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Albert King

(1923—1992)


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b. Albert Nelson, 23 April 1923 (although three other dates have also been published), Indianola, Mississippi, USA, d. 21 December 1992, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Despite the fact that his work has been overshadowed by that of his regal namesake B.B. King, this exceptional performer was one of the finest in the entire blues/soul canon. King’s first solo recording, ‘Bad Luck Blues’, was released in 1953, but it was not until the end of the decade that he embarked on a full-time career. His early work fused his already distinctive fretwork to big band-influenced arrangements and included his first successful single, ‘Don’t Throw Your Love On Me Too Strong’. However, his style was not fully defined until 1966 when, signed to the Stax Records label, he began working with Booker T. And The MGs. This tightly knit quartet supplied the perfect rhythmic punch, a facet enhanced by a judicious use of horns. ‘Cold Feet’, which included wry references to several Stax stablemates, and ‘I Love Lucy’, a homage to King’s distinctive Gibson ‘Flying V’ guitar, stand among his finest recordings.

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From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


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