FREDDY KING SURFS THE FRETBOARD FOR A WILD INSTRUMENTAL RIDE!
Vinyl Pressed at RTI!
Syd Nathan, impresario of Cincinatti's King Records, was the epitome of the old-school indie record label owner. Always hustling, Nathan regularly beat the odds to release hit after hit in multiple genres. He'd try anything if he thought it might work, or more precisely, if he thought it would make money. After Chess Records turned down guitarist/vocalist Freddy King several times for sounding too much like B.B, King, Nathan thought that sound might actually be sellable and took a chance, signing Freddy to his Federal subsidiary label. They hit paydirt with an instrumental titled "Hide Away," which reached #5 on the R&B Chart and #29 on the Pop Singles Chart. Encouraged by the single's success, Nathan released a full album of King's instrumentals, Let's Hide Away and Dance Away with Freddy King. (See what Nathan did there with the title, slipping in a reference to Freddy's big hit single? Always be closing, my friends, always be closing.)The album sold well and helped make Freddy a bankable touring act. While others would have been satisfied to move on to the next project, Syd sensed untapped potential in the LP. Meanwhile, several artists on the West Coast were making noise in the brand new surf music scene (and by "making noise," I mean selling records). Syd didn't have any surf music artists under contract, but he DID have Freddy King. Surely, Syd surmised, if the kid's went nuts for Dick Dale's guitar instrumental workouts, they could do the same for Freddy's. All he needed was a little marketing magic...GET A NEW COVER WITH SOME SURF KIDS! THROW SOME CROWD NOISE OVER TRACKS SO IT SOUNDS 'LIVE'! CALL IT...ERR...FREDDY KING GOES SURFIN'! PRESS IT AND HAVE IT ON THE SHELVES BY NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!
While it may not have happened EXACTLY like that, King Records did release Freddy King Goes Surfin', an album containing the very same songs (in precisely the same running order) as Let's Hide Away... with crowd noise dubbed over the music. Did the ruse work? Though it didn't sell as well as the original, Freddy King Goes Surfin' did find an audience. Like Bo Diddley Is a Gunslinger, the album's title is such a preposterous premise that it surely snagged many buyers on that fact alone. And no amount of ersatz cheering and cocktail glass tinkling could cover up the six-string genius of King and his almighty Texas tone. Need proof? Fellow Lone Star blues maven Billy F. Gibbons picked Freddy King Goes Surfin' as one of his Top Ten Favorite Blues Albums of All Time. As for Sundazed, we know not to mess with a good thing. Sourced from the original King mono masters and pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Record Technology, Inc. (RTI), we are proud to present Freddy King Goes Surfin' in its original running order with its original cover art. Somewhere, Syd is chuckling to himself, remembering the time he stole a hit right out from under the Chess brothers...