King Biscuit Boy was a blues musician from Hamilton Ontario. His real name was Richard Newell. He was a guitarist and harp player who started performing during the early to mid sixties in various r&b bands. He would eventually hook up with Ronnie Hawkins and perform in his band as well. Ronnie was the one that actually coined his stage name, King Biscuit Boy, which was in reference to a blues radio show from Arkansas. Fittingly because Newell's passion for the blues grew from his early days of listening to U.S. blues radio. It was likely the source of where he first heard this Johnson Brothers' song, Castin' My Spell, that was originally released in 1959. Newell's ascendancy was remarkable during the 70's. He signed with Daffodil Records in 1970 and released his first single and album that same year. He toured internationally during this time and his band was none other than Crowbar (see blog 8/19/10). By 1974, he switched labels to Epic Records and recorded an album in New Orleans with Allen Toussaint, The Meters and Dr.John. He has performed and released material under the monikers King Biscuit Boy and Sonny Richards. However, in 1987, he released his first album under his own name with Stony Plain Records. It was also nominated for the Juno for Best Roots and Traditional Album. Sadly, Richard passed away in 2003, but his legacy lives on today. He released a total of 8 albums in his career, won numerous awards in the blues genre and was nominated for a Juno twice.
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