Freddie King

These clips come from a local Texas TV show called The Beat, I mean The !!!! Beat, which was hosted by the legendary WLAC (Nashville) disc jockey Bill “Hoss” Allen, and the house band was Gatemouth Brown and his band. I believe the year is 1966. I love everything about these clips, from Freddie’s shiny sharkskin suit (slightly too tight), to the big, greasy, conk on top his head. Notice that he didn’t use a pick, his thumb looks gigantic on the strings. Freddie King (born Freddie Christian on September 30, 1934 in Glimer, Texas, one of the many dates that Wikipedia gets wrong) started out playing drums, working with Smokey Smothers, John and Grace Brim and Jimmy Reed. He switched to guitar after cutting his first disc for the El Bee label in 1956 and became a fairly big star riding high on a string of instrumental hits on the Federal label– Hideaway (1960), San-Ho-Zay (1961), The Stumble (’61), etc. He later recorded for Atlantic’s Cotillion subsidiary and then Leon Russell’s Shelter Records where he recorded with Eric Clapton (who recorded King’s Hideaway while in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers). He died of a heart attack in 1976 at age 42.

Bear Family has many volumes of The !!!! Beat available on DVD, performers included Rosco Gordon, Otis Redding, The Mighty Hannibal, Etta James, Louis Jordan, Clarence “Frogman” Henry, and too many others to mention–playing live, not lip synching.

13 thoughts on “Freddie King”

  1. Thanks, Hound. Look closer, though, Freddy(ie) used metal thumb and finger picks for that killer touch. HOSS ALLEN was a great champion of R&B and withstood a lot of criticism for spinning black music in his day. he loved to drink, too. One more thing: white go-go boots rule!

  2. I love the last episode of the !!!! Beat where Hoss got so much more drunk than usual – because the show was canceled and this was the last one – that he couldn't even do the show. So Otis Redding was MC! The show was all Stax artists.(Check out how as he announces the guests for tonight, and they come out one by one on to the stage, they are greeted by Otis with a firm handshake, like Lou Gehrig greeting Joe D after a home run. No slap 5, gimme some skin or whatever hip folk did then)

  3. This show along with the Hossman was so great. The Louis Jordan episodes are my faves especially when he brings his own band with the great Chris Columbo on drums. Growing up near Cleveland we had a show similar to the Beat called The Ken Hawkins show. he was a black DJ from WJMO. All the R&B acts that blew thru town would appear on this show. Long live The !!!Beat.

  4. 5 Star Rating! Thanx so much for enlightening me to Hoss, I hadn't been aware of him. And those foxette dancers… WWOSERS! Freddie King always one of the greatest.

  5. usually clarence “gatemouth” brown lead the studio band with billy cox(of hendrix fame) and david “fathead” newman on bass and tenor sax.

  6. as an East Texas homeboy, Freddie was the best! he was from my part of the state and I got the opportunity to see him play. What memories.What is really interesting is the show's MC. Any kid growing up in the 60's and listening to those R&B songs on WLAC recognize the voice of the “Hossman” Hoss Allen. Thanks loads!

  7. ” Any kid growing up in the 60's and listening to those R&B songs on WLAC recognize the voice of the “Hossman” Hoss Allen.”I could often pick up WLAC at night in Florida where I grew up. I remember Hoss hosting a gospel show also, he played amazing records, some of which I'm still looking for….

  8. Love the way Freddy strapped it on the right shoulder, but his best recordings were back when he played the goldtop. One of the best shows I ever saw: Freddy King opening for Patti Smith at My Father's Place back in like '76?

Spit it out, partner...

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