Coventry Hitmakers


Coventry’s very own ‘Soul Man’, who was a prime mover in the creation of The Specials and the Selecter. His band the Ray King Soul Band. Played the likes of the Playboy Club. Releasing a live album recorded at the venue. He remains with his finger on the musical pulse of Coventry. The Ray King Soul Band once pulled a bigger crowd at Coventry’s Locarno than even the Rolling Stones. It was quite normal for Ray and his band to play three gigs a night, like The Walsgrave Hotel, the Craven and the Matrix were three that sprung to mind.




“We knew we had something going on”, reveals Ray, “We were so tight in our playing, I was able to control the band with just a slight hand movement, and their eyes were on me all the time. David Owen became our manager and we played the Lanch Polytechnic (now Coventry University) and they always asked us back. We supported people like Georgie Fame and later Julie Driscoll/Brian Auger & The Trinity”. The bands reputation grew to the point when they were asked by the famous Playboy Club in London to perform. “David our manager told us to take some time off to rehearse for the gigs”, reveals Ray, “we were booked to play Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. So instead of repeating the sets I decided to rehearse four forty-five minute shows, and per- form a different one every night”.

Ray King


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