Artists – K

Kingsmen, The

On Louie Louie (1963), this Portland, Oregon, garage band was terribly recorded, could barely keep the beat and got lost mid-way through the song – and singer Jack Ely sounded like he had a mouth full of marbles – but it didn’t matter. Any band with that riff on its side would win anyway! It started out as a B-side(…)

Kingston Trio, The

A fluke #1 hit with Tom Dooley sparked off a folk music boom, and a deluge of replica groups appeared. The Kingston Trio’s debut album topped the charts – as did four more over the next couple of years. In fact, in December 1960 they had four albums in the Billboard Top 10 at once – all four of(…)

Kinks, The

The Kinks – from London’s Muswell Hill district – began their career in a similar way to hundreds of other groups, playing R&B and blues music. By drawing on the old British Music Hall and traditional pop, within a few years they developed into the most “English” sounding of all their contemporaries. One of the(…)

Kippington Lodge

Kippington Lodge released five excellent singles on Parlophone Records between 1967 and 1969, yet they remain one of the least known English pop groups of the late sixties – despite boasting a line-up that included Nick Lowe, Brinsley Schwarz and Bob Andrews (a future member of Graham Parker & The Rumour). The group evolved from Lowe’s(…)

Kirsty MacColl

Born on 10 October 1959, Kirsty was the daughter of celebrated folk singer Ewan MacColl, although her father actually left the family home in Croydon before she was born. An accomplished songwriter and pop vocalist, Kirsty originally signed to Stiff Records as a 16-year old after they heard her singing with a punk band called The Drug(…)



The KISS story began when Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons decided to create heavy metal‘s answer to The Beatles in the early 1970’s. They discovered guitarist Ace Frehley and drummer Peter Criss through auditions and set to work, writing tunes that married catchy pop hooks to heavy metal thunder and developing a stage show that combined the power(…)


Canadian trio Klaatu are remembered for two things: being mistaken for The Beatles, and the song Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft – a melodic, slow-moving and ludicrous piece of symphonic rock designed to make aliens take notice of Earth and its inhabitants. As far as we know, they haven’t. The debut Klaatu album – 3:47 EST (which was(…)


Shrouded in mystery and occultist imagery, The KLF were the biggest selling British singles act of 1991. Formed as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu four years previously by ex-Echo and The Bunnymen manager Bill Drummond and graphic artist James Cauty, they debuted with controversial sample collage 1987 (What The Fuck’s Going On?) – withdrawn from sale(…)

Knack, The

The Knack exemplified American New Wave – a short haired, 60s-influenced band playing straight-ahead pop-rock while sporting skinny ties and modish suits. Charting worldwide in 1979 with the catchy, syncopated My Sharona, The Knack were briefly a bona fide pop sensation. The single blared on car radios throughout that summer, and their debut album, Get The Knack, sold 5 million(…)

Knickerbockers, The

The Knickerbockers formed in 1962, when the Cecchino brothers, Beau and John, met former boy-wonder Buddy Randell. Singer, songwriter and sax player Randell was 16 when his group The Royal Teens hit it big in 1958 with Short Shorts, but his career went on hold when his parents made him finish high school. Guitarist Beau and bassist(…)

Koko Taylor

Koko Taylor – so named because of her lifelong fondness for chocolate – was born in 1928 and earned the title “Queen of the Blues” after cutting her teeth on Chicago’s club scene in the early 1950s. She had moved there from Tennessee with future husband Robert ‘Pops’ Taylor, armed – in Koko’s words –(…)


Like every other self-respecting musical movement in the early 70s, Pub Rock had its own ‘supergroup’ in the shape of Kokomo. Named after an Aretha Franklin song (First Snow in Kokomo) the band consisted of guitarist Neil Hubbard and bassist Alan Spenner from Joe Cocker‘s Greaseband, saxophonist Mel Collins from King Crimson, guitarist Jim Mullen and drummer Terry Stannard from Vinegar Joe and(…)

Koobas, The

Possibly the least-known of Brian Epstein‘s post-Beatles charges from the Merseybeat era, The Koobas formed in 1962 and broke up in 1968. Their story read like virtually every other Liverpool beat group: four young guys growing up in post-war Merseyside left school to play in various local groups before hitting on the right combination and forming their own band.(…)

Kool & The Gang

Beginning as The Jazziacs in Jersey City in 1964, the band renamed themselves Kool and the Flames. The band’s break came via the efforts of James Brown‘s bus driver, who envisioned a career behind the mike instead of behind the wheel. He enlisted Kool and the Flames as a backup band for a demo session(…)


The word “unique” is over-used in music, but Kraftwerk have a stronger claim than most to the tag. Organist Ralf Hütter and woodwind student Florian Schneider-Esleben met while they were studying improvised music in Dusseldorf, Germany. They drew on the influence of experimental electronic forces such as composer Karlheinz Stockhausen and Tangerine Dream to create minimalist music(…)

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