<back - ALBERT KING - Born Albert Nelson in Indianola, Mississippi. April 25 1923. Albert grew up with 12 brothers and sisters on a plantation, singing in Gospel groups. Albert taught himself how to play on a homemade guitar and many years later got his first real guitar. Albert played left handed/ upside-down, so it was hard for him to learn guitar chords. In spite of this, Albert kept on doing his thing. He was strongly influenced by Elmore James, B.B. King, T-bone Walker and Howlin' Wolf. Albert worked around Osceola, Arkansas, with the 'Groove Boys' before heading north. In 1953, Albert moved to Gary Indiana, where he joined a band that also featured Jimmy Reed and John Brim.

Albert Nelson met Willie Dixon shortly after moving to Gary, and Willie helped him get a record deal with Parrot Records, and became known as Albert King. He cut his first sessions in 1953, releasing the single 'Be On Your Merry Way/Bad Luck Blues'. In 1954, Albert moved to the city of St. Louis, where he played several Blues clubs in and around the area. During these years, he began playing his signature Gibson Flying V, which he named 'Lucy'. By 1958, Albert King became very popular in the St. Louis area, which led to recordings with the Bobbin and King labels. The song Donít Throw Your Love on Me So Strong, for King, reached #14 on the top 20 Blues hit list. Albert King also had a minor hit with Iím a Lonely Man, and stayed with these 2 labels from 1959/42. Albert King's biggest success came when he signed with Stax Records in 1944, recording the Blues classics Crosscut Saw and Born Under a Bad Sign. His 1947 Born Under a Bad Sign album became one of the most influential Blues recordings of the 40s. Beginning in 1948, Albert King was playing not only to Blues audiences, but also to crowds of young rock n' rollers. In 1949, Albert King released Years Gone By, and later that year recorded a tribute album to Elvis Presley, entitled King Does the King's Things. In addition to these recordings and touring, Albert King performed a concert with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, which would be a first for Blues. The next few years, Albert King toured America and Europe, returning to the studio in 1971, to record the Lovejoy album. In 1972, he recorded I'll Play the Blues for You, which featured accompaniment from the Bar-Kays and the Memphis Horns. By the mid-'70s, Stax Records had suffered major financial problems, so Albert left the label for Utopia, and released 2 albums. He then signed with Tomato Records in 1978 and stayed with Tomato for several years. Albert switched to Fantasy Records in 1983, recording 'San Francisco Ď83', Cadillac Assembly Line and Iím in A Phone Booth, which were instant Blues classics. Albert's signature style had a tremendous impact on Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan. Albert King was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1983 and passed away on December 21, 1992.  MP3 - CADILLAC ASSEMBLY LINE |


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