Here is the video for Hide Away. I released my arrangement and recording of Freddie King’s Hide Away last week, on July 1st and then worked on putting this video together. I wondered if “Mel’s Hide Away Lounge” which Freddie says he named the song after was still there, but apparently it disappeared long ago. I contacted the manger for Freddie’s brother, Benny Turner, to see if she knew about Mel’s Hide Away Lounge and she confirmed that it is indeed gone. But she told me that according to Benny, it was on Roosevelt Road (12th Street) near S. Halsted Street. By the way, in the process I found out that Benny has a book out titled, “Survivor: The Benny Turner Story“, which I bought and I am really enjoying reading about Benny’s life, along with stories about his big brother Freddie. Anyway, since the original Hide Away lounge is long gone I tried to find as many pictures of other Hide Aways that I could to include with my music. So here you go!
It’s New Music Wednesday and Hide Away was released today and is now streaming on Spotify and other digital platforms. As always, you can find more info on the Music Store page on my site.
Officially the original Hide Away was written by Freddie King and Sonny Thompson, but like a lot of blues songs, it’s actual pedigree is a bit cloudier. Freddie apparently mentioned that he incorporated parts from several other songs into Hide Away such as The Walk, Guitar Boogie Shuffle and Peter Gunn, but arranged in his own way. Also, Hide Away got its title from a blues club in Chicago called “Mel’s Hide Away Lounge”, which I have been told was located on Roosevelt Road (12th Street) near Halsted. My version includes a new solo part way through the tune. See if you can spot it.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed Hide Away as one of the “500 songs that shaped rock and roll”. The song also crossed over out of the blues market and charted on the Billboard Hot 100 list, making it one of the best performing songs by a blues artist in the pop genre.
PS: During my searching to see if Mel’s Hide Away Lounge is still there in Chicago (it’s not…) I discovered there are a lot of places around the USA (and world) named “Hide Away” or “Hideaway”. See below!
Hide Away locations
Enzo’s Hideaway Tunnel Bar
1560 E Buena Vista Dr, Disney Springs, Orlando, US 32830-8431
The Hideaway Bar
516 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803
The Hideaway Bar & Grill
At: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
6550 Adventure Way, Orlando, FL 32819
The Hideaway Lounge
2627 S Parker Rd, Aurora, CO 80014
and this one too…
7466 Blackmon Rd Ste C, Columbus, GA 31909
New Playlist: 3 Blue Kings & More: I put a new playlist, 3 Blue Kings & More, up on Spotify with 3 hours of music featuring tunes by all the great kings of the blues: BB, FK, AK and their disciples. Please follow and save the playlist.
Click the Button to Follow me on Spotify……and…then….check out my playlist “3 Blue Kings & More”.
My cover of Key to the Highway is released and should now be available on many digital platforms including Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify and other places. And of course you can find all the information you need about it right on my website on the Music Store page which includes links to those major distributors.
I spent much of my COVID house arrest, and even before that, getting into the blues and especially Freddie King’s music including learning about the origins of the song Key to the Highway.
The history of the song’s origins are little bit murky. It is generally credited to Charles Segar and sometimes to Big Bill Broonzy or to both. From what I can tell, the song started out as standard 12 bar blues form with the Segar version, but when Broonzy recorded it along with Jazz Gillum it was reworked into the 8 bar form which I have used. The Segar recording is a piano driven tune at a medium tempo.
Like I said, the Charles Segar version was 12 bar form and featured the piano as the primary instrument. Then along came Jazz Gillum and Big Bill Broonzy who recorded their version featuring harmonica and acoustic guitar in 1940 in an 8 bar blues format.
The chord progression for the 8 bar format is as follows: I V7 IV IV I V7 I–IV I–V7
Broonzy followed that with his own solo version a year later on the Okey label in 1941.
After Broonzy passed away in 1958, Little Walter recorded his own cover of “Key to the Highway”. Little Walter’s version changed it to more of a Chicago blues feel with backing by a full band of course with a full compliment of blues harmonica.
But then along came the King…….Freddie King that is. And he reworked Key again to a harder driving more intense sound with his guitar as lead instrument along with his powerful vocals. Freddie’s cover of Key to the Highway appeared on his “Getting Ready” album released in 1971 by Shelter Records. There is also a video of Freddie playing Key to the Highway live at the 1972 Sugar Bowl half time show.
My version of Key to the Highway took Freddie King as inspiration along with a dose of Magic Sam thrown in there for good measure. My recording is in the key of B flat. And for the guitar work I chose an Ibanez Artcore semihollowbody with Super58 pickups playing with a “Carol Kaye” bass pick (plectrum for you Brits). Vocals were recorded through a simple Shure SM-58 mic.