Freddie King Photography

Freddie King

Freddie King was born on a farm near Gilmer, Texas, where he learned how to play guitar as a child. At 16, his family moved to Chicago, where Freddie spent his nights listening to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf perform and developing his own signature style—an innovative mix of Texas acoustic and Chicago electric blues.

In the ’50s and early ’60s, he became a blues legend, releasing classics such as “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” and “I’m Tore Down,” plus instrumentals “San-Ho-Zay” and “Hide Away.” Like many blues artists of his era, the energetic King had a great impact on the “younger generation” of blues disciples, including Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Mick Taylor, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

King’s formidable six-feet-plus, 250-pound frame earned him the nickname the “Texas Cannonball,” but two decades of near-constant touring took its toll, and he tragically passed away at the age of 42. King is ranked 15th in Rolling Stone magazine′s “100 Greatest Guitarists” list, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.

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