Freddie King (born September 3, 1934, in Gilmer, died December 28, 1976, in Dallas) is an American blues musician.
Like many other bluesmen of his time, he began his career in Chicago. He plays in the groups of Little Sonny Cooper and Hound Dog Taylor. Probably under the influence of Taylor, he developed his specific style of playing blues on an electric guitar.
King’s best-known songs are recorded in the early 1960s. “Hide Away” and “Have You Ever Loved a Woman?”. As well as the Burglar album released in 1974. “Hide Away”. This title derives from the name of the popular Chicago bar. The song was repeatedly recorded and performed, including by Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Jeff Healey.
The guitarist died of a heart attack in 1976 during a concert tour, which he played with Clapton, only three days after his last concert.
Playing style and technique
King was characterized by a specific style of playing the guitar, using a plastic thumb pick and a metal index-finger pick. He learned this technique from Jimmy Rogers. King’s guitar playing was rooted in the Texas blues tradition, with influences from blues greats like T-Bone Walker and B.B. King. He was a master of the electric guitar, and his style was characterized by his fluid and electrifying solos, bold and forceful strumming, and his use of intricate and soulful bends and vibrato. King’s playing was integral to the development of the Chicago blues sound and had a major influence on countless guitarists who followed in his footsteps. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest blues guitarists of all time.
King has had a great impact on the work of blues-rock musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ronnie Earl, Peter Green and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
In 1993, the then Governor of Texas announced September 3 as the day of Freddie King. Only such legends as Bob Wills and Buddy Holly experienced such an honor.