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 ?
The band returned to finish with classics The Thrill is Gone and Guess Who before BB King strolled back off stage to a standing ovation - and with his crown still firmly on his head.
Throughout the evening they will be speaking to the likes of BB King, DJ and school friend of Elvis, George Klein and Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun records.
BB King was born Riley King on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, but moved to Memphis, Tennessee, as a young man intent on a career in music.
US blues musician BB King who died in |Las Vegas aged 89, and (inset) Eric Clapton
IN the same month BB King hits Manchester, another US blues guitarist is in Liverpool.
BB KING AND JOHN MAYALL Cardiff International Arena Tel: 029 2022 4488 The Mississippi blues legend BB King is touring with the pioneering English bluesman Mayall on a great double bill.
Guitar god: BB King makes sweet music with his famous guitar, Lucille.
WHEN BB King brought the house down at Liverpool's Summer Pops four years ago, no-one could have predicted that the bluesman's next appearance in the area - tomorrow - would be his last.
By popular demand, Catfish Club President and Founder, the Reverend George Walker Smith, will portray his favorite blues man, the legendary BB King.
BLUES legend BB King was given a standing ovation by family, friends and fans at a memorial service celebrating his life and legacy.