He didn’t just play the guitar—he attacked it.
His authoritative presence and vigorous showmanship earned him the nickname the “Texas Cannonball.” His heavy-handed licks can still be heard today in the playing of Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, all King acolytes.
Members of ZZ Top Induct Freddie KingBilly Gibbons and Dusty Hill of ZZ Top Induct Freddie King at the 2012 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Members of ZZ Top Induct Freddie King00:03:01
Daughter of Freddie King Acceptance Speech00:04:46
Hall of Fame Essay
Blues innovator Freddie King sang like a lion and struck his guitar’s strings with rattlesnake intensity. Those talents, along with his compositional brilliance, took King to the pinnacle of success in the blues world of the sixties and seventies.
Thanks to his ingenious gift for hooks and melodies, his 1961 instrumental hits, “Hide Away” and “San-Ho-Zay,” shattered the race-music barrier and crashed the pop charts. Kings songs, like his 1960 Federal Records single “You’ve Got to Love Her With a Feeling,” backed with “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” carry an emotional charge that still showers sparks across the decades.
the "Texas Cannonball."
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