Albert King (1923-1992)
The Left-Handed King of the Blues
Born in Indianola, MS, April 25, 1923 but raised in Forrest City, AR, Albert
King (born Albert Nelson) taught himself how to play guitar when he was a child,
building his own instrument out of a cigar box. Bluesman Albert King was one
of the premier electric guitar stylists of the post-World War II period. By
playing left-handed and holding his guitar upside-down (with the strings set
for a right-handed player). At first, Albert King played
with gospel groups - most notably the Harmony Kings - but after hearing
Blind Lemon Jefferson,
and several other blues musicians, Albert King solely played the blues. He was
strongly influenced by
T-Bone Walker and
In 1950, he met MC Reeder, who owned the T-99 nightclub in Osceola, AR. Albert King
moved to Osceola shortly afterward, joining the T-99's house band, the
In the Groove Boys. The band played several local Arkansas gigs besides
the T-99, including several shows for a local radio station. At this time,
he adopted the name Albert King, which he assumed after
"Three O'Clock Blues" became a huge hit. In 1956, Albert King moved
to St. Louis, where he initially sat in with local bands. By the fall of 1956,
Albert King was headlining several clubs in the area. Albert King continued to
play the St. Louis circuit, honing his style. During these years, Albert King began
playing his signature Gibson Flying V, which he named Lucy. By 1958,
Albert King was quite popular in St. Louis, which led to a contract with the
Bobbin Records in the summer of 1959. Albert King left Bobbin in
late 1962 and recorded one session for King Records in the spring of 1963,
which were much more pop-oriented than his previous work. Albert King signed
with Stax Records in 1966. Albert King's records for Stax would bring him
stardom, both within blues and rock circles. All of his '60s Stax sides were
recorded with the label's house band, Booker T. & the MG's, which
gave his blues a sleek, soulful sound. That soul underpinning gave Albert King
crossover appeal, as evidenced by his R&B chart hits - Laundromat
Blues (1966) and Cross Cut Saw (1967) both went Top 40, while
Born Under a Bad Sign (1967) charted in the Top 50. Early in 1969,
Albert King recorded Years Gone By, his first true studio album.
Albert King performed a concert with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and for
the next few years, Albert King toured America and Europe, returning to the
studio in 1971, to record the Lovejoy album. By the mid-'70s Albert
King signed by Utopia, Tomato Records and Fantasy in 1983.
Albert King continued to regularly play concerts and festivals throughout
America and Europe for the rest of the decade. Albert King was truly a "King
of the Blues". Along with
B.B. King and
Albert King is one of the major influences on blues and rock guitar players.
Without him, modern guitar music would not sound as it does - Albert King's
style has influenced both black and white blues players from
Otis Rush and
to Eric Clapton and
Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Albert King continued to perform until his sudden death in 1992, when Albert
King suffered a fatal heart attack on December 21.
Where is Albert King's official website?
Please email us!
Visit also these related Sites:
Albert King Tribute Pages
Albert King Tribute Band - from Argentina - for the Albert King Memory.
Albert King tribute page at myspace.com.
Albert King tribute page at myspace.com.
Biographical Information on Albert King
Albert King biography and discography by Patrick Montier.
Albert King biography by Daniel Erlewine and Stephen Thomas Erlewine.
Albert King biography by Tommy Jansson.
Albert King biography at wikipedia.org.
Albert King biography by Greg Johnson.
Albert King biography by Larry Heyl.
Albert King biography at livinblues.com.
Various Articles on Albert King
Article at baddogblues.com.
Albert King Guitar Tabs
King Albert tabs and guitar lessons at 911tabs.com.
Reviews and Critiques of Albert King Live Performances and Recordings
Albert King / SRV In Session. Reviewed by George Bennett.
Overlooked Blues King. A CD-Review by John Nesbit. 10/26/2001.
Albert King Lyrics
Lyrics of ten Albert King songs.
Lyrics of 39 Albert King songs.
Lyrics of many Albert King songs.
Albert King Discographies
Biography and discography by Patrick Montier.
Albert King Photos
Albert King Photos. December 1992 at Kimball's East in Emeryville CA, at one of his last shows.
The last known photograph of Albert King. Photo by Tadg Galleran (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Albert King Audio Files
Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign. Runtime 05:29.
Albert King - You Threw Your Love On Me Too Strong. MP3 file, runtime 02:43.
Albert King - Travellin' Man. MP3 file, runtime 02:56.
Albert King Videos
The King. Runtime 05:23.
Albert King I'll Play the Blues for You. Runtime 03:54.
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