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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Friday, August 5, 2011

As the Years Go Passing By - Albert King


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.
One of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with B. B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6' 4" (192 cm) (some reports say 6' 7") and weighed 250 lbs (118 kg) and was known as "The Velvet Bulldozer". He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi, also the birthplace of B.B. King. Although the two were not related, Albert occasionally referred to himself as "B.B. King's half brother". During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church where his father played the guitar. One of 13 children, King grew up picking cotton on plantations near Forrest City, Arkansas, where the family moved when he was eight.

He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas. Moving north to Gary, Indiana and later St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed's band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also, interestingly enough, Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named "Lucy". King earned his nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer" during this period as he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living.
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