Cranbrook-based musician Ed King has been honoured with another award.
The gospel artist was a recent recipient of the Country Gospel Music Association’s International Full-Time Male Vocalist of the Year, which was announced on Saturday at a ceremony in Branson, Missouri.
King, who has called the Key City home since 1979, was up against four other musicians from across North America for the honour.
“This has been home but I’ve been away from here a lot. I’ve been in the music business forever, it seems to me,” said King, in an interview with the Daily Townsman.
Last year, King picked up an international Golden Heart award for International Male Entertainer of the Year, along with Male Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year at the Canadian Silver Heart Awards.
King has had a career spanning decades in country and gospel music. In fact, he’s still getting royalties from his album The Dream, which was released in 1971.
He spent much of his career touring up and down the west coast and interior regions of the U.S. and Canada
For 20 years he played in a four-piece band called King Kounty that featured a female lead singer.
He built a cabaret in 100-Mile House and used it as a jumping-off point to tour in Alaska.
In 2008, he was inducted into the B.C. Country Music Hall of Fame.
Music is a family affair as his sons Lance and Jay have become accomplished musicians, and his grandson, Connor is also looking to go somewhere with his talent.
“[I’m ]Trying to get to the point where I’m retired and let guys like Connor get out and do that stuff, but it’s one of them things where if you’ve been in the music business as long as I have, you never really retire,” King said.
“But I’ve slowed down to the point where I only do the things I want to do.”
Those things include working with a Saskatchewan-based artist named Penny Buhr Johnson, who came to Cranbrook last winter for some shows with King.
“I had her here last Christmas, the week before Christmas I had her here, we did some stuff at the mall, we did a thing at Arbys and a thing at the Salvation Army. We were busy for a few days,” King said. “She’s legally blind, but she’s an awesome musician. I’ve never played with anybody as good as her.”
King is also working on organizing a gospel music convention next June, which will be hosted by Four Square Church.