Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Relentless Ego of Self-Styled Father Figure for the Young

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Relentless Ego of Self-Styled Father Figure for the Young

Article excerpt


AN INSATIABLE self-publicist with a hunger for fame, Jonathan King never dreamed he would achieve notoriety quite like this.

Born Kenneth King in London in 1944, he decided at 15 that he wanted to be a pop star, and changed his name to Jonathan.

He went to Charterhouse then Cambridge where, at 21, he recorded his first hit, Everyone's Gone To The Moon.

The song made the English student a millionaire almost before he had finished his finals but served only to whet his appetite for a career in the music industry.

Never one to hide his light under a bushel, and despite the failure of follow-up song Green Is The Grass, King said: "It was instant stardom - offers flooded in."

He further claimed: "At one time I had 20 records in the Top 30 under different names", and "When I was 22, I was running Decca Records.

The rest is history." In the mid-Sixties, King returned to his public school for a reunion and was treated as a hero. While there he helped some of his former fellow pupils think of a name for their pop group - Genesis.

By the time he was 25, King had founded his own record company, UK Records, described by him as "the most lucrative independent record company of all time", and he was the subject of much female attention.

None of this, of course, surprised the man who wore baseball caps and big round glasses, and saw himself as "strikingly handsome, veering towards Godlike".

King's 15-year pop career produced songs including an unsuccessful cover of Bob Dylan's Just Like A Woman, Let It All Hang Out, and a new version of BJ Thomas's Hooked On A Feeling. Many of his songs were released under other names as King believed the public might tire of so many songs by the same artist.

UK Records was better known for its 10cc hits than those released under its owner's pseudonyms, such as Loop Di Love by Shag, Satisfaction by Bubblerock, and It Only Takes A Minute by 100 Ton And A Feather.

In 1975 Jonathan King released Una Paloma Blanca under his own name and it reached number five. …

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