One early, and lesser hyped, highlight of Saturday night’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony came with the posthumous induction of blues legend Freddie King.

ZZ Top‘s Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill took the stage to speak about their fellow Texas bluesman, with Gibbons saying that his unique style of guitar playing earned him the nickname “The Texas Cannonball.”

142901801 ZZ Top, Derek Trucks Pay Tribute to Freddie King at Rock Hall

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

King’s daughter Wanda accepted, giving a speech that torpedoed any cynicism one might have about the induction ceremony: it clearly meant a lot to her to have her father finally recognized by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She related a story about listening to a conversation between her father and a young Stevie Ray Vaughan, where King told the up-and-coming guitarist “You can’t get to rock and roll unless you know the blues!” It’s a lesson that clearly resonated with many rock legends, including those who were influenced by him, such as Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Duane Allman.

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After Ms. King’s speech, Gibbons and Hill hit the stage with blues rocker Joe Bonamassa and Allman Brothers Band guitarist Derek Trucks. The all-star lineup played “Hideaway” (a song that Clapton covered while he was in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers) and “Goin’ Down” (which Beck has covered). As Rock Hall inductees get younger and younger, it was a solid reminder that rock and roll’s roots have always been in the blues.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local

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