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RUDY KING - the Man who introduced Steelpan to America in an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks (11-11-02)

An interview with the late Rudy King

Rudy King at WST studios

The year was 1949, and the music scene in America would never be the same. That is the year that Rudy King, aka 'Rock' and 'Rudolph Carter' - (to those who knew him as a young boy/man in his native Trinidad) came to America, bringing with him the knowledge of manufacturing and playing the instrument now known worldwide as the Steelpan.


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I am very thankful for you posting this interview with Rudy. It took me back to those good ole days in Brooklyn. I will probably be reminiscing for the remainder of the weekend. Thank you for the memories.
Geddes, I just read this Interview and saw your name .  I have lived in Texas for the past 22years. retired 10 years ago.    My Email   is   Charles.a@sbcglobal.net        972 390 8843    Plano, Texaz
Very informative interview...

I was fortunate to know Rugy King.  Carl Dayra. , Break Nose Carl, Conrod Maugae, Carlos Lezama( thes guys are all deaceased. I played the Tennor Pan on  the road in Harlem ,it was called" West Indian Day "Parade in 1958,Dances at the Rockland Palace, Renisance,  Dances at the Sona Ballrom in Brooklyn , I believe on Bedford Ave. I was never a member of Rudy King's Steel Band. I came with my parents to New york in October of 1956.

   I have been retired for 10 years after working as a support Tech in Electronic Technology for 44years.

     I presently live in Plano, Texas. Sincerely Charles Assevero, Ph#   972 390 8843  Regards to Rudy K

I was raised to the age of  18 years old in Belmont.   I enjoyed the Interview.

It was through a very good friend that I was lucky to meet Rudy King. Ossie Johnson from Guyana was that friend. He told me that he, (Corbeau)Jack, and Rudy was forming a group and he wanted me to be a part of that group. I jumped at the idea because I heard so much about Jack through the years and I wanted to meet him and hear him play. I was not at all disappointed. Jack is a prolific, exceptionally talented and extremely gifted panist. In the whole group I was the least talented, and when the group dissolved I felt sorry I couldn't be around Jack much longer to learn from him.

However, I can also speak of Rudy in the superlative. It is a joy to sit and listen to Rudy speak of his past days around pan. He could give you a history lesson about pan. Pan was a part of his soul. In addition he was an accomplished drummer. He played the drums in our group.

Rudy would stop what he was doing to help a friend who needed help. I know because he was there to help me numerous times when I asked him. I live in Seattle now and the last time I saw Rudy was about 10 years ago when I took my double tenor to Brooklyn to get it chromed. He had it chromed, and had Mikey tune it for me. That day when I went to pick up the pan, little did I know that that was the last time I would see Rudy and Mikey alive.

If there is pan in heaven, then I know where to find Rudy and Mikey when I cross the valley.


Thank you for this posting. I've never met Rudy but I see Rudy in so many of the True Pan People I'm fortunate to have met and had similar discussions. Rudy is on point with Associations run by band owners. It does not work, as he so rightly said every man for himself. I like his honesty and frankness. Rudy wherever you play on. One Love.

Music credit to Panman "Pat" McNeily and friends.


well here is a story about Rudy king that you guys dont know.in 1957 a group from Montreal Canada called KING CARIBE AND THE STEEL BANDITS ( KEN DUVAL--ALAN DEMONTBRUN--EDDY EDGHILL--DAVID DECASTRO)with 1-first pan-1-guitar pan-and 1- 4 note bass-and maracas was booked at the Apollo theater under the heading STEEL BAND CLASH.

THE STEEL BANDITS AGAINST RUDY KING STEELBAND (he had about 10 guys) the night of the show when we saw that side we wanted to run away--too late he went on first and played a classical piece which the Apollo crowd did not understand or liked we played celito lindo (aye-aye-aye Spanish jumpy piece)the crowd clapped and loved us. Rudy king and his boys were not happy. we made it up with with a bottle of vat 19 instead of a good cut ass.WHAT A NIGHT THAT WAS.HARRY BELAFONTE AND SIDNEY POTIER was in the audience came backstage to meet all of us.



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