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Freddie King



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
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   Pack It Up featuring Bobby Tench
  3.   Going Down
  4.   Key to the Highway
  5.   Dust My Broom
  6.   Woman Across the River
  7.   Have You Ever Loved a Woman
  8.   Let the Good Times Roll
  9.   Hide Away
  10.   Sweet Home Chicago
  11.   Get out of My Life Woman
  12.   Stormy Monday
  13.   That's All Right
  14.   Living on the Highway
  15.   Pulp Wood featuring Bobby Tench
  16.   Tore Down
  17.   The Things I Used to Do
  18.   Sugar Sweet
  19.   Palace of the King
  20.   Today I Sing the Blues
  21.   Mojo Boogie
  22.   Big Leg Woman (With a Short Short Mini Skirt)
  23.   The Stumble
  24.   You Don't Have to Go
  25.   I Hear Jingle Bells
  26.   Same Old Blues
  27.   Walking by Myself
  28.   Five Long Years
  29.   Look On Yonder Wall
  30.   Me and My Guitar
  31.   Ain't No Sunshine
  32.   I'm Tore Down
  33.   Rock Me Baby
  34.   Hot Tomato
  35.   Reconsider Baby
  36.   Play It Cool
  37.   Ain't Nobody's Business What We Do
  38.   You're the One
  39.   Woke Up This Morning
  40.   Signals of Love/TV Mama
  41.   Only Getting Second Best
  42.   Let Me Down Easy
  43.   I'd Rather Be Blind
  44.   I Had a Dream
  45.   I Don't Know
  46.   How Many More Years
  47.   Hide Away Medley
  48.   Funky
  49.   Blue Shadows
  50.   Medley: Signals of Love/TV Mama
  51.   Boogie Chillun
  52.   Wide Open
  53.   What'd I Say
  54.   The Sky Is Crying
  55.   Texas Flyer
  56.   Sweet Thing
  57.   She's a Burglar
  58.   Please Accept My Love
  59.   My Feeling for the Blues
  60.   My Credit Didn't Go Through
  61.   Living in the Palace of the King
  62.   It's Too Late, She's Gone
  63.   I Wonder Why
  64.   I Got the Same Old Blues
  65.   Ain't Nobody's Business
  66.   That Will Never Do
  67.   Christmas Tears
  68.   Help Me Through the Day
  69.   San-Ho-Zay
  70.   I'm Ready
  71.   Trouble in Mind
  72.   I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
  73.   Worried Life Blues
  74.   Messin' With the Kid
  75.   Lowdown in Lodi
  76.   Leave My Woman Alone
  77.   Just a Little Bit
  78.   Danger Zone
  79.   Heads Up
  80.   Just Pickin'
  81.   Side Tracked
  82.   Hideaway Bad Company
  83.   The Things That I Used To Do
  84.   Country Boy
  85.   The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist
  86.   Strakke Plan
  87.   Automatische Wapen
  88.   Going Down, Pt. 1
  89.   Kings Thing
  90.   If You Belive Me
  91.   Lawdy Mama
  92.   Sen-Say-Shun
  93.   Instrumental
  94.   Shuffle
  95.   The Moon Is Rising
  96.   Your Move
  97.   You've Got to Love Her With a Feeling
  98.   You're So Good Looking
  99.   You Were Wrong
  100.   You Was Wrong
  101.   You Mean Mean Woman (How Can Your Love Be True)
  102.   You Know That You Love Me (But You Never Tell Me So)
  103.   Whole Lotta Lovin'
  104.   What About Love
  105.   We're Gonna Boogie
  106.   Wash Out
  107.   Takin' Care of Business
  108.   Swooshy
  109.   Sweet Little Angel
  110.   Something You Got
  111.   Someday After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)
  112.   Sittin' on the Boat Dock
  113.   Shake Your Booty Baby
  114.   Sen-Sa-Shun
  115.   See See Baby
  116.   Redconsider Baby
  117.   Red Light, Green Light
  118.   Please Send Me Someone to Love
  119.   Over Drive
  120.   Out Front
  121.   Onion Rings
  122.   Meet Me in the Morning
  123.   Low Tide
  124.   Love Her With a Feeling
  125.   Lonesome Whistle Blues
  126.   Let Me Be (Stay Away from Me)
  127.   It's Your Move
  128.   It's Easy Child
  129.   It Hurts to Be in Love
  130.   It Hurts Me Too
  131.   Introduction
  132.   Interview
  133.   In the Open
  134.   If You Believe (In What You Do)
  135.   I'm on My Way to Atlanta
  136.   I Love the Woman
  137.   I Just Want to Make Love to You
  138.   Hey Baby
  139.   Guitar Boogie
  140.   Guitar Blues
  141.   Gimme Some Lovin'
  142.   Funnybone
  143.   Feelin' Alright
  144.   Do the President Twist
  145.   Come On
  146.   Can't Trust Your Neighbor
  147.   Butterscotch
  148.   Boogie on Down
  149.   Boogie Man
  150.   Boogie Funk
  151.   Boogie Bump
  152.   Ain't That I Don't Love You
  153.   Ain't No Big Deal on You
  154.   Ain't Gonna Worry Anymore
  155.   (Let Your Love) Watch Over Me
  156.   That's What You Think
  157.   You Can't Hide
  158.   Feelin' Good (I Wanna Boogie)
  159.   I Love That Woman
  160.   It's Better to Have (And Don't Need)
  161.   56th and Wichita
  162.   Instrumental II
  163.   It's Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough)
  164.   You Can Run But You Can't Hide
  165.   Someday Baby
  166.   Texas Oil
  167.   Going Down, Pt. 2
  168.   See The Rider
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