Born Under a Bad Sign’ was one of the signature hits of Albert King that started to win the left-handed string-bender a crossover following in 1967, as he began to break out of the chittlin circuit to invade rock venues like the Fillmore. The song, written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell, was classic King–‘If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all’–and the backing came from two classic Stax studio units, Booker T. & the MG’s and the Memphis Horns. Though it was only a minor hit as a single, staying on the Billboard R&B charts for only two weeks, it became the title track of King’s first Stax LP and a timeless staple of the blues.

Albert King, vocal and guitar; Steve Cropper, guitar; Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, bass; Booker T. Jones, piano; Al Jackson, drums; Andrew Love, tenor sax; Wayne Jackson, trumpet; Joe Arnold, tenor sax/baritone sax. Memphis, May 17, 1967. Released on Stax 217 (45rpm) in 1967.

Discographical details from The Blues Discography 1943-1970.

— Jim O’Neal