Happy Birthday to "The Velvet Bulldozer" Albert King

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Albert King performing "Born Under a Bad Sign"

Known as one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”, Albert King‘s size was only outmatched by his talent and influence over countless other musicians.

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Born on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi in 1923, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Albert King[/lastfm] would buy his first guitar for $1.25 sometime in 1931. To make ends meat early in his career, King would find work as a bulldozer operator and mechanic before hitting the road to play local shows.

King released his first major hit in 1961 called “Don’t Throw Your Love on Me So Strong.” The track would peak at #14 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart. Several years later, he would release Live Wire/Blues Power, an album which would influence many guitar players, including [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Jimi Hendrix[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Eric Clapton[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Stevie Ray Vaughan[/lastfm]. [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]David Bowie[/lastfm] considered King a hero of his, and even copied a guitar solo of King‘s note-for-note on his song “Criminal World.”

Albert King performing “Born Under A Bad Sign “

Albert King died on December 21, 1992 from a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee. He would have been 69 years old.

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