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King Biscuit Boy


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King Biscuit Boy or Son Richard (9 March 1944-5 January 2003) was a Canadian and rhythm & blues singer, ist, player, and songwriter.

Born Richard Alfred Newell in Hamilton, Ontario, he first heard the blues on U.S. radio. At the age of seventeen he started playing the harmonica, playing with local blues and rock bands. In 1966 he joined the Toronto band, the Mid-Knights, leaving them to go on tour singing and playing harmonica from 1968 to 1970 with Ronnie Hawkins (who named him “King Biscuit Boy” after the Arkansas blues programme, King Biscuit Time).

“Biscuit”, who also played guitar, made his first LP, Official Music in 1970 with Hawkin’s old backing band, now called Crowbar. His first solo album was the 1974 King Biscuit Boy, followed by many others.

He continued to perform intermittently in Canada and the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s. He received two nominations for the Juno award, and in 1995 was presented with the Great Canadian Blues Award. He died in Hamilton at the age of fifty-eight.


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