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Friday, May 15, 2015

Oh no! We lost a great musician!

September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015

I read today that BB King died in his sleep yesterday in Las Vegas, Nevada.  I don’t know if any of you like the blues in the way of music but I do and have listened to this man for many years.  He will be missed because he was one of the greats.

Here are some facts about BB King you may not know.

1.)  He was born Riley B King in Berclair, Mississippi.

2.)  He was raised by his grandmother.

3.)  He bought his first guitar at age twelve for fifteen dollars.

4.)  He served in the army during WWII.

5.)  He worked as a farmer in his younger years, picking cotton and driving tractors.  A tractor accident after returning from the war made him give up farming.

6.)  He launched his musical career in the 1940s in Memphis, Tennessee

BB King - wikipedia

7.)  He hosted a ten-minute radio show on which he was known as the Beale Street Blues Boy, later shortening this to the Blues Boy and then to BB King.

8.)  Some of his hits were “The Thrill is Gone,” “3 O’clock Blues,” “You Know I Love You,” “Woke up this Morning,” “Every Day I have the Blues,” “Sweet Little Angel.”

9.)  His landmark album “Live at the Regal,” recorded in 1965, was later declared worthy of preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.

10.)  By the 1960s, he was appearing on the Ed Sullivan show and The Tonight Show.

11.)  He played on a Gibson ES-355 guitar he named Lucille and said in an AP 2006 interview, “When I’m singing I don’t want you to just hear the melody.  I want you to relive the story because most of the songs have pretty good storytelling.”

12.)  During his life he won fifteen Grammy Awards, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the R and B Music Hall of Fame.

13.)  In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number three in a list of 100 greatest guitarist of all time.

 BB King restaurant sign in Memphis, Tennessee - wikipedia
14.)  In the 1990s, he launched a chain of blues clubs bearing his name across the US, featuring live bands and a full menu of southern-inspired comfort food.  There are still restaurants in Memphis, Nashville and Orlando should you be in such places and enjoy this cuisine.

15.)  There’s a Delta Blues Museum in Indianola, Mississippi to preserve BB King’s legacy and values.

16.)  King was a licensed pilot and few himself to many of his gigs until age seventy.

17.)  He was known for appearing in 250-300 concerts a year up into his 70s, only then cutting his workload down to 100 concerts a year due to declining health.

18.)  During his life, BB King inspired many musicians, including Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix.

19.)  He preferred to appear onstage wearing a suit or tuxedo, patent leather shoes and diamond rings.

20.)  He stayed away from drugs and alcohol but loved to gamble and frequented Las Vegas when he could.  How many musicians don't use drugs and alcohol?

21.)  He was married and divorced twice, fathering fifteen children.

He was 89, so at least he had a nice long life and lived it his way.  I have to admire people who can do what they love their entire life and make a good living at it.

Do you like blues music?  Have you ever seen BB King in concert?


  1. BB King was one of the early blues singers I saw live. I saw him at a college dance and he put on a great show! Too bad about his health issues, but he had a rich life in show business.Nice of you to post about it!

    1. DG

      Thanks for visiting my blog and posting a comment. I enjoyed BB King very much so it's a sad day, but he had a long life.


  2. I'm not a lover of blues music, but always sad when a legend who has accomplished a lot passes


    1. Betty,

      Not everyone likes all types of music, but I agree that it's sad to see a legend pass away whether you liked his music, acting, writing, painting, etc. An artist is an artist and has to be admired when they accomplish a lot.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.


  3. I have listened to some of his music and like some blues. He's now singing wherever he may be!

    1. Lisa,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Yes, he's probably singing with some others who left before him.


  4. Hi Sunni! I love the blues and BB King was, well, the king of the blues. These are some great facts. I had fun reading all about him. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Vashti,

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I learned a lot about BB King too while I was researching this.



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