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I’ll Play The Blues For You

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I’ll Play The Blues For You

By 1970s, Albert King was releasing one album a year. His albums were steady sellers, consistently entering the US Billboard 200 and the US R&B Charts. Although Albert was most popular with blues fans, he’d also built up a following amongst rock fans. However, not many people had Albert King pegged as a soul singer, that is not until the release of his 1972 album ‘I’ll Play the Blues For You.’ This might not have happened if fate hadn’t intervene. Albert was in Stax’s Memphis studios, searching for a song to record for his forthcoming album. Someone, Albert can’t remember who, suggested a Jerry Beach penned track, “I’ll Play the Blues For You.” This was added to the other six tracks that Albert recorded for his ‘I’ll Play the Blues For You,’ his fifth studio album for Stax.

I’ll Play The Blues For You

Accompanying Albert King on ‘I’ll Play the Blues For You,’ were two different rhythm sections, The Bar-Kays and The Movement. Adding their inimitable sound were The Memphis Horns, who later, would play on so many Hi Records’ albums.

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Albert King

 

Jerry Marlon Beach was born in Oklahoma City on December 11, 1941, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Army. He was descended from pioneering families in Shelby County, Texas. Jerry graduated from Bossier High School in 1960, and he was already sitting in with local bands playing guitar and singing. By the mid-60s, he and Danny Harrelson were headlining local clubs as "Danny & Jerry". He was a fixture and favorite on the regional music scene for 56 years in several bands. He dedicated every Monday night for 30 years to hosting a Blues Jam every week. He also taught guitar lessons for many years.

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Jerry Beach

 

In 1972, the late Albert King recorded Jerry's "I'll Play the Blues For You", which became a #1 R&B hit and has been covered by many artists. Jerry was nominated for a Grammy for the song. [First recording by Geater Davis (1969)].

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I’ll Play the Blues For You, disc, 1972

 

When ‘I’ll Play the Blues For You’ was released in the autumn of 1972, it proved to be the most commercially successful album of Albert King’s career so far. Not only did it reach number 140 in the US Billboard 200, but reached number eleven in the US R&B Charts.

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I’ll Play the Blues For You, album, 1972

 

That lengthy title song is virtually King’s manifesto. With its spoken-word rap section and a creamy vocal, it’s just one of many highlights here. King had sung standards earlier in his career, and his voice wasn’t always that of a blues shouter, but a richly textured instrument. Naturally, King’s famous electric blues guitar – the guitar which has influenced legends like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton – is out front all over this record, as it should be. The songwriting (from a variety of contributors) is taut, though, and King’s solos never feel self-indulgent.

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Albert King

 

“I’ll Play The Blues For You” is a great song that is a little more sophisticated than a lot of blues songs you’ll find. It doesn’t use a strict 12-bar format. In fact, the B section/turnaround/bridge is fairly unique. It’s a 6-5-4-5 sequence. But it’s a great line for soloing over.

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Joe Bonamassa plays ‘I’ll Play the Blues For You’

 

“I’ll Play the Blues for You,” produced and arranged for King by Allen Jones and Henry Bush, was a landmark. It provided King with a new signature song via the title track, as well as showcasing all sides of his musical prowess.

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Gary Moore plays ‘I’ll Play the Blues For You’

 

King influenced guitarists such Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Among a long list of accomplishments, King recorded a tribute album to Elvis Presley and even played with the great Steve Cropper as well as the Hi Records gang through the years. King died in 1992 of a massive heart attack.

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Albert King

 

I’ll Play The Blues For You lyrics


If you're down and out and you feel real hurt
Come on over to the place where I live
And all your loneliness I'll try to soothe
I'll play the blues for you

Don't be afraid come on in
You might run across some of your old friends

All your loneliness I gotta soothe
I'll play the blues for you

I got no big name and I ain't no big star
I play the blues for you on my guitar
All your loneliness I'll try to soothe
I 'll play the blues for you

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I’ll Play The Blues For You painted by David Gerald

 

Last Updated (Sunday, 19 March 2017 22:22)

 

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