So I’ve had this ongoing debate with my Dad for the past couple of decades and it inspired me to write this blog. Although we agree on many of the below, there’s one that I don’t think we’ll ever agree one. And that’s OK. That’s the beauty of music.
The King of Pop
This one, you could argue, could be attributed to Buddy Holly or John Lennon but universally, it’s agreed that the King of Pop is Michael Jackson. What he did in his own personal life, proven or unproven, is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. Music-wise, he was definitely up there so I’m happy to give this to him. Although, a part of me would be happy to attribute this to Elvis.
The King of Ska
Desmond Dekker. There’s no disputing this is there? Part of the first wave of Ska from Jamaica and inspired a whole generation of young Englishmen to start Ska bands. Lots of great music came out of Jamaica at that time but I think Dekker was the best.
The King of Reggae
Bob Marley. Again, no disputing this. It’s not just universally accepted, it just is. How many people who listen to or play Reggae music wouldn’t offer up Bob Marley as the reason they do? The answer is most likely to be zero. Nobody. And if they claim otherwise, they’re lying.
The King of Jazz
John Coltrane. I’m sure there are plenty of be-bopping, beatniks out there who would be happy to argue with this, citing some obscure jazz musician from the 40s, but I think most people would be happy to give it to Coltrane and I am most people so, there you go. Coltrane it is.
The King of Blues
A lot of people will say B.B. King with this one because it’s probably the only blues musician they’ve heard of but since I’m a fan of the blues and can name and play the music of plenty of better and more influential blues musicians than him, I’m going with Robert Johnson. He’s the King, the Father and the Holy Ghost of Blues in my opinion.
The King of Country
This one is a little more difficult for me as I’m not really a fan of Country Music.I like the song Private Malone by Andrew Ball, that’s about as far as I’ve gotten with Country Music though. I’ve read that George Strait is considered the King of Country but I would have thought it was Garth Brooks but, as I’ve said, I’m completely ignorant on this one so I’m going to go with George Strait because personally, I could probably listen to a song or 2 from Strait. I couldn’t do the same for Garth. His music is putrid to my ears.
The King of Folk
It’s got to be Pete Seeger, right? There are plenty of other amazing folk singers and musicians, like Guthrie, but Seeger has to be the king, surely. Special mention to Dylan too but I think he was late to a party that started long before he was born, not to mention that Dylan abandoned folk for the the seemingly cooler life of an electric blues musician. I’m going with Seeger.
The King of Hip Hop
I’m going to go with Dr Dre or 2Pac. Not really sure why. I’m not a huge fan of the genre , especially these days with 50 Pence and Snoopy G and the likes (I’m joking of course, I know his name is not Snoopy G….it’s Snoopy D) . I think everything that came after these guys was just absolute rubbish so I’m giving it to 2Pac. Don’t be hating on me etc.
The King of Soul
James Brown. End of. The man used to fine his musicians for making mistakes. It might be a little extreme and I’ve had told him to go f*ck himself if I was in a band with him, but still, he had passion, soul and demanded perfection. The King in my books.
The King of Motown
There’s a lot of talk of Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder for this title but I’m going to go with Marvin Gaye. Probably because I prefer the music that Gaye produced to that of Robinson and Wonder.
The King of Punk
It’s got to be John Mellor A.K.A Joe Strummer. I mean you could argue that Johnny Rotten was the biggest influence on the public, but Strummer was an influence on everyone, from the public to the media and other musicians. He influenced me a little bit, back in my blue hair days. Strummer for me. Pictured here with another Punk great, Shane McGowan of the Nipple Erectors.
The King of Electronica
Honestly, I wouldn’t be totally up on this kind of thing but surely a man who transformed the genre from silly-sounding synth-pop to hard, heavy and engaging electronic music is the man who deserves this title? I’m going with Liam Howlett, the man who IS the Prodigy. And the man I think IS Electronic music.
The King of Disco
I have no interest in Disco music so I’m just going to pick someone randomly and move on. John Travolta???? That’ll do. Couldn’t care less. Next.
The King of Heavy Metal
Either Ozzy Osbourne or Freddie Mercury. Can’t decide. One of those dudes. Both great at what they did but if you twisted my arm, I reckon Mercury had more talent and the fact that he didn’t turn into a zombie and make a show of himself on MTV the way Osbourne did makes Mercury king for me.
The King of Rock & Roll
This is the one that I constantly argue about with my Dad. For years now, we’ve been debating this. He thinks Elvis. I think Elvis was more of a pop/karaoke singer similar to Tom Jones. I don’t think that Elvis played even wrote a decent song. Did he even play that guitar at all? Could he play? No way would I give the title of King of Rock And Roll to someone who nobody knows could play or not. I’m going to go with Chuck Berry. He gave us Johnny B. Goode and shaped the genre for God’s sake!! My Dad won’t listen to reason and there are so many people out there like him. I pick Chuck though because I never sat down as a teenager and learned to play an Elvis song on guitar.
The King of Swing
Benny Goodman? There are plenty who would be happy with that. I’m not. I’d probably go with Frank Sinatra myself.
The King of Rock
There are so many people who could take this title, like Hendrix for instance (even Springsteen would make the final few for me) but I’m going to go with the legend that was Jim Morrison. He was the f*cking man! I like a lot of Rock music but I always find that I listen to The Doors more than any other band, even after 15 years of listening to them.I think Jim Morrison is the epitome of the Rock genre.
As for the King of Music, I don’t think it could ever be narrowed down to just one man and maybe that’s the best way to have it. So many genres and emotions cannot be attributed to just one human being.
I think that’s about it for this blog. I’m sure there are plenty of people who’ll agree or disagree and I think it’s worth a discussion. It’s fuelled great conversation for me and my Dad for years now. Music is such a powerful force and it brings out the best and worst in us. It makes us laugh, cry, dance, shout, fight, sleep and even want to have sex so why shouldn’t we be passionate about it? Next up, the Queens of Music
NOTES: I haven’t acquired the rights to use any of these images so due credit to the photographers is observed. And if said photographers wish to have the image removed, just let me know and I’ll take it down. This blog is not of a commercial nature and no money is being made as a result.