B. B. King

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King, B. B.,

1925–2015, African-American blues singer and guitarist, b. near Indianola, Miss., as Riley B. King. He grew up poor in the Mississippi Delta region, began playing the guitar at 12, was a street corner performer as a teenager, and as a young man worked as a singing, guitar-playing radio disk jockey in Memphis. King came to prominence as a blues guitarist in 1952 with his chart-topping recording of "Three O'Clock Blues." Known in the 1940s as the "Beale Street Blues Boy," later simply as B. B., King, along with guitarists such as Muddy WatersWaters, Muddy,
1915–83, African-American blues singer and guitarist, b. Rolling Fork, Miss., as McKinley Morganfield. As a teenager he began singing and playing traditional country blues on harmonica and guitar, and in 1941 he was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of
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 and "T-Bone" Walker, popularized electric blues music. Introducing the blues to pop audiences in the late 1960s and early 70s, in part with his most famous recording "The Thrill Is Gone" (1969), King also greatly influenced a variety of white rock guitarists. His inability to play guitar and sing simultaneously led him to use the guitar to punctuate his songs, relying heavily on his left hand to achieve rich, textural tones with dramatic, almost vocal vibrato. Among the best known of his many albums are Live at the Regal (1965), Live at Cook County Jail (1971), and Riding with the King (2000), recorded with Eric ClaptonClapton, Eric Patrick,
1945–, British guitarist, singer, and songwriter, b. Ripley, Surrey, England. A seminal figure in rock music, he is noted especially for his virtuoso guitar playing, whose style is based on American blues as played by "T-Bone" Walker, B. B.
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. Playing his famous guitar, "Lucille," he continued to record and tour into the 21st cent. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and received the Presidential Medal of the Arts in 1990, Kennedy Center Honors in 1995, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.


See his autobiography, Blues All around Me (1996, with D. Ritz).

King, (Riley B.) B. B.

(1925–  ) musician; born in Itta Bena, Miss. A singer and guitarist born into a sharecropping family, he became one of the best-known blues performers, an important consolidator of blues styles, and a primary model for rock guitarists. Following U.S. Army service, he began his career as a disc jockey in Memphis, Tenn., where he was dubbed "The Beale Street Blues Boy," soon shortened to B. B. He made his first recording in 1949. The following year he began a 12-year-long association with Kent/RPM/Modern, for which he recorded a string of rhythm and blues hits. He also toured the nightclub circuit continuously, averaging over 300 shows annually for nearly 30 years. In 1962, he signed with ABC Records, which released Live at the Regal, a benchmark blues concert album. In 1969, he released his biggest hit single, "The Thrill is Gone." In 1979, he became the first bluesman to tour the U.S.S.R. By this time he had also become the first bluesman to enter the pop mainstream, making regular appearances in Las Vegas, Nev., and on network television. In 1987, he was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
References in periodicals archive ?
Like many others, my first major exposure to BB King was his collaboration with U2 on When Love Came To Town.
It's a dream to be onstage with such great musicians," says Dominic backstage celebrating with BB King.
The two radio spots, :30 and :60 in length, feature BB King talking and singing about the new sandwiches.
A source close to the band said: "All the lads in U2 are huge fans of BB King.
At MCA, Kenan worked with an impressive roster of superstar artists, including Enrique Iglesias, Mary J Blige, Live, New Radicals, BB King and K-Ci & JoJo.
com will also webcast a two-hour live concert by blues legend BB King, performing live from his nightclub in Memphis, Tennessee.
ROCK 'n' roll legend BB King will be joined on his farewell tour by renowned Irish guitarist Gary Moore.
The coming month will mark the Foundation's fifth auction to date, with intriguing new autographed memorabilia from artists such as King Crimson, Kate Bush, BB King, Robert Cray and Nine Inch Nails up on the bidding block.
What did BB King mean to you as a musician and as a fan of blues music?
A talented guitarist from Old Colwyn has been compared to late Blues legend BB King in a tribute article published by a respected music magazine.