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!
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.
As a new Freddie King fan I have begun acquiring some of his music. To date, I have bookends of his career: Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King which was released the year I was born, 1961 and Burglar released in 1974 two years before Freddie’s death and the beginning of my teenage years. I also enjoy the compilation album, Freddie King, Ultimate Collection.
Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King The album Let’s Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King is an all instrumental album and includes his breakout hit, “Hide Away”. Many of these tunes are pretty catchy, and “San-Ho-Zay” is another on the album that I especially like.
Hide Away – 2:43
Butterscotch – 3:04
Sen-Sa-Shun – 2:54
Side Tracked – 3:07
The Stumble – 3:14
Wash Out – 2:38
San-Ho-Zay – 2:40
Just Pickin’ – 2:33
Heads Up – 2:33
In the Open – 3:11
Out Front – 2:40
Swooshy – 2:19
Fred Jordan – guitar, rhythm guitar
Freddie King – guitar, vocals
Phillip Paul – drums
Gene Reid – saxophone
Clifford Scott – saxophone
Sonny Thompson – piano
Willis Williams – bass guitar
Burglar When Burglar was recorded, Freddie had left Shelter Records and signed with RSO Records based in the UK due to persuasion from his lifelong fan, Eric Clapton. As the credits in the liner notes indicate this was a massive production which included some of the most prominent musicians of the time beginning with Slowhand himself plus JJ Cale, Issac Hayes and George Terry. The sound of Burglar could be described as Blues meets Funk.
Pack It Up – 4:10
My Credit Didn’t Go Through – 4:09
I Got the Same Old Blues – 3:27
Only Getting Second Best – 3:47
Texas Flyer – 3:48
Pulp Wood – 3:13
She’s a Burglar – 3:51
Sugar Sweet – 3:50
I Had a Dream – 5:02
Come On (Let the Good Times Roll) – 3:32
Artist / Credit
P. Arnold Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Patrick Arnold Vocals (Background)
Brian Auger Guest Artist, Organ
Bud Beadle Sax (Baritone)
Misty Browning Vocals, Vocals (Background)
J. Cale Composer
Ron Carthy Main Personnel, Trumpet
Gonzalez Chandler Composer
Eric Clapton Guest Artist, Guitar, Main Personnel
Roy Davies Clavinet, Composer, Keyboards, Main Personnel, Organ, Piano, Piano (Electric)
Robert Davis Composer
Bob Defrin Art Direction
Roger Dopson Liner Notes
Tom Dowd Producer
Mick Eve Saxophone
Mick Eves Sax (Tenor)
Steve Ferrone Cabassa, Composer, Drums, Main Personnel
The Gonzales Horn Section Arranger, Horn, Horn Arrangements
Steve Gregory Horn Arrangements, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
Barry Hammond Engineer
DeLisle Harper Bass, Composer, Percussion
Isaac Hayes Composer
Richie Hayward Composer
Gary “Gazza” Johnson Composer
Earl King Composer
Freddie King Composer, Guitar, Main Personnel, Primary Artist, Vocals
Steve Klein Engineer, Remix Assistant
Slick Lawson Photography
Mel London Composer
Chris Mercer Horn Arrangements, Sax (Tenor)
Jamie Oldaker Drums
Peter Palombi Cover Illustration, Illustrations
Greg Perry Composer
David Porter Composer
Carl Radle Bass
Jerry Ragovoy Composer
Dick Sims Keyboards, Organ
Bobby Tench Composer, Guitar
George Terry Guitar
Mike Vernon Audio Production, Composer, Drums, Percussion, Producer, Remastering, Remixing
Donnie Vie Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Pete Wingfield Clavinet, Composer, Keyboards, Piano, Piano (Electric)
*(reposted from the album summary on Allmusic.com)
Between the three “Kings”, Albert, BB and Freddie, it was Freddie who had the hardest driving, most intense sound.Much of his intensity came from the way he played:He picked with his fingers, using a plastic thumb pick along with a metal index-finger pick with a large amp cranked to the max.Although he was a good singer and had some big hits including vocals, especially, “Have You Ever Loved a Woman”, it was with his instrumentals that, I think, set him apart from the other Kings.His biggest instrumental, which most people have probably heard and recognize, is “Hideaway”.But there were many other instrumentals penned by Freddie including “The Stumble”, “Sen-Sa- Shun”, “San-Ho-Zay”, “Side Tracked”, and “In the Open”.
I will be talking about some of these tunes in more detail, especially, “Hideaway” and “San-Ho-Zay”.
According to his bio on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in the early days Freddie played a gold-top Les Paul through a Gibson GA-40 amplifier.
But later, and through the rest of his career he was seen playing a variety of Gibson semi-hollow body guitars such as the ES-335 and ES-345 through huge Fender Quad Reverb amps.
Another point that jumped out at me is that Freddie was influenced by the biggest names in the Chicago blues scene like Howlin’ Wolf, per his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bio, “Waters, guitarists Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, and Robert Lockwood Jr., and harmonica virtuoso Little Walter were also tutoring the brawny youngster on the secrets of the sounds and the streets of the South Side.”We all take the creativity provided by those who have gone before us, embrace it, and on the other side make it something uniquely our own.