b. 21 January 1943, Delhi, Louisiana, USA. Playing guitar from around the age of eight, King heard gospel music in church but leaned towards jazz having enjoyed the music played on local radio stations. At high school he benefited from playing in a big band, although, as he disarmingly commented to Internet interviewer Don O., he hardly played his instrument, he just stood there and held it because at that time, guitars were in. Hoping to develop a career in music he moved to Houston, Texas, then Amarillo, Wichita Falls, gradually building technical ability and confidence. In the early 70s he abandoned music for a while but took up playing again in mid-decade. By 1979 he was performing regularly in Dallas and Fort Worth, continuing into the early 80s.
Around this time King encountered electric guitarist Smokin’ Joe Kubek but they did not get together until some time later. When they did, the two musicians found instant rapport, even though stylistically they were quite different: Kubek, rock-influenced and aggressive; King, jazz-influenced and relaxed. By the end of the 80s they were teamed up on a regular basis and touring extensively, if to little financial reward. Along the way, King began singing occasional songs during the duo’s gigs and found strongly approving audience response. Building his vocal repertoire from neglected blues songs, the following for their unusual blending of subtle jazz-inflected playing and attacking no-holds-barred power continued to grow. Their tours continued and their albums expanded their audience still further afield. By the early 00s, King and Kubek were hugely popular and showing no loss of enthusiasm for their peripatetic lifestyle and always intriguing approach to the blues.