2018-12-04 04:23:57 UTC
Mike King, who has died aged 83, was a guitarist who found fame with the King Brothers, a vocal trio best known for their versions of the songs Standing on the Corner and A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation).
He was born on April 25 1935 at Barking in Essex. With his younger brothers, Tony and Denis, he was encouraged as a musician by his father Bill, an engineer with Ford and a keen amateur musician. Denis was a talented pianist, and Bill King ensured that Mike learnt the guitar and Tony the double bass. They could all sing, and the three fresh-faced, clean-cut youths were an instant hit.
The group was composed of three brothers who first performed together professionally on the TV show 'Shop Window' in 1952. Initially performing as The King Three, they appeared on the BBC Television early in their career on Six-Five Special, and by 1957 had been named "top vocal group" in the reader's poll of NME. Their first hit on the UK Singles Chart was their cover of "A White Sport Coat", which hit #6 in 1957. In October 1960, they were again voted "top vocal group" in the NME reader's poll. They had a string of successful singles through 1961, after which time they continued recording but found their popularity waning.
Group leader Denis King later became an award-winning composer for television, film, and musicals; among other things, he wrote the theme music for The Adventures of Black Beauty and Lovejoy.