Little Freddie is NOLA’s blues King

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - He's played every one of our festivals and continues to be a standard bearer of the what the blues should sound like.  But in the beginning, things weren't so rosy.

Little Freddie King's dad played guitar at home, and he wanted to play, too.

"He would leave and go up in the Mississippi Delta and pick cotton," King recalled. "While he'd go pick cotton, I would take his guitar out the corner and play it. So finally one day I hauled off and broke the string, and when he came back, he gave me a bad whoopin' to let me know not to mess with his guitar anymore."

Little Freddie King's father Sammy Jackson (courtesy of Little Freddie King)

Little Freddie King's father Sammy Jackson (courtesy of Little Freddie King)

That bad whoopin' didn't deter the young blues man from wanting to play, and he eventually moved to New Orleans, bought his own axe and taught himself to play.  He performed with the likes of Harmonica Slim an the original Freddie King, but his own stage name came years ago by way of the fans.

"They said, 'You must be B.B. King's lil' brother. I said, 'No, we know each other well, but we're not related at all. Get to the next place and they say, 'May I ask you a question?' 'What is it?' 'You must be Big Freddie, King's son. I say, 'No, no kin at all.' So they got tired of asking me and said, 'We ain't go'n' ask you. We'll make you be a King. I said, 'That's fine. Whatever you call me I'm gonna answer to," King said.

Little Freddie King on the Twist Stage (WGNO-TV)

Little Freddie King on the Twist Stage (WGNO-TV)

In a town known for jazz and the roots of gospel, Little Freddie King has made a name for himself with the blues.  King is alright with that fact.

"Well, actually I feel good about it because it's a job, and I thank God for giving me the gift and a job to do," he said.

Little  Freddie King is performing this Friday at BJ's Lounge and at the upcoming Treme Fest and the Blues and Bar-B-Que Fest.