A powerful blues and R&B shouter and a volatile harpist, 'Biscuit' made his first LP, Official Music (Daffodil SBA-16001), and the single 'Corrina, Corrina' in 1970 with Crowbar (formerly Hawkins' back-up band, And Many Others). He was a frequent guest performer 1970-1 with Crowbar - his 'Biscuit's Boogie' was a crowd favourite - and toured in England with his own band in 1971. He began to pursue a solo career, recording the album King Biscuit Boy (1974, Epic E-32891) in New Orleans. Though intermittently inactive through the 1970s and 1980s, he continued to work in Canada and the USA, and again on occasion with Hawkins and a revived Crowbar, attaining somewhat legendary status among Canadian blues musicians. He continued to perform, less often, in Hamilton and occasionally other Ontario venues, until his death.
Newell's other LPs include Gooduns (1970-1, Daffodil SBX-16006), Mouth of Steel (1982, Stony Plain SPL 1076), and Richard Newell aka King Biscuit Boy (1988, Stony Plain SLP 1120), The Best of King Biscuit Boy: Badly Bent (1992 BEIBD-24), and Urban Blues Re:Newell (1995, Blue Wave BWC-124). Stony Plain re-issued several of Newell's recordings on CD in the 1990s (SPCD 1220, 1228, 1229). King Biscuit Boy also appeared on recordings by Hawkins, Crowbar, April Wine, Laurie Bower, Gary Buck, Walter Rossi, the US band the Electric Flag, etc. He was twice nominated for Juno awards, and received the Great Canadian Blues Award in 1995.
Author Betty Nygaard King
Yorke, Ritchie. 'Canada's rock invasion,' Axes, Chops & Hot Licks (Edmonton 1971)
Booth, Dave 'Daddy Cool'. Liner notes for Richard Newell aka King Biscuit Boy Stony Plain SLP-1120. Repr in Toronto Blues Society Newsletter, Sep 1988, Feb 1989
(untitled) Hamilton Spectator, 8 Jan 2003
Mowat, Bruce Farley. 'Bluesman made his mark,' Globe and Mail, 16 Jan 2003
Links to Other Sites
A brief profile of Richard Newell from the website for Race Records.
King Biscuit Boy
This site is dedicated to the late, great Canadian blues musician King Biscuit Boy (Richard Newell.)
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