Albert King

Albert King ( born April 25, 1923 in Indianola, Mississippi, † December 21, 1992 in Memphis, Tennessee) was an American blues musicians and alongside BB King and Freddie King one of the " Three Kings of the electric blues ".


Albert King was born as one of 13 children under the name of Albert Nelson in Indianola. In the same region also BB King came in 1925 to the world. Albert King taught himself to play the guitar on home-built " guitars ", by embracing tried to play pieces by Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson.

It was not until 1942 he started to play on a real guitar. This he had strung left-handed as a right-handed guitar, so with the highest string above. During this period influenced him, especially Robert Nighthawk and Elmore James. During the 1940s he tried his luck as a musician in St. Louis. He later co-starred in Gary, Indiana with the renowned guitarist Jimmy Reed and John Brim, but as a drummer.

Starting the recording mode

He played his first recording for the label in Chicago a Parrot. 1953 appeared his first single with the pieces Bad Luck Blues and Be On Your Merry Way, which was indeed quite successful, but hardly earned him money so that he again returned to the vibrant blues scene in 1956 to St. Louis. His reputation was at that time already compare with that of Ike Turner and Little Milton Campbell. In St. Louis he bought his Gibson Flying V electric guitar, which he called "Lucy" and that was his trademark. In 1961, his single with Do not Throw Your Love On Me So Strong America -wide attention and reached # 14 in the rhythm and blues charts.

Musical breakthrough

After another local successes in Missouri and Chicago under the Coun - Tree label in 1966, he moved to Memphis and played in the emerging soul label Stax Records several successful singles one, including Laundromat Blues and 1967 cover versions by Crosscut Saw and Born Under a Bad Sign ( Tommy McClennan ). As an LP titled Born Under a Bad Sign appeared in 1967 a compilation of singles that also contained As The Years Go Passing By, and The Hunter. She became one of the most influential recordings of the Blue history with which the Blues for the first time also reached the white audience and Albert King himself from the simple dance halls and clubs in the bigger brought rock'n'roll venues.

On 1 February 1968 he played with Janis Joplin, John Mayall and Jimi Hendrix at the opening concert for the Fillmore West auditorium in San Francisco, which became his second home later. The captured shortly thereafter albums Live Wire - Blues Power ( Fillmore West) and Years Gone By were to the hitherto best-selling blues records.

From the 1970s he toured among other things, with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as a 87 -piece band through the world, but could not connect to his success in the 1960s. Despite the fairly successful album again San Francisco '83 he had in the mid- 1980s, only sporadic guest appearances on albums aspiring blues musicians such as Chris Cain ( Cuttin ' Loose ) and Gary Moore ( Still Got The Blues ). In blues festivals around the world, however, he appeared as before, and gave his last concert on December 19, 1992 in Los Angeles.


Two days after his concert on December 19, 1992, he died of a heart attack just before a planned major European tour. He found on the Paradise Gardens Cemetery in Edmondson, Arkansas his final resting, lying near the place where he spent his childhood.

Albert King was a great man of 1.93 m, well 120 kg, which was regarded as capricious in his younger years and was well known that he always wore a .45 in the waistband.


Albert King has influenced several generations of notable musicians, including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan ( who called him " Daddy" ) and Robert Cray. He was a favorite of guitarist John Lee Hooker, and BB King wrote in his autobiography: ". He was not my brother in blood, but he sure was my brother in Blues" Albert King was in 1983 in the Blues Hall of Fame Blues Foundation recorded.

Charts (selection)


Guest appearances (selection)

  • Stevie Ray Vaughan: Solos, Sessions & Encores
  • Booker T. & The MG's: Time is Tight
  • Gary Moore: Still Got The Blues
  • Elvis Crespo: Urbano
  • Chris Cain: Cuttin ' Loose
  • Oscar Peterson: This Is Oscar Peterson
  • The Doors Live in Vancouver 1970


  • 2010 - Albert King / Stevie Ray Vaughan: In Session
  • 2004 - Albert King - Live In Sweden
  • 2004 - Albert King - Guitar Signature Licks (2004)