Solomon King

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Solomon King
Birth nameAllen Verner Levy
Born(1931-08-13)August 13, 1931
Lexington, Kentucky, United States
DiedJanuary 21, 2005(2005-01-21) (aged 73)
Norman, Oklahoma, United States
Years active1952–2005

Solomon King (born Allen Verner Levy, August 13, 1931 – January 21, 2005)[1] was an American 1960s and 1970s popular music singer. He is best remembered for his 1968 British hit single, "She Wears My Ring", which charted in 40 countries.

Early life[edit]

Born Allen V. Levy in Lexington, Kentucky,[1] as a teenager he attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and was offered a scholarship to study Cantatorial Music by Jan Peerce.


He first started singing professionally in 1952. Under his first pseudonym, Randy Leeds, his records such as "I'm Gonna Live Til I Die" did not sell. King was the first white singer taken on tour by Billie Holiday, as well as working with Elvis Presley's backing group the Jordanaires, whom he used as his own backing group when recording his first version of "She Wears My Ring" in Nashville, Tennessee.

King's chart success in the UK began with "She Wears My Ring", which was a top three hit there in 1968,[2] and was also a hit in 40 other countries,[3] but failed to reach the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. "She Wears My Ring", based on La Golondrina ("The Swallow)" by the Mexican composer Narciso Serradel Sevilla, was written by the Nashville husband and wife team Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. Also in 1968, "When We Were Young", written by songwriting duo Les Reed and Barry Mason was a number 21 hit in the UK Singles Chart.[2] In 1972, he released the single "When You've Gotta Go", written by Lynsey de Paul and Ron Roker on the Polydor label and it made the Australian charts,[4] as well as becoming a UK radio hit and being covered by Ricki diSoni.[5]

At 6 feet 8 inches (2.0 m) tall, some television interviewers refused to have him on their shows unless he sat down.[6]

King continued singing in clubs in the United States, after returning in 1980.

Personal life[edit]

King married Canadian journalist Henny Lowy in 1960, and they spent twenty years living in Higher Crumpsall, Manchester, England, where the couple had four children. After a divorce with Lowy in 1980, he moved back to the United States, where he wed a further two times. King died in Norman, Oklahoma, of cancer, on January 21, 2005, at the age of 73.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "The Dead Rock Stars Club : 2005 January to June". Retrieved 1 March 2011.
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 302. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  3. ^ "Solomon King Singer best known for 'She Wears My Ring'". The Independent. 2005-01-24. Retrieved 2009-10-08.
  4. ^ "Solomon King - When You've Gotta Go / Life Child - Polydor - Germany - 2058 258". 2015-12-07. Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  5. ^ "When You've Gotta Go by Ricki Disoni - Samples, Covers and Remixes". Retrieved 2020-03-01.
  6. ^ "US singer Solomon King dies at 73". BBC News. 2005-01-21. Retrieved 2007-03-31.

External links[edit]