Tom King, Cleveland Rock Pioneer, Dies

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One of Cleveland’s key rock and roll pioneers, Tom King, died Saturday at the age of 68 in Wickliffe.

Tom King & the Starfires were one of a number of primarily instrumental combos that formed in the area in the late ’50s and early ’60s, and dominated the local club scene with their superlative chops. But they became better known as the Outsiders after signing a deal with Capitol Records in 1965 and changing their name to sound more contemporary in the post-British Invasion music scene. The Outsiders had a top 5 hit with “Time Won’t Let Me” in early 1966, a song co-written by King, and went on to release four albums for Capitol in less than three years.

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