, a mansion near Ewhurst.[9][11]

Stoke House and Charterhouse[edit]

King was sent to boarding school, first as a weekly boarder to pre-prep school in Hindhead, Surrey, then when he was eight to Stoke House Preparatory School in Seaford, East Sussex.[8] A year later, in 1954, his father died of a heart attack. Brookhurst Grange was sold, and the family moved to Cobbetts, a cottage in nearby Forest Green.[12]

Music became a passion around this time. King would save his pocket money for train trips to London to watch My Fair Lady, The King and I, Irma la Douce, Salad Days, Damn Yankees and Kismet from the cheap seats in the balcony. He also discovered pop music and bought his first single, Guy Mitchell's "Singing the Blues" (1956).[12][13]

In 1958 King became a boarder at Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey. He wrote that he "loved Charterhouse immediately", with its history and "every possible area of encouragement from sport to intellectual pursuits." Unlike at Stoke House, there were other boys there who appreciated pop music. He bought a transistor radio and earphones and joined the "under the bedclothes" club, listening to Tony Hall, Jimmy Savile, Don Moss and Pete Murray on Radio Luxembourg, and keeping track of the New Musical Express charts.[13] The music, particularly Buddy Holly, Adam Faith, Roy Orbison and Gene Pitney, made him "ache with desire":

Since "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" swept me off my feet, I had become a raving pop addict, desperate for a fix every few seconds. I kept thick notebooks packed with copies of the weekly charts, adverts for new products, pages of predictions of future hits, reviews and comments about current artistes. Looking at them now, there was no way I could ever have avoided a future in the music industry.[13]

Crammer, gap year[edit]

King left Charterhouse in 1962 to attend Davies's, a London crammer, for his A levels. With his wages from a job stacking shelves in a supermarket, he made a demo of himself the following year singing "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and "Fool's Paradise" with the Ted Taylor Trio, a professional group in Rickmansworth.[14] Wearing a pinstripe suit and trainers, he approached John Schroeder of Oriole Records and told him he could deliver a hit record. "I have been studying the music industry for the last three years and it is one big joke," Schroeder reported him as saying. "Anyone can make it if they're clever and can fool a few people." After hearing King's demo, Schroeder booked a studio session with an orchestra but found that King could not sing in tune.[15]

King also joined a local band in Cranleigh, the Bumblies, as manager/producer and occasional singer—wearing thigh-length boots and long black gloves during the band's appearances at birthday parties and similar.[14]

Despite the cramming, King failed the scholarship exam for Trinity College, Cambridge, but he was offered a place in 1963 after an interview.[14] He accepted but first took a gap year and spent six months travelling with a round-the-world ticket from his mother. Staying mostly in youth hostels, he visited Greece, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the United States, including Hawaii, where, in June 1964, he met the manager of the Beatles, Brian Epstein. They spent hours together in Honolulu discussing the music industry, King wrote.[16][17][a] In October that year King began to study for his degree in English literature at Cambridge, lodging in Jesus Lane.[19]


Early success[edit]

Further information: 1960s in music
In London, 1969 (photograph by Allan Warren)

Around the time King began at Cambridge, the Bumblies recorded a song he had written and produced, "Gotta Tell", which King persuaded Fontana Records to release. It appeared in April 1965 and "rightly sank without trace", King writes, but the experience of taking it from label to label, then trying to find people to play it, taught him how to promote a record. He called DJs and television producers to ask them to listen to it and, because it was Easter, delivered dozens of vinyl singles to music critics complete with Easter eggs he had painted himself.[14] King and the Bumblies recorded another of his songs, "All You've Gotta Do", with producer Joe Meek, but nothing came of it.[16][20]

Desperate to break into the music business, King contacted Tony Hall of Decca Records, who put him in touch with the producers Ken Jones and Joe Roncoroni. King played them one of his songs, "Green is the Grass", and they asked him to write a B side. He offered them six songs, including "Everyone's Gone to the Moon", which became the A side. They also suggested he change his name.[19]

Decca released "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" in August 1965.[21] Relying on the contacts he had made while promoting "Gotta Tell", King plugged it relentlessly to DJs to get it on their playlists. Tony Windsor of Radio London, a pirate station broadcast from the MV Galaxy, was the first to play it, not only once, but three times in a row. (Windsor later said he did this only because of a problem with his other turntable.) It sold 26,000 copies the next day.[22]

When the song made number 18 in the charts, King was invited onto the BBC's Top of the Pops, introduced by Jimmy Savile. The following day it sold 35,000 copies.[23] It peaked at number three in the UK (the Beatles were at number one with "Help!") and 17 in the US, and was awarded a gold disc.[21][24][25] Nina Simone, Bette Midler and Marlene Dietrich all covered it. After telephoning King to ask his permission, Dietrich sang "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" and its B side, "Summer's Coming", at the Golders Green Hippodrome in October 1966, with an arrangement by Burt Bacharach.[26]

From his second year at university, King split his time between Cambridge and London, moving into a three-bedroom apartment, owned by his mother, at 20 St Andrews Mansions, Dorset Street, Marylebone, driving there from classes in his white MGB GT.[27] His next release, "Green is the Grass", flopped, but the third (which he wrote and produced, but did not perform), "It's Good News Week" by Hedgehoppers Anonymous, was a hit. It was released in September 1965 through Decca and credited to King and his new publishing company, JonJo Music Co. Ltd, which was named after King, Ken Jones and Joe Roncoroni and based in Jones' and Roncoroni's office at 37 Soho Square.[28] Briefly banned by the BBC because of its lyrics about birth control, the song made the top five in the UK and top 50 in America.[2][29]

Also in 1965 King began writing a column for Disc and Music Echo, a weekly magazine edited by Ray Coleman. King adapted a deliberately provocative style, promoting new acts but also publishing criticism of the music industry and particular artists.[30] Michael Wale described him as "the butterfly who stamped its foot".[31]

Discovery of Genesis[edit]

In early 1967 King attended an old boys' reunion at Charterhouse; he said he went there to show off, "oust[ing] Baden Powell as their most famous Old Boy."[32] When they heard he was going to be there, a school band recorded a demo tape for him; a friend, John Alexander, left the cassette in Kings's car with a note, "These are Charterhouse boys. Have a listen."[33][34] Calling themselves The Anon, the band consisted at that point of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Chris Stewart and Mike Rutherford, all aged 15 to 17.[35][36]

King liked several songs such as "She is Beautiful" (which became "The Serpent" on the band's first album); according to Philips, they got the deal with King on the basis of that song. King signed the band to JonJo Music and licensed the short-term rights to Decca Records. He paid them ₤40 for four songs, and came up with their name, Genesis, to mark the start of his own production career.[34][35] According to Phillips, King was "hugely patient and indulgent" with the band.[34] John Silver, drummer on the first album, wrote in 2007:

We would be pretending to rehearse or simply waiting around and somehow somebody would bring a message to the flat, "Quick, get over to Jonathan King's flat, because Paul McCartney's turning up." We would scurry over as quickly as possible because the art was to be there, looking casual, before the next famous person arrived, so that Jonathan King could say, "Hey, these are my new protégés. I trusted him as a god, because he knew these people. It wasn't celebrity like it is now. There were only a few famous people and he knew them. If Jonathan said jump or stand backwards or stand on your head, basically you did it. This was the nature of the relationship; he was completely omnipotent, in a decent way.[37]

King produced their first three singles, including "The Silent Sun" (1968) and an album, From Genesis to Revelation (1969). Banks and Gabriel wrote "The Silent Sun" as a late-1960s Bee Gees "pastiche" to please King; Robin Gibb's voice was apparently King's favourite at the time.[38] The records made little impact; the album sold just 649 copies "and we knew all of those people personally," wrote Banks. King increasingly lost interest in the band. Their next demo was even less "poppy"; the more complicated the songs, the less King liked them.[39] Genesis left King in 1970 for Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records, were joined by Phil Collins and Steve Hackett—and, after another two unsuccessful albums, released Foxtrot (1972) to critical acclaim.[40][41] King retained the rights to the first album and re-released it several times under different titles.[42] Rutherford said in 1985 that, "for all his faults", King had given the band an opportunity to record, which at that time was hard to come by.[b]

Broadcasting, Decca Records[edit]

External images

When King graduated from Cambridge in June 1967, the press covered his graduation ceremony: "Jonathan King becomes M.A. (Cantab.)".[44] Shortly afterwards Tony Firth, an ATV producer and Trinity graduate, asked King to present Good Evening, a weekly television show that ran nationally on ATV at 6:30 pm on Saturdays from October 1967 to 1968.[45] The following year he began broadcasting for BBC Radio 1, including a "blast off" slot on the Stuart Henry show.[46]

Tired of living in the Dorset Street apartment, King bought a three-story mews house near Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, in which he still lived as of 2016, for £18,650.[47] Around this time, he was recruited by Sir Edward Lewis, the founder of Decca Records and another Trinity graduate, to be his unpaid (expenses only) personal assistant. King writes that Lewis recruited him twice for this position, once not long after graduation and again in the late 1970s.[48][49]

Early 1970s[edit]

Further information: 1970s in music and Bubblegum pop

"It's Good News Week" (1965) was the last big hit King had for nearly five years. Then his cover of "Let It All Hang Out" (1969) made the top 30 in January 1970, and he went on to become the top singles producer of 1971,[50] beginning with "It's the Same Old Song". Released by B&C Records in December 1970 under a pseudonym, the Weathermen, it moved into the charts a month later. Using pseudonyms meant more airtime: radio producers might play several songs by the same artist during a programme without realizing they had devoted so much airtime to one person.[46]

King's 1971 releases included a version of Bob Dylan's "Baby, You've Been On My Mind", released as Nemo, which failed to chart; The Sun Has Got His Hat On, also as Nemo; "Sugar, Sugar" as Sakkarin; "Leap Up and Down (Wave Your Knickers in the Air)" by St Cecelia (this one a real band, rather than a pseudonym), which went to number 12; and "Lazy Bones", released under his own name.[46]

Bell Records asked King to produce four songs for the Bay City Rollers, including their first hit, "Keep on Dancing", on which King sang the 13 backing vocals himself. Released in May 1971, the single reached number nine after Bell began promoting it.[51]

There was also "Hooked On A Feeling", a country song that King turned into a pop song, adding "ooga chaka ooga ooga" to the intro. King's arrangement later gave Swedish group Blue Swede a US number one in April 1974.[52] The arrangement featured in Reservoir Dogs (1992), at least one episode of Ally McBeal, where it provided the music for the Dancing Baby (1998), and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), although King writes that he made no money from the Blue Swede version.[53][54]

Another huge 1971 hit was "Johnny Reggae", a ska pop song about a skinhead, written by King after he was introduced to a Johnny Reggae at the Walton Hop disco in Surrey.[46] It was sung by King and middle-aged session singers pretending to be teenagers, credited to The Piglets and released by Bell.[46][55] John Stratton writes that "Johnny Reggae" was the "first British hit with a ska beat to have been written by a white Englishman ... and performed by white English singers and musicians."[56] While, according to Lloyd Bradley, the BBC was reluctant to play reggae by black Jamaican artists, "Johnny Reggae", which Bradley described as "lamentable [and] audibly jarring", reached number three in the UK in November 1971 (when Slade's "Coz I Luv You" was number one) and stayed in the top 50 for 12 weeks.[57][c]

UK Records[edit]

10cc in 1974. Clockwise from left: Eric Stewart, Kevin Godley, Graham Gouldman and Lol Creme

In 1972 King set up a record label, UK Records, distributed by Decca and later Polygram in the UK and London Records in the US. Chris Denning left Bell to run the UK office and Fred Ruppert, formerly of Elektra Records, the US office.[2][3][50] Don Wardell then took over the US office, Denning left and Wardell moved back to run the UK company. King's brother Andy was hired in 1974 as the promotion manager.[59]

The label's first hit was "Seaside Shuffle" by Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs, followed by King's "Loop di Love", which reached number four, released under the pseudonym Shag.[60] Other signings included Ricky Wilde, then 11 years old and promoted to fill the gap later taken by Donny Osmond, a potential David Cassidy Simon Turner,[61] Roy C, the First Class and Lobo. The label also released King's cover of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (1974), described as a "Grateful Dead"-style country version", which met the approval of Mick Jagger.[2][62]

In June 1973, after seeing The Rocky Horror Show on its second night, King invested a 20 percent stake in it, making him one of its two original backers, along with Michael White, and released The Rocky Horror Show Original London Cast.[10][63]

The label's most significant signing was 10cc. Eric Stewart, one of the band members, had known King since 1965, when Stewart was with The Mindbenders and King had wanted to write for them. The band had planned to release "Donna" as a B side, but decided it could be a hit: "We only knew of one person who was mad enough to release it," Stewart said, "and that was Jonathan King."[64] King gave the band its name and released two of its albums (10cc and Sheet Music) and eight singles. Donna (1972) and "Rubber Bullets" (1973), reached number two and one respectively, followed by "The Dean and I" (1973) and "The Wall Street Shuffle" (1974).[65] The band only dented the American market, with "Rubber Bullets" making 73 on the Billboard Hot 100.[66] 10cc left UK Records in 1975 for Mercury Records, after which they achieved success in America, particularly with "I'm Not in Love" (1975).[67]

Move to New York[edit]

King in 1982

In April 1978 King stood for parliament as an independent in the Epsom and Ewell by-election, calling himself the Royalist party. He gained 2,350 votes.[68] A year later he decided to leave the music industry and closed UK Records.[62] He wrote to the charts committee of the British Phonographic Industry in August 1979 alleging that the lower levels of the charts reflected "clever promotion and marketing rather than good records", and suggesting that only information about the top 30 should be made available. The idea was that this would force programmers to base their airplay decisions on something other than the lower charts.[69]

The UK Records New York office on 57th Street was turned into an apartment, and King set about building a new career in writing and broadcasting. He was given a weekly five-minute slot on BBC Radio 1 called "A King in New York", a "Postcard from America" slot in Radio 4, and he reported for Radio 1 on the 1980 presidential election.[70] In December 1980, watching television in bed, he heard there had been a shooting outside the Dakota Apartments. He called and woke up BBC producer Tom Brook, who was living in New York; Brook became the first to announce to the UK that John Lennon had died.[71]

Throughout 1980 and 1981 King presented a radio talk show on New York's WMCA from 10–12 weekday mornings, and regularly reported from the United States on Top of the Pops. He devised and hosted a spinoff series, Entertainment USA, broadcast on BBC2, which was nominated for a BAFTA in 1987[72]. He also created and produced No Limits, a youth programme.[73] In 1983 he co-hosted the first ITV programme Ultra Quiz.

His first novel appeared. Bible Two (1982) tells the story of a window dresser in "Selfishes" who inherits his family's millions. He was also hired by Kelvin MacKenzie, editor of the The Sun, to write a weekly column, "Bizarre USA", which began in February 1985 and continued for eight years.[74] He continued with several music projects, including with the hard-rock supergroup Gogmagog, which released an EP, I Will Be There (1985).[75][76]

Brit Awards, Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

In 1987 King hosted the Brit Awards for the BBC,[77] and from 1990 to 1992 was the event's producer. He resigned just after the 1992 show because he and the British Phonographic Industry, which runs the awards, disagreed about the show's format.[5][78] The following year he founded The Tip Sheet (1993–2002), an influential weekly trade magazine promoting new acts.[79]

King's media work included finding and producing the Eurovision Song Contest entrant for the BBC from 1995. He selected three songs for them.[5] Love City Groove's song, "Love City Groove", came tenth in 1995. Gina G's "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" came eighth the following year, and was number one in the UK.[80] "Love Shine A Light" by Katrina and the Waves came first in 1997.[81] His second novel, The Booker Prize Winner, was published that year. He was also involved in finding and promoting the Chumbawamba hit "Tubthumping" (1997), which made number two,[82] and the Baha Men's number one hit, "Who Let the Dogs Out?" (2000), which King had previously released himself as a cover.[10]

In October 1997 King received a Music Industry Trusts Award at a dinner held in his honour at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, where a video tribute to him featured Guy Mitchell, Ozzy Osbourne, The Moody Blues and Hanson.[1][83] The following year he devised The Record of the Year, produced by his Tip Sheet and London Weekend Television, a show in which the public voted for the year's best single.[84] In 2000 Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of the new Popstars talent show, considered hiring King as anchor of its judging panel, but he turned it down. Lythgoe took the position himself.[85]


In September 2001 King was convicted, after a two-week trial at the Old Bailey, on four counts of indecent assault, one of buggery and one of attempted buggery, committed between 1983 and 1987 against five boys aged 14 and 15. In a second trial he was found Not Guilty after an alleged victim (someone King denied having ever met) acknowledged that he could have been 16 at the time, and further trials that had been scheduled were abandoned.[d][87] King maintained his innocence throughout, protesting, among other things, that the lack of a statute of limitations in the UK for sex offences meant he had been unable to defend himself adequately because of the years that had passed.[88]

The National Criminal Intelligence Service had begun investigating King for child sexual abuse in 2000, when a man told them he had been assaulted by King and others 30 years earlier.[89][e] King was arrested in November that year and released on £150,000 bail, £50,000 of which was put up by Simon Cowell.[91] Media reports about the arrest resulted in further allegations.[92][93] Twenty-seven men told police that King had sexually assaulted them during the period 1969–1989.[94][f]

King received a seven-year sentence, was placed on the Sex Offenders Register, prohibited from working with children, and ordered to pay £14,000 costs.[88][g] In 2003 the Court of Appeal rejected his application to appeal both the conviction and the sentence; he had argued that the conviction was unsafe and the sentence "manifestly too severe".[97] He appealed twice unsuccessfully to the Criminal Cases Review Commission,[98] and was released on parole in March 2005.[99] King's conviction was the subject of a chapter in Bob Woffinden's book "The Nicholas Cases".

In September 2015, King was arrested as part of Operation Ravine, an investigation into claims of child sexual abuse at the Walton Hop disco in the 1970s and 1980s.[100] He was released on bail until October 2016.[101]

Later life and media involvement[edit]

Journalist Robert Chalmers wrote that King's creative output after he left prison "resembled a primal scream of rage".[10][102] Two novels appeared: Beware the Monkey Man (2010), under the pen name Rex Kenny, and Death Flies, Missing Girls and Brigitte Bardot (2013), under his real name, Kenneth George King. He also published a diary, Three Months (2012), and two volumes of his autobiography, Jonathan King 65: My Life So Far (2009) and 70 FFFY (2014).

King maintained an interest in prison issues and writes a column for Inside Time, the national newspaper for prisoners.[103] In August 2015 The Spectator published an article about his meeting with former Prime Minister Edward Heath in the 1970s in which King concludes that Heath was "quite clearly, non sexual".[104]

An album, Earth to King, appeared in 2008, a collection of mainly new songs, one of which appeared to defend the serial killer Dr. Harold Shipman.[105] He also produced three films. Vile Pervert: The Musical (2008), available for free download, is a 96-minute widely viewed movie in which King plays all 21 parts and presents his version of events about his prosecution.[106] Rod Liddle called it "a fantastically berserk, bravado performance".[107] Me Me Me (2011) was described at the Cannes Film Festival as "a re-telling of Romeo and Juliet",[108] and The Pink Marble Egg (2013) is a spy story. To publicize the latter, King drove down the Promenade de la Croisette in Cannes with a pink papier-mâché egg stuck on top of his Rolls Royce.[109]

King has complained about his media coverage since his conviction. In 2005 he complained to the Press Complaints Commission about an article in the News of the World that stated he had gone to a park to "ogle" boys. In fact he had gone there at the request of a documentary maker. The complaint was not upheld, but Roy Greenslade argued that King had a good case.[110] In October 2011 then BBC Director-General Mark Thompson apologised to King for the removal of King's performance of "It Only Takes a Minute" from a repeat, on BBC Four, of a 1976 episode of Top of the Pops. King described the cut as a "Stalinist revision approach to history".[111]

Selected works[edit]

Singles discography[edit]

As performer[edit]

As performer or producer/performer
(A and B side)
Credited to Label
1965 "Gotta Tell" / "When I Come To You" Terry Ward with the Bumblies [h] Fontana[113]
"Everyone's Gone to the Moon" / "Summer's Coming" 4 Jonathan King Decca[114]
"Green is the Grass" / "Creation" Jonathan King Decca
"Where the Sun Has Never Shone" / "Don't Talk to Me of Protest" Jonathan King Decca
1966 "Just Like a Woman" / "The Land of the Golden Tree" Jonathan King Decca
"Icicles (Fell From The Heart Of A Bluebird)" / "In A Hundred Years From Now" Jonathan King Decca
1967 "Seagulls" / "Take A Look At Yourself Babe" Jonathan King Decca
"Round, Round" / "Time And Motion" Jonathan King Decca
1969 "Let It All Hang Out" / "Colloquial Sex (Legend Of Today)" 26 Jonathan King Decca
1970 "Million Dollar Bash" / "City Of Angels" Jonathan King Decca
"Cherry, Cherry" / "Gay Girl" Jonathan King Decca
1971 "It's the Same Old Song" 19 Weathermen B&C
"Baby, You've Been On My Mind" Nemo B&C
"The Sun Has Got His Hat On" Nemo B&C
"Sugar Sugar" 12 Sakkarin RCA
"Lazy Bones" / "I Just Want To Say Thank You'" 23 Jonathan King Decca
"Johnny Reggae" 3 The Piglets Bell
"Hooked on a Feeling" / "I Don't Want To Be Gay" 23 Jonathan King Decca
1972 "Who's Been Polishing the Sun" Nemo Parlophone
"Flirt!" / "Hey Jim!" 22 Jonathan King Decca
"Loop di Love" 4 Shag UK
"It's A Tall Order For A Short Guy" / "Learned Tax Counsel" Jonathan King UK
1973 "Be Gay" / "S*p*rsh*t***" Jonathan King UK
"Mary, My Love" / "A Little Bit Left Of Right" Jonathan King UK
"Everyone's Gone To The Moon" (UK Solid Gold) / "Summer's Coming" Jonathan King UK
"A Modest Proposal (Swift's Song)" / "The Kung Fu Anthem" Jonathan King UK
1974 "Hooked On A Feeling" / "I Don't Want To Be Gay" Jonathan King UK
"Help Me Make It Through the Night" (with Eiri Thrasher) / "Colloquial Sex (Lawrence's Song)" Jonathan King UK
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" 29 Bubblerock UK
1975 "A Free Man In Paris" / "The True Story Of Molly Malone" Jonathan King UK
"Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)" 36 53rd and 3rd
featuring the Sound of Shag
"The Way You Look Tonight" / "The True Story Of Molly Malone" Jonathan King UK
"Una Paloma Blanca (White Dove)" / "Inpraiseofuk" (spoken word) 5 Jonathan King UK
"Baby, The Rain Must Fall" / "A Very, Very Melancholy Man" 29 Jonathan King UK
1976 "The Happy People Song" / "I've Never Seen A Woman" 29 Jonathan King UK
"Little Latin Lupe Lu" / "Sex Appeal" Jonathan King UK
"He's So Fine" / "The King Of The Hooks" Jonathan King UK
"In the Mood" 46 Sound 9418 UK
"It Only Takes a Minute" 9 One Hundred Ton
and a Feather
"Mississippi" / "The Littlest Greatest Love" Jonathan King UK
"When I Was A Star" / "The Littlest Greatest Love" Jonathan King UK
1978 "Old DJ's (Playing New Sounds)" / "I'm The One" Jonathan King Epic
"One for You, One for Me" / "Cryin' Again" 29 GTO
"Lick A Smurp for Christmas (All Fall Down)" 58 Father Abraphart
and The Smurps
1979 "You're the Greatest Lover" / "The Death Of The Last Unicorn" 67 Jonathan King UK
"Gloria" / "Mental Diseases" 65 Jonathan King Ariola
1980 "It's Illegal, It's Immoral, It's Unhealthy, But It's Fun" / "Sing Your Own Immorality" Jonathan King WEA
1982 "Everyone's Gone To The Moon" / "Summer's Coming" Jonathan King Old Gold
1983 "I'll Slap Your Face (Entertainment U.S.A. Theme)" / "Mental Diseases" 99 Jonathan King Epic
1984 "Space Oddity / Major Tom (Coming Home)" / "I'll Slap Your Face (Entertainment U.S.A Theme)" 77 Jonathan King Epic
1985 "No Speed Limit" / "I'll Slap Your Face (Entertainment U.S.A. Theme)" Jonathan King Epic
1986 "Gimme Some" / "Crying Again" Jonathan King 10
1987 "I'll Slap Your Face" / "No Speed Limit" Jonathan King BBC
"Wild World" / "Ways To Be Wicked" Jonathan King UK
1989 "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" / "Johnny Reggae" / "Everyone's Gone To The Moon" Jonathan King Ariola
1993 "Music Music Music" / "Serious Jake One" Jonathan King Chrysalis

As producer[edit]

Single UK Credited to Label
1965 "It's Good News Week" / "Afraid of Love" 4 Hedgehoppers Anonymous Decca
1968 "The Silent Sun" / "That's Me" Genesis Decca
"A Winter's Tale" / "One Eyed Hound" Genesis Decca
1969 "Where the Sour Turns to Sweet" Genesis Decca
1971 "Leap Up and Down (Wave Your Knickers in the Air)" / "How You Gonna Tell Me" 12 St Cecelia Polydor
"Keep On Dancing" / "Alright" 9 The Bay City Rollers Bell
1972 "Don't Let Him Touch You" / "Rainy Day" 35 The Angelettes Decca
"Seaside Shuffle" / "Ball And Chain" 2 Terry Dactyl and the Dinosaurs UK
"Donna" / "Hot Sun Rock" 2 10cc UK
1973 "Rubber Bullets" / "Waterfall" 1 10cc UK
"The Dean and I" / "Bee In My Bonnet" 10 10cc UK
1974 "The Wall Street Shuffle" / "Gismo My Way" 10 10cc UK
1990 "The Brits 1990 Dance Medley" / "Satisfaction" 2 Various artists RCA


  • (1982) Bible Two: A Novel According to Jonathan King, London: W. H. Allen/Virgin Books.
  • (1997) The Booker Prize Winner, London: Blake Publishing.
  • (2009) 65: My Life So Far, London: Revvolution Publishing Ltd.
  • (2010) Beware the Monkey Man (as Rex Kenny), London: Revvolution Publishing Ltd.
  • (2012) Three Months: 100 Glorious Sunny Days in the Summer of 2012. A Diary, London:
  • (2013) Death Flies, Missing Girls and Brigitte Bardot (as Kenneth George King), Amazon Media.
  • (2014) 70 FFFY, London: Revvolution Publishing Ltd.


  • (2008) Vile Pervert: The Musical
  • (2011) Me Me Me
  • (2013) The Pink Marble Egg


  1. ^ For June 1964: King flew to Hawaii a week after booking himself into the Southern Cross Hotel in Melbourne, where the Beatles were staying. The Beatles were there for four days from 14 June 1964.[18]
  2. ^ Mike Rutherford, 1985: "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."[43]
  3. ^ A Jamaican version of "Johnny Reggae", "Heavy Reggae (Johnny Reggae)", was released in 1974 by the Roosevelt Singers.[58]
  4. ^ At the time of the alleged offences, the applicable legislation was the Sexual Offences Act 1967. This decriminalized private consensual homosexual acts between parties aged 21 and over. If the sex was consensual and the alleged victim was 16 or over, the statute of limitations was 12 months.[86]
  5. ^ The man had apparently approached the publicist Max Clifford, himself later jailed for sexual assault, and Clifford had urged him to go to the police.[90]
  6. ^ Police found hundreds of photographs of boys in his home.[94] King acknowledged having approached thousands of boys and girls with a questionnaire about youth interests, saying he was doing market research. The questionnaires asked the teenagers to list certain topics according to importance. The prosecution alleged that King then targeted boys who gave sex a high priority.[95]
  7. ^ King served his sentence in Belmarsh, Elmley and Maidstone prisons.[96]
  8. ^ Both sides of the Terry Ward record were written by King but his involvement as a performer is uncertain.


  1. ^ a b "Previous award recipients", Music Industry Trusts Award, 16 March 2015; "Newline," Billboard, 15 November 1997, 50.

    "MIT Award 1997 Jonathan King", JME Photo Library. Retrieved 1 August 2016.

  2. ^ a b c d Eder, Bruce. "Jonathan King". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "King Forms U.K. Records," Billboard, 9 September 1972, 32.
  4. ^ Liddle, Rod (11 April 2010). "McLaren was no cultural genius just a lucky punk, The Sunday Times.
  5. ^ a b c "The music industry's outsider", BBC News, 24 November 2000. Note: the BBC says that King resigned from the Brit Awards in 1991, but this appears to be an error.
  6. ^ "Jonathan King freed from prison", BBC News, 29 March 2005.
  7. ^ "Ailsa Linley",; King, Jonathan (2009). 65 My Life So Far, London: Revvolution Publishing Ltd., chs. 1, 25.
  8. ^ a b King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 2.
  9. ^ a b King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 1.
  10. ^ a b c d 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. 
  11. ^ King, Jonathan. "Brookhurst Grange Ewhurst Surrey". Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  12. ^ a b King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 3.
  13. ^ a b c King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 4.
  14. ^ a b c d King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 6.
  15. ^ Schroeder, John (2016). All for the Love of Music, Matador, 66–68.
  16. ^ a b King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 7.
  17. ^ "The rise and fall of a pop tsar". Press Association. 29 March 2005. 
  18. ^ Cahill, Mikey (18 June 2014). "Photo essay: A look back at how the Beatles rocked Melbourne and their teenage fans went wild", Herald Sun.
  19. ^ a b King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 8.
  20. ^ "The Joe Meek Story", 8 February 1991, 00:08:02.
  21. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1989). Rock movers & shakers, Billboard Publications, 279.
  22. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 9.
  23. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 9; "Everyone's Gone to the Moon", Top of the Pops, BBC, 1965.
  24. ^ For number three, Melody Maker, 21 August 1965, cited in King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 9.
  25. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. 192. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
    Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; and Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book of the British charts: Singles & Albums. Omnibus Press, 602.

    Nite, Norm N. (1978). Rock on. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock N' Roll: The Solid Gold Years. Ty Crowell Co, 262.

  26. ^ "Marlene Dietrich sings "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" (Live, 1966)", YouTube.

    Walker, Tim. "Jonathan King: 'My book's an online hit, millions click on my videos. How about lifting the media ban on me?", The Independent, 28 November 2011.

  27. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, chs. 2, 9.
  28. ^ File:Its Good News Week.jpg, image courtesy of Wikipedia; "JonJo Music Ltd", Discogs. Retrieved 31 July 2016; King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 11.
  29. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. 249. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  30. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 10.
  31. ^ Vale, Michael (1972). VoxPop, Larousse Harrap Publishers, 78.
  32. ^ Thompson, Dave (2004). Turn It on Again, Hal Leonard Corporation, 11.
  33. ^ Rutherford, Mike (2014). The Living Years, Constable, 45.
  34. ^ a b c Banks, Tony, et al. (2007). "Charterhouse (1963–1968)," in Philip Dodd (ed.), Genesis: Chapter and Verse, St. Martin's Griffin, 27–28.
  35. ^ a b Welch, Chris (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of Genesis. Omnibus Press, 1–3.
  36. ^ "Jonathan King to appear in BBC Genesis documentary". BBC News. 26 September 2014. 
  37. ^ Banks, et al. (2007), "Christmas Cottage (1968–1970)", 57.
  38. ^ Banks 2007, 29.
  39. ^ Banks 2007, 52.
  40. ^ White, Timothy (1986). "Gabriel," Spin magazine (50–63),54.
  41. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Genesis". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 June 2010. 
  42. ^ Hombach, Jean-Pierre (2012). Phil Collins. 17. ISBN 1470134446. 
  43. ^ Mike Rutherford interviewed by Dan Neer (1985). Mike on Mike (Vinyl, 12" Promo interview recording). Atlantic Recording Corporation. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  44. ^ "Jonathan King becomes M.A. (Cantab.)", Londoner's Diary, London Evening Standard, 23 June 1967.
  45. ^ Billboard, 14 October 1967, 64; for ATV, London Magazine, 7, 1967, 59.

    For 1968, Wale, Michael (1972). Voxpop: Profiles of the Pop Process, Larousse Harrap Publishers, 85.

  46. ^ a b c d e King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 12.
  47. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 11; King, Jonathan (2014). 70 FFFY, London: Revvolution Publishing Ltd, 158.
  48. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 11.
  49. ^ Hardy, Phil; Laing, Dave (1995). "Jonathan King". The Da Capo Companion to 20th-century Popular Music. Da Capo Press. 520. ISBN 0306806401. 
  50. ^ a b "UK Producer King Launches Own Label", Billboard, 27 May 1972, 51.
  51. ^ Coy, Wayne (2005). Bay City Babylon: The Unbelievable But True Story of the Bay City Rollers. 23–27. ISBN 1587364638. 
  52. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard Books, 361.
  53. ^ King, ''65 My Life So Far, ch. 12; King, FFFY, 13.
  54. ^ Torstar, Staff (22 August 2014). "Heard in Guardians of the Galaxy: What's with 'ooga chaka'?". Metronews. 
  55. ^ "Record Details",
  56. ^ Stratton, John (2016). "The Travels of Johnny Reggae: From Jonathan King to Prince Far I; From Skinhead to Rasta," When Music Migrates: Crossing British and European Racial Faultlines, 1945–2010. Routledge (59–79), 59–60.
  57. ^ Stratton 2016, 59–60; Bradley, Lloyd (2001). Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King. Penguin, 256 (also published as This is Reggae Music).
  58. ^ Stratton 2016, 60.
  59. ^ "International Turntable," Billboard, 22 June 1974, 52.
  60. ^ "Shag", Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  61. ^ Partridge, Rob (23 December 1972). "New Pop Audience Emerging in U.K.", Billboard, 10.
  62. ^ a b Southall, Brian (2003). The A-Z of record labels. 276. ISBN 1860744923. ; "Jonathan King – Satisfaction", YouTube.
  63. ^ Thompson, Dave (2016). The Rocky Horror Picture Show FAQ, Hal Leonard Corporation.
  64. ^ Tremlett, George (1976). The 10cc Story Futura. Also in Thompson, Dave (2012). The Cost of Living in Dreams: The 10cc Story, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 61–62.
  65. ^ Davis, Sharon (2012). Every Chart Topper Tells a Story: The Seventies, Random House.
  66. ^ "10cc - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  67. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "10cc". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  68. ^ "1978 By Election Results",

    Arkell, Harriet (21 November 2001). "Relentless ego of self-styled man". London Evening Standard. 

  69. ^ "King Advocates Chart Cuts," Billboard, 25 August 1979, 68.
  70. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 15.
  71. ^ Brooks, Tom (8 December 2010). "Lennon's death: I was there", BBC News.
  72. ^ "Television. Light Entertainment Programme in 1987", BAFTA and peaked with 9.7 million viewers.
  73. ^ Yockel, Michael (30 July 2002). "Jonathan King, Queen of Pop", New York Press.
  74. ^ King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 16.
  75. ^ Munro, Eden (25 March 2009). "Gogmagog", Vue.
  76. ^ "Who is Jonathan King?". The Guardian. 24 November 2000. 
  77. ^ "Brit Awards 1987". Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  78. ^ Lister, David (17 January 1997). "Jonathan King calls for boycott of Brit awards", The Independent.

    King, 65 My Life So Far, ch. 17.

  79. ^ "King's Tip Sheet to carry on". BBC News. 21 November 2001. 
  80. ^ "About Gina G". Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  81. ^ "Why Eurovision needs to be saved from the BBC". The Spectator. 18 May 2013. 
  82. ^ King, 70 FFFY, 86–89.
  83. ^ McGee, Alan (23 January 2007). "Should the BPI dethrone Jonathan King?", The Guardian.
  84. ^ Young, Graham (19 December 1998). "I'm the Greatest!; (Says Jonathan King)", Birmingham Evening Mail.

    Sexton, Paul (25 December 1999). "U.K. TV Awards Show Boosts Sales," Billboard, 5, 81.

  85. ^ Nolan, David (2010). Simon Cowell – The Man Who Changed the World, John Blake Publishing Ltd., 61.

    Rushfield, Richard (2011). American Idol: The Untold Story, Hachette Books, 15–16; Rushfield, Richard (15 January 2011). "The Battle for 'American Idol'", Newsweek.

  86. ^ Sexual Offences Act 1967,
  87. ^ "Jonathan King jailed for child sex abuse", The Guardian, 21 November 2001.
    Ronson, Jon (1 December 2001). "The fall of a pop impresario", The Guardian.

    Ronson, Jon (2006). "The Fall of a Pop Impresario," Out of the Ordinary True Tales of Everyday Craziness, Picador, 192–240.

  88. ^ a b Clough, Sue; O'Neill, Sean (22 November 2001). "Pop veteran Jonathan King given seven years for abusing schoolboys", The Daily Telegraph.
  89. ^ Hall, Sarah (22 November 2001). "Victim's angry email led to downfall", The Guardian.
  90. ^ Norman, Matthew (4 May 2014). "Max Clifford played a crucial role in the conviction of Jonathan King. Now the roles have been reversed", The Independent.
  91. ^ Walker, Tim (27 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.
  92. ^ "Second arrest for Jonathan King", The Guardian, 24 January 2001.
  93. ^ "King faces fresh charges", BBC News, 25 January 2001.
  94. ^ a b O'Neill, Sean (22 November 2001). "The shameful private life hidden behind flamboyant self-publicity". The Daily Telegraph. 
  95. ^ "King's path to shame", BBC News, 21 November 2001.
  96. ^ King, Jonathan (13 June 2044). "What's on your prison tray? – Jonathan King", The Guardian.
  97. ^ "King loses appeal bid". BBC News. 24 January 2003. 
  98. ^ Tryhorn, Chris (15 April 2003). "King makes fresh appeal bid", The Guardian.

    "King abuse case 'to be reviewed". BBC News. 29 January 2006. 

  99. ^ Milmo, Cahal (29 March 2005). "Jonathan King: 'I have had a brilliant time'", The Independent.
  100. ^ "Jonathan King arrested in child sex offences probe". BBC News. 10 September 2015. 
  101. ^ "Jonathan King freed on bail over sex offence claims", BBC News, 10 September 2015.

    "Ex-DJ Denning charged with child sex offences", BBC News, 7 June 2016.

  102. ^ 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. 
  103. ^ "Jonathan King", Inside Time.
  104. ^ King, Jonathan (7 August 2015). "Why I don’t believe that Ted Heath was gay", The Spectator.
  105. ^ "Families' anger over Shipman song", BBC News, 12 July 2007.
  106. ^ Vile Pervert movie website,, accessed 12 June 2010; Moore, Matthew (15 May 2008). "Jonathan King makes Vile Pervert: The Musical". The Daily Telegraph. 
  107. ^ Liddle, Rod (22 October 2011). "The King strikes back". The Spectator. 
  108. ^ Me Me Me movie website,, accessed 29 July 2016.

    Sharp, Rob (12 May 2011). "Cannes Diary: From disgraced D-listers to ex-drug dealing singers, festival embraces them all", The Independent.

  109. ^ The Pink Marble Egg movie website,, accessed 29 July 2016.

    Wells, Dominic (20 May 2013). "Cannes Film Festival 2013: Marilyn Monroe, Lesbian Weddings, Nuns of the Future and Occupy Movement". International Business Times UK. 

  110. ^ Greenslade, Roy (4 July 2005). "King had cause for complaint", The Guardian.
  111. ^ "BBC apology to Jonathan King after he is cut from repeat". The Daily Telegraph. 19 October 2011. 
  112. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004. London: Collins. 429. ISBN 0-00-717931-6. 

    "Jonathan King",

  113. ^ "Record Details",
  114. ^ "Jonathan King – Discography",