It's 1966. A young, chubby, pompadoured, shiny-suited, Freddie King (previously) steps out onto the soundstage at a Dallas PBS station for a knockoff of Shindig, evidently aimed at the local black audience, judging by the middle-aged white jive-talking host. But the backup band leader is Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, and there are high-school girls in Go-Go boots ready to rumble. And then, in glorious, sweating, funky, color, Freddie blows the doors off. [more inside]
The youngest of the three kings of blues guitar, Freddie King (The Texas Cannonball) is probably best known for his instrumental Hideaway, but what stands out in retrospect is his amazing intensity. Having grown up in Texas and then Chicago, during the 1970s he found a niche playing to mostly white audiences in supper clubs and at festivals -- what he called the Fillmore Circuit -- although he also played other more challenging venues. His music, always funky and sweaty, just got funkier and sweatier. His death in 1976, at the age of 42, took him at his prime.