King Biscuit Time is the longest-running daily American radio broadcast in history. The program is broadcast each weekday from KFFA in Helena, Arkansas, United States, first going out on November 21, 1941.
Blues artists Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) and Robert Lockwood, Jr. played live in the studio and were the key musicians in the original studio band, the ‘King Biscuit Entertainers.’ Other musicians who joined the original band were Pinetop Perkins on piano and James Peck Curtis on drums. Williamson left the program in 1947, but returned for a stint in 1965 just prior to his death.
The 30-minute-long live radio program is broadcast at 12:15 pm every weekday and was named after the local brand of flour, King Biscuit Flour, distributed by the Interstate Grocer Company. The distributor financed the show at the behest of Williamson in exchange for endorsements and naming rights. KFFA was the only station that would play music by African-Americans, and it reached an audience throughout the Mississippi Delta region. It inspired blues musicians including B.B. King, Robert Nighthawk, James Cotton, and Ike Turner. The show’s 12:15 pm time slot was chosen to match the lunch break of workers in the Delta.
King Biscuit Time is also the name under which Steve Mason of The Beta Band initially released his solo material, with two EPs in 1998-2000 and then two singles and an album in 2005/2006. My favourite of his stuff from that era is the lead song from the No Style EP, which came out in June 2000:-
mp3 : King Biscuit Time – I Walk The Earth
There’s loads of little influences and snippets throughout the tune, but above all else, it’s wonderfully catchy and perfect for nights such as Simply Thrilled.