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 played 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 fingerpick. He learned this technique from Jimmy Rogers.
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.
In 2003, Freddie King was placed by Rolling Stone magazine in the 25th place in the list of top 100 guitarists of all time throughout his career, King favored Fender amps and used a number of different models, including the Fender Super Reverb and the Fender Dual Showman. Arguably though, the amp with which King is best associated is the Fender Quad Reverb, which he used for much of his career.