April 25: The late Albert King was born in 1923


 “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.”
~”Born Under A Bad Sign”

Albert King is truly a “King of the Blues,” although he doesn’t hold that title (B.B. does). Along with B.B. and Freddie King, 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 — his style has influenced both black and white blues players from Otis Rush and Robert Cray to Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan — In Session (1h28m):

April 25: The late Albert King was born in 1923

albert king
Born Under A Bad Sign (live 1981):


Birth name Albert King Nelson
Born April 25, 1923
Indianola, Mississippi, United States
Died December 21, 1992 (aged 69)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Genres Blues
Occupations Songwriter, Musician, producer
Instruments Guitar, Drums, Vocals
Years active 1949–1992
Labels Stax Records, Parrot Records, Utopia Records

Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing. King was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 2013.



Blues Power Live 1970 Filmore:


In 1966, King moved to Memphis, where he signed with the Stax record label. Produced by Al Jackson, Jr., King with Booker T. & the MGs recorded dozens of influential sides, such as “Crosscut Saw” and “As The Years Go Passing By”. In 1967 Stax released the album, Born Under a Bad Sign, which was not technically a studio album, but a collection of all the singles King recorded at Stax. The title track of that album (written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell) became King’s best-known song and has been covered by many artists (from British rock group Cream, Paul Rodgers, Canadian guitarist Pat Travers, American rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix to cartoon character Homer Simpson). The production of the songs was sparse, clean, and maintained a traditional blues sound while also sounding fresh and thoroughly contemporary. Almost as important as King himself was the “menacing” bass of Donald Dunn, which at some points approached an early metal feel. Born Under A Bad Sign propelled Albert King to mainstream popularity at the comparatively late age of 44 and was one of the last albums recorded by an artist who’s career began before the rock-and-roll era to be truly innovative, predictive of future music trends, and influential on young musicians of the era.

Another landmark album followed with Live Wire/Blues Power, from one of many dates King played at promoter Bill Graham’s Fillmore venues. It had a wide and long-term influence on Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson, and later Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

albert king bb king eric clapton stevie ray


King influenced others such as Mick Taylor, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Mike Bloomfield and Joe Walsh (the James Gang guitarist spoke at King’s funeral). He also had an impact on contemporaries Albert Collins and Otis Rush. He was often cited by Stevie Ray Vaughan as having been his greatest influence. Clapton has said that his work on the 1967 Cream hit “Strange Brew” and throughout the album Disraeli Gears was inspired by King.

Playlist of the day:

Other APR-25:

  • Ella Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996), also known as the “First Lady of Song”, “Queen of Jazz”, and “Lady Ella”, was an American jazz vocalist with a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6). She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccablediction, phrasing and intonation, and a “horn-like” improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 59-year recording career, she sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.Ella Fitzgerald Copenhagen April 1970
  • Jerome “Jerry” Leiber (April 25, 1933 – August 22, 2011) and Mike Stoller (born March 13, 1933) were American songwriting and record producing partners. Stoller was the composer and Leiber the lyricist. Their most famous songs include “Hound Dog”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Don’t”, “Kansas City”, “Stand By Me” (with Ben E. King), and “On Broadway” (with Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil). Today, their songs are managed by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.jerry leiber
  • Dexter Gordon (February 27, 1923 – April 25, 1990) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and an Academy Award-nominated actor (Round Midnight, Warner Bros, 1986). He is regarded as one of the first and most important musicians to adapt the bebop musical language of people like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bud Powell to the tenor saxophone. His studio and live performance career were both extensive and multifaceted, spanning over 50 years in recorded jazz history.
  • Bob Dylan recorded master version of “Let Me Die In My Footsteps” @ Studio A – Columbia Recording Studios, NYC in 1962  – 50 years ago.

  • Let Me Die in My Footsteps is a song written by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan in February 1962. The song was selected for the original sequence of Dylan’s 1963 album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, but was replaced by “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall”. This version was recorded at Columbia studios on April 25, 1962, during the first Freewheelin’ session, and was subsequently released in March 1991 on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961-1991.
  • Derek William Dick, better known as Fish, (born 25 April 1958, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland) is a Scottish singer, lyricist and occasional actor, best known as the former lead singer of the neo-progressive rock band Marillion.fish

-Egil & Hallgeir