Freddie King

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    ZZ Top
  • Category:
    Early Influences
Freddie King


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.

Hall of Fame Essay


Ted Drodowski

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.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2012
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2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Freddie King
the "Texas Cannonball."
ZZ Top