Tag Archives: Electric Blues

Saunders King on Charlie Christian and Early Electric Guitar

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    Saunders King was the first “King of the Blues.” More than sixty years after buying his first Saunders King 78, another King, B.B., still beams at the mention of his name. “Saunders King – I’m a big fan of his! He was one of the first of the people that played blues and had the beautiful sound of the electric guitar. He was a great singer. In fact, he was one of the people I idolized. I especially liked ‘S.K. Blues’ – still do! There was a part one and a part two to it. I also admired his ‘St. James Infirmary’ on Aladdin. To me, Saunders King was one of the greatest ever.”

    Inspired by Charlie Christian’s records with Benny Goodman, King took up guitar in 1939. He began recording for the San Francisco-based Rhythm label in 1942, framing his mellow, wry vocals and riveting electric guitar solos with smooth jump-band arrangements. Recorded at his first session, the sultry two-part “S.K. Blues” became his biggest hit. Continue reading

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