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Albert King, Legendary Bluesman, Now Hall of Famer

Albert King

Along with B.B. King and Freddie King, the late Albert King was known as one of the three Kings of the Blues. Now he joins the rest of the ‘royal’ family in their rightful place: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Known as “The Velvet Bulldozer”, King was born Albert Nelson on a Mississippi cotton plantation in 1923. Like many of the Blues legends of the era, King grew up singing gospel in church with his family (he was one of 13 kids)

King was 30 before he cut his first record and almost 40 before he got his first taste of success, but the world caught on to what Albert was laying down once he landed at Stax Records and started recording with Booker T. and the MG’s.

Songs like Crosscut Saw, As The Years Go Passing By, and his biggest hit, Born Under A Bad Sign which has been covered by Cream, Pat Travers, Paul Rodgers, Jimi Hendrix and many more.

King started getting booked at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East and the influence and legacy he left behind is evident in the styles of Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson and Gary Moore.

He also influenced younger guitarists like Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers, to contemporaries like Otis Rush and Albert Collins, to Joe Walsh, who spoke at King’s funeral in 1992. Fitting with most Bluesmen who play for the love of the music rather than fame or money, King played his final concert just two days before the fatal heart attack took his life at 69.

You just know that Albert is strapping on his signature flying V tonight (4/18) and jamming with Stevie Ray, Gary Moore, Hendrix and all the other greats as the big man finally takes his rightful place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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