No respectable blues band would dare mount a stage without having "Hide Away" in their arsenal as their principal instrumental break song. So rousingly recognizable is its galloping shuffle groove and stinging melody that it has reigned as the blues set-closer for several decades. Gilmer, TX-born guitarist Freddy King assimilated the sum of its parts from several sources while gigging on Chicago's West Side -- a late-'50s hotbed for a new, modern Windy City blues sound that melded the old-line aggressiveness of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf with B.B. King's single-string electric lead guitar fluidity (King's contemporaries included Magic Sam, Otis Rush, and Eddy Clearwater). King played at a West Side watering hole called Mel's Hideaway Lounge, the inspiration for the instrumental's title. Its musical genesis is a little more complex. King apparently copped the basic melody from boisterous slide guitarist Hound Dog Taylor; Magic Sam and Clearwater also customized the theme for their West Side fans, Sam cutting it as "Do yhe Camel Walk" in early 1961 for Mel London's Chief imprint. King also added snatches of Jimmy McCracklin's 1958 hit "The Walk" and Henry Mancini's noirish "Peter Gunn" to his ringing, fingerpicked rendition, waxed on August 26, 1960, at his first session for Syd Nathan's Cincinnati-based Federal Records. King/ Federal A&R man and bandleader Sonny Thompson, who had recently signed the husky guitar powerhouse to the label, contributes understated piano to the track. But this is King's dazzling showcase -- his wide-open chord barrage and cascading riff poured over the break two-thirds of the way through were utterly fresh and innovative. Federal simultaneously promoted King as a vocalist and as an instrumentalist, a strategy that paid dividends when "Hide Away" shot up to number five on Billboard's R&B charts in the spring of 1961 (one of six R&B hits he nailed that year) and topped out at a very impressive number 29 pop. "Hide Away" had universal appeal; the incendiary workout turned up in the repertoires of several surf bands, leading King's label to capitalize on the connection by cobbling together a Freddy King Goes Surfin' LP with phony overdubbed applause.