Albert King Photography

Albert King

Albert King came from humble cotton picking/family gospel group beginnings, but eventually achieved a seminal blues career like few others. The Mississippi-born “Velvet Bulldozer” possessed a commanding presence, no doubt, but also an ultra-smooth voice to sway the ladies, alongside unparalleled guitar-playing abilities.

Though his recording career was fairly fertile from the early 1960s until the mid-’80s (most notably for the Stax Records label), he was arguably best known for his 1967 classics “Born Under a Bad Sign” and “Crosscut Saw.” These signature hits helped earn this legend his “Three Kings of Blues Guitar” honorific, shared only with fellow icons B.B. and Freddie.

From then until well after his 1992 passing, King’s influence is apparent on everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan on down. His belated Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2013 featured veteran King sideman Booker T. Jones with relative newcomers John Mayer and Gary Clark Jr. re-introducing America to one of its earliest blues guitar heroes.

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