• DAVE RADSTOCK

THE MEN BEHIND THE MUSIC - KING ERRISSON: CONGA DRUMS


For those who have never attended a Neil Diamond concert and witnessed King Errisson do his thing, it is a sight to behold and an equal joy, from the moment Neil introduces “King” to the audience as part of the band introductions, the crowd erupts, immensely popular with fans of Neil, and a real crowd pleaser, he could be accused of trying to steal Neil’s thunder, although that is never his intention, his hands move at lightning speed as he beats his conga drums in perfect rhythm, and after his segment, he stands, arms raised in triumph, soaking in the immense applause, with that familiar broad grin etched across his face.

King Errison, real name Errisson Johnson, hails from the island of Nassau in the Carribean and started playing music from the age of five. At eighteen he left the island to move to Los Angeles where his dream was to become an actor,

“King” appeared in a few movies, and commercials, he appeared with his calypso band in the James Bond film “Thunderball” with Sean Connery, in Los Angeles he met jazz saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderly, with whom he recorded eight albums, “King” quickly became an active studio musician, going on to work with many of the greats of the industry, Barbara Streisand, The Jackson Five, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Temptations, and Quincy Jones, in his autobiography, Berry Gordy referred to “King” Errisson as the unsung hero of Motown.

“King Errisson joined Neil Diamond’s band in 1976, and has been a constant within the band on record and on tour ever since.

“King’s” favourite Neil Diamond song is ‘I Am ... I Said’, where he states it is a fabulously honest autobiographical song, he has no particular favourite style of music, where he says he likes to listen to all kinds of music, as long as it is good music.



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