Showing posts with label King of the Blues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King of the Blues. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Life of Riley B.B. King

The life of Riley B.B. King-
Sadly we lost our beloved blues King this last Thursday night in Las Vegas. On May 14, 2015 the legendary guitarist known as B.B. King whose velvety voice and expressive style, brought us the blues spanning  some six decades  died at age 89. He is left by many children [15 children some have said] and was married twice. It was said his itinerant musician's life didn't allow him to be much of a family man. Quote from B.B. King
'I have not been a good father, but no father has loved his children more," he told co-writer Ritz. "Like my father, I decided the best thing I could do for my kids was work and provide. Fortunately, I've been able to do that. Unfortunately, my work was on the road, and that's meant a life of one-nighters. I never stopped moving. But I never stopped loving them or caring for them."
His daughter, Patty King had announced two weeks before he died that he was in a home hospice care suffering from dehydration. It seems that B.B. King finally started showing signs of his age in the last year of his life of living with Type ll diabetes. There was another sign that the people closest around B.B. king and that was that he was a bit shaky at the show in St. Louis. This prompted his reps to issue an apology for 'A performance that did not match Mr. Kings usual standard of Excellence.' King had fell ill in early October after a show at the Chicago's House of Blues due to dehydration and exhaustion which prompt a rare cancellation of the remaining of his tour. After that he was hospitalized in April in Las Vegas before he died this Thursday May 14, 2014. 
We will all miss you B.B King 
I thought I would give you a bit of the Riley B.B. King beginnings; he was born on September 16, 1925 on a cotton plantation between Indianola and what is now Itta Bena, Mississippi. He sang with an church choirs as a child and learned to play the basic guitar from chords from his uncle a preacher. When he was just a young boy, he would play on the street corners for dimes. Meaning that he would earn more in one night of singing on the corner street than he did than one week working in the cotton fields with his family.  His parents had split when he was a very small child and he lived for a few years with his mother in the Mississippi hills. Unfortunately his mother died when he was only nine and he was left alone until his father Albert King found him a few years later. During this time he was in the cotton plantations in Indianola earning only 22.50 a week. Later Kings farm boss loaned him money to buy his first guitar and signed him up for his first music lessons. This is where he quickly developed as a blues player. During World War ll Riley King enlisted the Army but, later was released because he drove a tractor that was essential to the home-front occupation.
After that B.B. King, hitchhiked to Memphis, Tennessee which is home to the music scene that supported aspiring black performers. He had stayed with his cousin Bukka White who is one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time. Kings cousin Bukka schooled Kings further in the art of the blues and help lead him to the right directions. He got his first break by performing on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program out of West Memphis leading to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis in 1948.
Riley B.B. King and his beloved Lucille
Of course I couldn't finish this post in honor of the great B.B. King without talking about his beloved Lucille.
It was during the era that King first named his beloved guitar Lucille, in the mid-1950's when he was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas when a few fans became unruly and started a fire. King had ran out of the building forgetting his guitar, and then risked his life to go back in to get it! He later found out that it was cause by two men fighting over a woman named Lucille knocked over a kerosene heater that started the fire. And that is how the name Lucille came about as B.B said ' To remind myself never to do anything that foolish'. He had used various models of a Gibson and each one he named Lucille. Then in the 1980's the Gibson officially dropped the model number ES-355 on the guitar only that King used. This became the custom-made & signature model named Lucille that was exclusively manufactured for the 'King of Blues' Riley B.B. King.' So even if he is gone you can have one of his signature Lucille's and even if he's pasted he will always be in our hearts of hearts. His music will always be alive in our hearts. I hope that 
You will keep a special place in your heart for this special 
Man of Blue the King of Blues




























B.B. King's 'The Thrill is Gone'



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