Albert King | Artist

Albert King | Artist

Tags: Era_1960s, Genre_Blues, Origin_USA, Type_Artist

Albert Nelson aka Albert King was an American blues guitarist and singer born 1923 in Indianola, Mississippi. King was one of the greatest American electric Blues guitarists whose playing influenced many other blues and rock artists. He was born on a cotton plantation, one of 13 children, and during childhood sang at church with a family gospel group in which his father played the guitar. He made his first guitar out of a cigar box and later bought a real guitar for $1.25 which, as a left-hander, he played upside down. He picked cotton, drove a bulldozer, worked in construction, and held other jobs until he was able to support himself as a musician. King began his professional work with a group called the Groove Boys in Arkansas. During this time he was exposed to the work of Delta blues artists, including Elmore James and Robert Nighthawk. In 1956 he moved to Brooklyn Illinois and became a popular attraction around the St. Louis nightclub scene alongside Ike Turner's Kings of Rhythm and Chuck Berry. King's big break came when he caught the attention of King Records which released the single "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong" in November 1961. It featured Ike Turner on piano and became King's first hit, peaking at #14 on the Billboard R&B Chart. The song was included on King's first album The Big Blues, a compilation of his early singles issued by King Records in 1962. King then moved to Memphis and signed with Stax Records who released the classic album Born Under a Bad Sign, a collection of the singles King recorded at Stax. The title track became King's best-known song and has been covered by such artists as Cream, Paul Rodgers, Jimi Hendrix and The Simpsons. King went on to release 19 studio albums and many fine live albums, up until his death in 1993. Standouts include The Big Blues, Born Under a Bad Sign, Live Wire/Blues Power, I'll Play the Blues For You, Years Gone By, I Wanna Get Funky, and the 1969 compilation, King of The Blues Guitar. Also recommended is the 1999 release Albert King With Stevie Ray Vaughan In Session. King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983, and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2011, he was ranked #13 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. King's trademark instrument was a 1958 Gibson Flying Vee.

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Featured Albums: Albert King

Related Artists: Booker T & the MG's, Ike & Tina Turner

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