The great songwriting team of Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller wrote “Kansas City” in 1952 but Little Willie Littlefield released it under the title “K.C. Lovin.” The song then disappeared for seven years.
The song was ressurrected in 1959, when six different artists released singles of the song within a two week period. Little Richard, Rocky Olson, and Hank Ballad & The Midnighters all reached the BILLBOARD Hot 100 with their versions.
It was Wilbert Harrison, however, that released the definitive version of the song and one of the classic rock songs of the 1950’s. He changed the title back to the original and played virtually every instrument himself.
It entered the Hot 100 at number 100 and became the fist song in that position to go all the way to number one. It reached the top of the charts May 18, 1959, and remained there for two weeks. It would be 10 years before he reached the Hot 100 again.