We pay homage to musical royalty in the shape of BB King, born today in 1925.
Riley B King aka BB King born, Itta Bena, Mississippi, USA. His nickname says it all, “King of The Blues”. Coming to prominence as a blues singer and guitarist following a move to Memphis in 1947, King remains the standard bearer of the genre and a world celebrity, thanks to anthems such as “Three O’Clock Blues”, “The Thrill Has Gone” and “Sweet Sixteen”.
Enjoying the patronage of the great and the good, BB has recorded a series of albums with guest stars and enjoyed high-profile associations with both U2 and Eric Clapton – the former handing him a UK top ten hit with “When Love Comes To Town” in 1989.
Maintaining a grueling touring schedule through the decades, he’s taken blues to a global audience – always in the company of his famous Gibson ES-355 guitar, Lucille (named after a girl that once caused a bar-room brawl in the town of Twist, Arkansas where BB was performing).
In his latter years his shows have evolved more into personal appearances, as he takes more time talking to the crowd from his seat on stage. Nonetheless his presence remains and BB plays just enough spine-chilling blues licks from his back catalogue to leave his mark.
Aside from his formidable back catalogue, BB’s empire now encompasses eight restaurants/live music venues across the USA – the first of which opened in 1991 on Beale Street in Memphis.
The fulfillment of a long-held ambition then saw an award-winning BB King Museum located at Indianola, Mississippi open its doors in 2008 – created at a cost of $14m. And in telling the story of BB King, the exhibits also paint a vivid, unflinching picture of 20th century life in the Southern state.
The Beale Street Blues Boy has come a long way – and back again.
Check out and purchase BB King CDs from our e-shop, Propermusic.com by clicking on the logo below:
And here’s some footage of BB in action: