Updated July 28 2019.
Blues Muse 14.
Two pioneers of the exhilarating new form of blues that, during the 1930s and 1940s, became the precursor to rhythm & blues, included Louisiana’s Saunders King and Aaron T- Bone Walker from Texas. By the early 1940s, both were working out of California.
Saunders King, back then, was billed as the King of the Blues Guitar, long before his illustrious namesakes, Albert, B. B. and Freddie put in a claim. Ultimately, in the modern era, it was B. B. who took the crown.
Saunders King’s famous, ‘Saunders Blues’, a laid back tune recorded in San Francisco in 1942, when Saunders King was 33, was a nationwide U.S. ‘Race’ hit years ahead of its time.
The former blues shouter Big Joe Turner (he of rock & roll release #2 in 1938, see Blues Muse 12) had a massive hit with Saunders King’s song in 1945, calling it, ‘S.K. Blues’. Jimmy Witherspoon, too, covered the tune as S.K. Blues. Saunders King’s daughter, Deborah, as a matter of musical trivia, went on to marry the Mexican guitar great, Carlos Santana, in 1973.
Santana has since said his father-in-law inspired his own idol, B. B. King, the late departed King of the Blues Guitar. B.B. King backed that up saying, “Saunders King was one of the greatest, ever”. Aged 70, Saunders King played guitar on Santana’s 1979 album, ‘Oneness’.
T-Bone Walker’s 1942 contribution will follow soon in BluesMuse 16, found the index under May 2013 at paulmerryblues.com