Albert King / April 25, 1923 - Dec 21, 1992

Happy birthday to the great and influential bluesman Albert King, one of my all time favorites. I saw him play back in the '80s when I was a kid and it left a HUGE impression on me. A major guitar figure (who was a left-hander playing "backwards") and an excellent singer, he was born in the Mississippi Delta area. His first professional gigs were in Arkansas and he eventually moved North. Some of his earliest recordings were as a drummer for Jimmy Reed.

He had limited success in the '50s in Chicago & St Louis but really found his fame after moving to Memphis in '66, especially with the monster "Born Under A Bad Sign" (backed by Booker T & the MGs). Combined with a host of other great cuts for Stax, such as "Crosscut Saw", the rap-sampled "Cold Feet", "Laundromat Blues", "I'll Play The Blues For You", "I Wanna Get Funky" and a great version of "Honky Tonk Woman", Albert was a great addition to the Stax roster.

After the label folded he made some records for the Utopia, Tomato & Fantasy labels and remained a popular live attraction on the festival circuit til his death. He joined many rock and blues superstars on stage and on recordings and his tunes were covered by many (check out the wicked Jimi Hendrix version of "Born Under A Bad Sign"!). His records hit the blues, R&B, funk, pop & rock spots, all while retaining his powerful string-bending.

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