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» Freddie King

Freddie King
Born: September 3, 1934 in Gilmer, Te
Died: December 28, 1976 in Dallas, Te
Active: '50s, '60s, '70s Major
Styles: Electric Texas Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Regional Blues
Instrument: Guitar Representative
Albums: "The Very Best of Freddy King, Vol. 1", "Hide
Away: The Best of Freddy King", "The Complete King Federal Singles" Representative
Songs: "Hide Away", "Going Down", "I'm Tore Down"

UPC Type Title
011671301495 DVD Beat-1966
4995879081761 (i) CD Best Blues Masters (Best of Live)
724352724529 CD Best of the Shelter Years
029667145428 (i) CD Blues Guitar Hero: The Influential Early Sessions
5413992503186 CD Blues Is Rising
030206191622 CD Blues Live!
090771536518 Vinyl Bonanza of Instrumentals
042283181526 CD Burglar
5017261201379 (i) CD Burglar
848064001140 CD Freddie King: Complete King Federal Singles
829421900405 CD Freddie King Is a Blues Master-the Delux
091377072226 CD Freddie King Sings
796279089548 DVD Freddie King in Concert-Dallas Texas January 20 19
029667186124 (i) CD Freddy King: Vol. 2-Blues Guitar Hero
724385386626 CD Getting Ready
011671302898 DVD In Concert Dallas Texas Jan. 20th 1973
091377072127 CD Just Pickin'
799582090027 CD Key to the Highway
5017261205933 (i) CD Larger Than Life
799582080028 CD Let the Good Times Roll
090771536419 Vinyl Let's Hide Away & Dance Away with Fred
826663976427 CD Live at the Electric Ballroom 1974
011671307299 DVD Live at the Sugarbowl
4943674126996 (i) CD My Feeling for the Blues
090431116821 CD Only the Best of Freddy King
012676077729 CD Sing Along Dance Along
731455288728 (i) CD Stayin Home with the Blues
4000127169792 (i) CD Taking Care of Business: Box Set
011671304199 DVD Texas Blues Guitar
724385386725 CD Texas Cannonball
753088891311 Vinyl Texas Cannonball
4000127167781 (i) CD Texas Flyer 1974-1976
708535006961 CD Texas in My Blues
805772619029 (i) CD Texas in My Blues
894231362729 CD That's What You Think/Country Boy
731452090928 CD Ultimate Collection
090431282427 CD Vol. 1-Very Best of Freddie King
090431282526 CD Vol. 2-Very Best of Freddie King
090431282625 CD Vol. 3-Very Best of Freddie King

Biography: Guitarist Freddie King rode to fame in the early '60s with a spate of catchy instrumentals which became instant bandstand fodder for fellow bluesmen and white rock bands alike. Employing a more down-home (thumb and finger picks) approach to the B.B. King single-string style of playing, King enjoyed success on a variety of different record labels. Furthermore, he was one of the first bluesmen to employ a racially integrated group on-stage behind him. Influenced by Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, and Robert Jr. Lockwood, King went on to influence the likes of Eric Clapton, Mick Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Lonnie Mack, among many others.

Freddie King (who was originally billed as "Freddy" early in his career) was born and raised in Gilmer, TX, where he learned how to play guitar as a child; his mother and uncle taught him the instrument. Initially, King played rural acoustic blues, in the vein of Lightin' Hopkins. By the time he was a teenager, he had grown to love the rough, electrified sounds of Chicago blues. In 1950, when he was 16 years old, his family moved to Chicago, where he began frequenting local blues clubs, listening to musicians like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Little Walter, and Eddie Taylor. Soon, the young guitarist formed his own band, the Every Hour Blues Boys, and was performing himself.

In the mid-'50s, King began playing on sessions for Parrott and Chess Records, as well as playing with Earlee Payton's Blues Cats and the Little Sonny Cooper Band. Freddie King didn't cut his own record until 1957, when he recorded "Country Boy" for the small independent label El-Bee. The single failed to gain much attention.

Three years later, King signed with Federal Records, a subsidiary of King Records, and recorded his first single for the label, "You've Got to Love Her With a Feeling," in August of 1960. The single appeared the following month and became a minor hit, scraping the bottom of the pop charts in early 1961. "You've Got to Love Her With Feeling" was followed by "Hide Away," the song that would become Freddie King's signature tune and most influential recording. "Hide Away" was adapted by King and Magic Sam from a Hound Dog Taylor instrumental and named after one of the most popular bars in Chicago. The single was released as the B-side of "I Love the Woman" (his singles featured a vocal A-side and an instrumental B-side) in the fall of 1961 and it became a major hit, reaching number five on the R&B charts and number 29 on the pop charts. Throughout the '60s, "Hide Away" was one of the necessary songs blues and rock & roll bar bands across America and England had to play during their gigs.

King's first album, Freddy King Sings, appeared in 1961, and it was followed later that year by Let's Hide Away and Dance Away With Freddy King: Strictly Instrumental. Throughout 1961, he turned out a series of instrumentals -- including "San-Ho-Zay," "The Stumble," and "I'm Tore Down" -- which became blues classics; everyone from Magic Sam and Stevie Ray Vaughan to Dave Edmunds and Peter Green covered King's material. "Lonesome Whistle Blues," "San-Ho-Zay," and "I'm Tore Down" all became Top Ten R&B hits that year.

Freddie King continued to record for King Records until 1968, with a second instrumental album (Freddy King Gives You a Bonanza of Instrumentals) appearing in 1965, although none of his singles became hits. Nevertheless, his influence was heard throughout blues and rock guitarists throughout the '60s -- Eric Clapton made "Hide Away" his showcase number in 1965. King signed with Atlantic/Cotillion in late 1968, releasing Freddie King Is a Blues Masters the following year and My Feeling for the Blues in 1970; both collections were produced by King Curtis. After their release, Freddie King and Atlantic/Cotillion parted ways.

King landed a new record contract with Leon Russell's Shelter Records early in 1970. King recorded three albums for Shelter in the early '70s, all of which sold well. In addition to respectable sales, his concerts were also quite popular with both blues and rock audiences. In 1974, he signed a contract with RSO Records -- which was also Eric Clapton's record label -- and he released Burglar, which was produced and recorded with Clapton. Following the release of Burglar, King toured America, Europe, and Australia. In 1975, he released his second RSO album, Larger Than Life.

Throughout 1976, Freddie King toured America, even though his health was beginning to decline. On December 29, 1976, King died of heart failure. Although his passing was premature -- he was only 42 years old -- Freddie King's influence could still be heard in blues and rock guitarists decades after his death. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine & Cub Koda, Rovi