Origin: Vancouver, British Columbia; Oakville, Ontario
The Kings were formed in Vancouver, British Columbia and Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Original members were David Diamond, lead vocals, bass guitar and songwriter, Sonny Keyes, vocals, keyboards and songwriter, Max Styles, drums, and Mister Zero, guitar and songwriter.
The Kings were originally known as WhistleKing and rehearsed, did club gigs and wrote lots of songs for more than three years before going into Nimbus 9 Studio in Toronto to record their first album.
While recording, world famous producer Bob (Pink Floyd) Ezrin dropped by to visit and checked the band out and liked what he heard. He agreed to mix the tracks The Kings had recorded but soon discovered that the whole thing needed to be re-done. He approached Elektra Records in Los Angeles with The Kings’ tapes and the unknown band was signed to a world-wide deal.
The Kings did re-record the songs and the project was released as “The Kings Are Here”. The first single, ‘Switchin’ To Glide’, was put out and did get noticed but the tune was really two songs in one and the band insisted they be released together.
So when the segue ‘This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ To Glide’ was released radio really picked up on it. Even at over five minutes in length, the segue caught on all over the USA and Canada with huge airplay in every major market and stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for six months. It was named one of the Top 100 U.S. Radio Programmers Picks of the Decade by Album Network Magazine and The Kings were named most promising group by Cashbox Magazine, and nominated for a Juno Award.
An amazing appearance on Dick Clark’s ‘American Bandstand’ helped spread the word as well. The album ‘The Kings Are Here’ went gold in Canada, and since it was re-released on cd as ‘The Kings Are Here and More’, combined sales have passed platinum status.
The second Ezrin produced Elektra effort ‘Amazon Beach’ did not fare as well and the band left the label and signed with Capitol Canada which released ‘RSVP’ which contains the holiday classic ‘This Christmas’ which gets lots of airplay every yuletide season.
The next studio project was called ‘Unstoppable’ and the title track reached the Top 10 in Canada.
Next came the studio album “Because of You”, which once again showed the depth and versatility of the songwriting from The Kings. After that came other different projects, “Anthology One” which is a collection of rare early unreleased tracks, and what has become The Kings amazing “Live Trilogy”, “The Lost Tapes of a Seventies Bar Band”, “Party Live in ’85”, both audio only, and the DVD “No Covers-Live at O’Tooles Roadhouse”, all of which document the energy of the band in concert. And also the great documentary about the band’s biggest hit: “Anatomy of a One-Hit Wonder” where the guys tell their own story with trademark candour and humour.
And now in 2019, The Kings are releasing another two-song segue, “Circle of Friends/Man That I Am” which has all the energy and feel-good hooks the band is known for. Mixed in Nashville by famed producer Bob Ezrin, it is a rocker for sure.
David Diamond: lead vocals, bass
Sonny Keyes: keyboards, vocals
Max Styles: drums
Mister Zero: guitar
Peter Nunn: keyboards