According to the documentary History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, King had no intention of recording the song himself. King had written it for the Drifters, who passed on recording it. After the “Spanish Harlem” recording session in 1960, King had some studio time left over. The session’s producers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, asked if he had any more songs. King played it on the piano for them. They liked it and called the studio musicians back in to record it.
He is best known for writing the Millennium trilogy of crime novels, which were published posthumously, starting in 2005, after the author died suddenly of a heart attack. The trilogy was adapted as four motion pictures in Sweden and the U.S. (for the first book only).