The name Joe King comes up only a few times in jazz, coincidentally involving exclusively players of the trombone. A later trombonist credited with a couple of sessions during the hippie era made use of the nickname "tailgate", descriptive of the instrument itself. An earlier tailgater named Joe King performed and recorded with the fine \classic blues] vocalist Ethel Waters, among others.
King may have reigned over several instrument families, acquiring credits not only on trombone but on clarinet and tenor and soprano saxophone. This information is in reference to early Waters sessions in the '20s, however, and may result from someone not writing a name down. Columbia's Tribute to Black Entertainers compilation provides a
hearty portrait of this studio scene, King in fine fettle on Waters' portrait of "Dinah".