On this day in music history: January 2, 1971 …

On this day in music history: January 2, 1971 – “Groove Me” by King Floyd hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also peaking at #6 on the Hot 100 on January 30, 1971. Written by King Floyd, it is the biggest hit for the R&B singer and songwriter from New Orleans, LA. Floyd begins his singing career in his teens, performing in local venues in his hometown, when it is interrupted by a stint in the army. Following his military service, he moves to California with the hopes of restarting his singing career. Meeting a producer named Harold Battiste, he records his debut album “A Man In Love” for Mercury Records subsidiary Pulsar Records in 1968. The album includes songs written by an up and coming singer and musician named Malcolm “Mac” Rebennack (aka “Dr. John”). The album fails to make any impact, and Floyd goes back home and get a job working for the post office. In mid 1970, producer Wardell Quezerque is in New Orleans scouting talent for his company Malaco Productions. Quezerque invites Floyd along with another local NOLA singer named Jean Knight to go to Malaco’s recording studio in Jackson, MS to cut some sides. On May 17, 1970, Floyd cuts his self-penned song “Groove Me” and Knight records “Mr. Big Stuff”. At first, Quezerque is not able to attract any label interest in either song. He instead releases “Groove Me” himself on his own Chimneyville record label. Once it begins getting radio play in the south, Atlantic Records  picks up the single for national distribution. Quickly becoming an R&B smash, it makes an equally fast crossover to the pop singles chart in late 1970. “Groove Me” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.