Larry King, Sr. was just 64 years old when he passed away on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at his home. He was born on December 22, 1953 in Indianapolis Indiana to Herman and Juanita King who provided a Christian foundation and home for Larry. He accepted Christ as a child and was baptized at New Bethel Baptist Church. During his entire life he regularly attended Sunday School, weekly Bible Study and other church sponsored activities, building on his foundation, increasing his faith and regularly practicing those skills he learned in Bible Study classes to minister to others. Through living in a Christian home, he learned and practiced regularly the Beatitude…”when I was sick, you visited me.” It was important to him that he motivate and recognize the needs of those who were ill or convalescing. Larry became a primary caregiver for his parents when he was needed and continued caring for others, as he could, during his entire life.
Larry was a founding member of Salt of the Earth Baptist Church. He served as a Trustee, Deacon and later Deacon Emeritus, and as Director of Music. When asked where he was playing, his response was “I’m jamming for Jesus every Sunday at Salt of the Earth Baptist Church. Come check me out!”
Larry was introduced to music during his Indianapolis Public School 26 education. Beginning, as was then traditional, he started his musical education by playing the song flute, progressed to the trombone and by high school had added the bass violin and bass guitar. He played with the orchestras and bands at IPS Schools 26, 69 and Shortridge High School. Larry found his love and vocation in music.
In 1969, the Steve Mason Trio was formed with Larry as the Bassist, James Payton, Drummer and Steve Mason, keyboards. A city wide band contest was held at Lafayette Square with the Steve Mason Trio winning the grand prize of a RCA recording contract and a concert appearance with Ramsey Lewis. Larry continued to play with many local bands such as East River Street, Billy Wooten, Myriad and others.
Professionally playing music of most genres for over fifty years, jazz was his favorite, right behind the Spinners catalogue!
He performed regularly as a member of the national touring bands for the O’Jays, The Spinners, Sister Sledge. He literally traveled the world, sharing his musical talent, meeting and maintaining lifelong friendships and relationships.
Larry had the opportunity to play the big arenas across the United States, Europe, South America and Caribbean Islands. He especially appreciated that he could truly say that he had performed at the Apollo Theatre in New York City. He also appeared on national television shows such as “Soul Train”, Midnight Special, Johnny Carson and a Grammy Award ceremony. He appeared on the first televised “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert as a member of the Spinners Band.
He loved to say that one of his favorite perks of playing professionally was hearing the voice informing him… “Mr. King, your limo is ready”.
Larry was fortunate to recognize that his music, his faith and his family and many friends were most important to him. He shared his humor and love with everyone he met.
He was the father of one son and the very proud grandfather of six grandchildren who are devoted to their “Gpaw”.
As most musicians, Larry found employment during the slow times, to include almost 20 years at the United States Postal Service and later as Brand Representative for various electronic marketing firms. His work as a Brand Representative also allowed him to enjoy his hobby of photography. You often saw Larry either with a Bass Guitar or a camera….or both.
For the past fifteen years, Larry managed his increasing health issues. Some of the challenges sometimes made his playing his bass difficult and painful, yet he continued to play whenever he could. The music made the pain worth it all and his talent was one he was convinced he needed to share for as long as he could.
On March 4, 2018, Larry received the call informing him, “Mr. King, your Heavenly Limo has arrived, your wings are ready and it is time for you to join the Angelic Band in Heaven.”
He leaves to mourn his son, Larry, JR (Stephanie), grandchildren, Alexis, Alexander, Mikaela, Elijah, Jordan and Jayden, brothers Mark (Gloria) and Herman King, sister Carol King, nephews Damon, Marcus, Michael, Mark, Eliot and Garrison King, nieces Keisha Brown, Kim Hall, Liz Tunstill and Marci Jones. Two aunts, Elmer Lucille Allen and Maude Lee King. He also has numerous cousins, great cousins, nieces and nephews, his Salt of the Earth and Musician Families to mourn his transition.