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King thrills a crowd of several hundred people at the annual B.

King Homecoming, a free concert on the grounds of an old cotton gin where he worked as a teenager many years ago, in Indianola, Miss. Now they are calling it a memorial celebration. Solis, File What followed was an enduring, influential career that defined and redefined the blues—a quintessentially American art form with roots in African-American slave songs, field hollers and spirituals—King carried its moans and mourning to the four corners of the earth.

B.B. King - Blues Boys Tune

King seemed to always be performing somewhere, playing an average of more than concert dates a year well into his 70s. In , King and his band played an astonishing concerts. His notes and innovative sound gave birth to countless blues and rock players, including Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Keith Richards, to name a few. His contribution to the blues can be heard, and will continue to be heard, in jazz and rock. Like King, you cannot mention these musical genres without prominently mentioning their names and substantial contributions.

Today, I join the chorus of those celebrating King and his iconic career. Yes, I say everybody wanna know why I sing the blues.

I really have paid my dues. Rest in peace, B. From the Web. His first recordings were for Bullet and RPM where his producer was Sam Phillips, future founder of the Sun label , but none of them made an impression.

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Received wisdom has it that Ike Turner featured on the song. This upturn in fortunes set in motion a punishing touring regime that would continue for the rest of his life. By he was averaging nearly gigs a year with his piece band. His career may have been flying, but his marriage, as a result, crashed and burned.

He played blues so we can find a way through ours

He was supposed to give me a tape, but he never did. What was he like to play with? There were a lot of British guitarists I liked. If it had not been for some of those musicians, doors would never have opened for me.

To Be Equal…B.B. King: Why I Sing the Blues

I toured with the Stones in and finally got a chance to record with them. I remember opening for the Stones when we played Baltimore. She said she had some teenage children and they liked what I was doing. King was brought to tears when the predominantly white audience gave him a standing ovation as he walked on stage. It was to be the first of 15 during his lifetime. The genesis of the title, as King told it, dated back to a show at a small club in Twist, Arkansas, in the winter of During the evening, two men started a fight, knocking over the barrel of kerosene that was used to heat the hall.

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The place burst into flames and everyone made for the exits. He dashed back in, risking his life, to retrieve it. The next day he discovered that the skirmish had broken out over a girl called Lucille. Alas, the original Lucille was stolen from the trunk of his car in Brooklyn, not long after the fire. King tried to track it down. When I was at the Vatican, I was trying to give one of his aides the guitar, but the Pope took it himself.

He was a very wise man and one of my favourite people. Perhaps his most high-profile appearance came in October , when, along with James Brown and Lloyd Price, he was invited to Zaire to perform as part of the pre-fight ceremony for the Rumble In The Jungle, the world title bout between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

Mississippi Blues Music Legend B.B. King

But I was there for the recording and taping of the movie part. Suddenly there were wah-wah pedals and rock musicians accompanying blues musicians side-by-side. I learnt so much. I learnt a lot from that statement. On hearing of his death, U2 paid tribute at a gig in Vancouver by performing the song for the first time in 23 years. It was at this time that he invited a year-old blues prodigy from New York to open for him at shows across the US.

The sun will rise and fall, and BB King will play the blues… He defined the blues, he was the blues. His relentless desire to play an inspiration for others.

Les Back: How Blue Can You Get? BB King, Planetary Humanism and the Blues Behind Bars (PART ONE)

But we try to teach people about the origins of this kind of music and how we think it began. So we talk about all the people we know who played blues and jazz. One of the greatest saxophone players ever, a guy called Lester Young, was born in Mississippi, too. I hear today that everybody that played blues came from, or near, the Dockery Plantation.

But I never knew about that. King was forced off the road only at the end of last year, when ongoing health problems marked the end of a touring pattern that had run for over 65 years. High blood pressure and diabetes meant he was hospitalised for the duration, and he died in his sleep after what doctors surmised was a series of minor strokes.