Vintage Video: Saluting Freddie King on the 40th Anniversary of His Death

by VVN Music

On this day in 1976, the world lost one of the great bluesmen when Freddie King died at the young age of 42.

King moved to Chicago while still a teen, working in the steel mills by day while going to the blues clubs at night. Eventually working as a sideman with a number of Chicago's greatest blues artists, he would enter the studio in 1956 to record his first record, Country Boy, with Margaret Whitfield.

After numerous rejections from Chess Records, King began gaining popularity in the west side clubs in Chicago and got to know Sonny Thompson of King Records. In 1960, he was signed to King's subsidiary, Federal Records, and recorded his debut single Have You Ever Loved a Woman. The next year, he would release his best selling hit, Hide Away, which went to number 5 on the R&B chart.

Over the years, King recorded for Federal, Cotillion, Shelter and RSO Records and toured the world as a sideman and as a solo artist. His nearly constant time on the road led to a great deal of stress and he developed stomach ulcers in the mid-70's. On December 28, 1976, King died from complications of the ulcers and acute pancreatitis at the age of 42.

Since his passing, King has been honored with induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2012) and was named the 15th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone.

Here are a few examples of Freddie's amazing talent that was taken from us far too soon.

The top ten singles on December 28, 1976:
  1. Tonight's The Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart
  2. You Don't Have to Be a Star (to Be In My Show) - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
  3. The Rubberband Man - The Spinners
  4. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer
  5. More Than a Feeling - Boston
  6. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word - Elton John
  7. I Wish - Stevie Wonder
  8. Dazz - Brick
  9. Car Wash - Rose Royce
  10. After the Lovin' - Engelbert Humperdinck
The top ten albums:
  1. Songs in the Key of Life - Stevie Wonder
  2. A Night on the Town - Rod Stewart
  3. Boston - Boston
  4. Hotel California - Eagles
  5. Pretender - Jackson Browne
  6. A New World Record - Electric Light Orchestra
  7. Wings Over America - Paul McCartney & Wings
  8. Best of the Doobies - Doobie Brothers
  9. Frampton Comes Alive - Peter Frampton
  10. Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band

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