Monday, October 11, 2010

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers: Hideaway

This week, I received a Facebook post from one of my old radio friends who went by the air name of Mike Corsair. Mike worked as news anchor at WWNR for a period of time in the 1980s and occasionally I see him at Wal-Mart or other non-descript location.

He prefers the moniker Mayor Mike these days, and while responding to a post regarding last week’s violin/fiddle week, he requested that I do a week featuring the blues. I have no problem with that request and have the entire week all planned out.


Today’s Monday Cover feature is John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton covering the old Freddie King R&B hit “Hideaway.” The live version comes from John Mayall’s 70th birthday celebration in 2003. Mayall does some killer keyboard and harmonica work on this tune. You’re never too old to rock ‘n roll.


The studio version is from the 1966 John Mayall with Eric Clapton LP “Bluesbreakers.” The album title was a springboard for John Mayall’s band since that time.

My first experience with this recording was from the 1972 ATCO release, “The History of Eric Clapton.” Unlike the live version above, Clapton is not playing a Fender Stratocaster but rather a Gibson Les Paul.

Freddie King’s Original

Released under the name of “Hide Away” (as opposed to “Hideaway” in 1961, Freddie King’s instrumental hit was named after the Chicago blues club, Mel’s Hide Away. The song went to #5 on Billboard’s R&B chart and #29 on the Hot 100 chart. Freddie King and Sonny Thompson are credited as the songwriters.

King, however, admitted that Hound Dog Taylor actually wrote the tune. Bassist Willie Dixon is credited with christening the song as “Hide Away” and King borrowed liberally from Robert Lockwood, Jr., Jimmy McCracklin, Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn Theme.”

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