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English, JAZZ, Music

King of the Blues: Riley B. King (BB King)

SAN RAFAEL, CA - FEBRUARY 26: B.B. King performs at Marin Center on February 26, 2014 in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

SAN RAFAEL, CA – FEBRUARY 26: B.B. King performs at Marin Center on February 26, 2014 in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”
― B.B. King

Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King.] He considered the nearby city of Indianola, Mississippi to be his home. When Riley was 4 years old, his mother left his father for another man, and the boy was raised by his maternal grandmother, Elnora Farr, inKilmichael, Mississippi.

bb King

While young, King sang in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. It seems that at the age of 12, he purchased his first guitar for $15.00, although another source indicates he was given his first guitar by Bukka White, his mother’s first cousin (King’s grandmother and White’s mother were sisters). In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John’s Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi.

In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee. White took him in for the next ten months. However, King shortly returned to Mississippi, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948. He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop an audience. King’s appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis and later to a ten-minute spot on the Memphis radio station WDIA. The radio spot became so popular, it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club.

Initially he worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, gaining the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, which was later shortened toBlues Boy and finally to B.B.It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker. King said, “Once I’d heard him for the first time, I knew I’d have to have [an electric guitar] myself. ‘Had’ to have one, short of stealing!”

More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.B._King

BBC Docu 2012 BB King The Life of Riley

B.B. King – The Thrill Is Gone Live From Crossroads Festival 2010

King played a Gibson guitar he affectionately called Lucille with a style that included beautifully crafted single-string runs punctuated by loud chords, subtle vibratos and bent notes. He didn’t like to sing and play at the same time, so he developed a call-and-response between himself and Lucille.

“Sometimes I just think that there are more things to be said, to make the audience understand what I’m trying to do more,” King said in 2006. “When I’m singing, I don’t want you to just hear the melody. I want you to relive the story, because most of the songs have pretty good storytelling.”

Source :The guardian

BB-King3

“You only live but once, and when your died your done, so let the good times roll.”
― B.B. King

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