Riley B. “BB” King from Mississippi was our man who voiced the blues of the nation. BB would croon, would morn, would praise, would howl our pain, and would “put it all out there for us.” Our man regrettably passed away this past Thursday, May 14, and now we return his gifts on our stage with honoring his passing.
BB started on the guitar as a child, and was recording by the age of 25, migrating into the blues themes. BB believed that good recorded music and the live experience for the audience were both important, and he honed being excellent at both. He soldiered on, working his way up through recording companies and American countryside (and then international) performances.
BB the artist was still a sensible man with his feet on the ground. One humorous story has him doing a show in Arkansas when a fight broke out, starting a fire. BB hit the doorways with the rest of the folks, but then went back in to rescue his beloved guitar. In the aftermath it came out that the two onlookers were fighting over a lady named Lucille. BB promptly maned his guitar Lucille, to remind him 1) not to fight over women, and 2) not to run into burning buildings !
BB passed away in Las Vegas this month at the age of 89. He has left us a great musical heritage in the body of his many recorded releases.