King Errisson was born on October 29, 1941 in Nassau, Bahamas where Afro Caribbean rhythms, goatskin drums, and Junkanoo are a prominent feature of the cultural landscape. It was only natural that the young Errisson would begin playing the bongos at a very early age and began playing professional gigs by the time he was 13 years old. He also worked as a jockey until he was 19 years old when he was offered the opportunity to perform at a night club in Boston. He returned to the Bahamas and teamed up with a limbo dancer and continued to perform on a regular basis.
Today, King is not only known as one of the greatest conga players in the world, but is also an accomplished songwriter and actor
King received his first big break at the age of 23 when his talent with the congas was prominently displayed in a memorable night club scene in the James Bond movie, Thunderball. He left Nassau for drama studies in Canada, formed a jazz band in New York City, and spent a year performing in a Bermuda club where he met Redd Foxx who invited King to appear at his place in Los Angeles. Sammy Davis Jr. asked King to appear on the Hollywood Palace, and Cannonball Adderly became his mentor in the recording studio.
As a session musician, King has worked with a very diverse group of artists representing a wide variety of musical styles. King has been praised as the unsung hero behind Motown by Ray Singleton in her book Berry, Me, and Motown as well as by Berry Gordy in his book To Be Loved for his work with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, the Jackson Five, and many others. He has also worked with Herb Alpert, John Klemmer, Doc Severinsen, Ringo Starr, Blood Sweat & Tears, Jim Stafford, Swamp Dogg, Barbra Streisand, David Cassidy, Bobby Darin, Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, OC Smith, Lou Rawles, Hodges James and Smith, Mickey Stevenson, Barry White and The Carpenters. He was a featured member of the Incredible Bongo Band and has been a member of Neil Diamonds touring band since 1976.
As a solo artist and composer, King is best known as a master of funky disco with lots of congas. His early albums are prized by breakbeat hounds. His more recent solo albums can be classified as jazz with a Caribbean flavor. His songs have appeared on albums by Neil Diamond, Eddie Kendricks, Flora Purim, The Temptations, and in the soundtrack of the movie, Ted and Venus.
As an actor, King has appeared in the movies Uptown Saturday Night (with Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier) and on television in Abe Vigodas Fish series and The Watcher, an anthology series set in Las Vegas. His film credits also include Tap with Gregory Hines and the 1980 remake of The Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond.
King also stars in a music video of the song Mountains of Love. He sings and dances in addition to playing the congas.