Legendary Bluesman B.B. King Dies at 89Posted: May 15, 2015
We’ve lost one of the great ones. Legendary Blues Guitarist and singer B.B. King died last night in his sleep.
The AP obituary via the Joplin Globe: ‘King of the Blues’ blues legend B.B. King dead at age 89.
LAS VEGAS — B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89.
His attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT. He said funeral arrangements were underway….Although he had continued to perform well into his 80s, the 15-time Grammy winner suffered from diabetes and had been in declining health during the past year. He collapsed during a concert in Chicago last October, later blaming dehydration and exhaustion. He had been in hospice care at his Las Vegas home.
For most of a career spanning nearly 70 years, Riley B. King was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists, who included Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Keith Richards. He recorded more than 50 albums and toured the world well into his 80s, often performing 250 or more concerts a year.
King played a Gibson guitar he affectionately called Lucille with a style that included beautifully crafted single-string runs punctuated by loud chords, subtle vibratos and bent notes.
The result could bring chills to an audience, no more so than when King used it to full effect on his signature song, “The Thrill is Gone.” He would make his guitar shout and cry in anguish as he told the tale of forsaken love, then end with a guttural shouting of the final lines: “Now that it’s all over, all I can do is wish you well.”
Live at the BBC, 1989
BBC Newsbeat: BB King’s influence on modern music.
Nicknamed “The King of Blues”, Riley B. King recorded dozens of albums and toured the world well into his 80s, wowing audiences and inspiring generations of musicians.
He was a mentor to many famous guitarists, including Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.
His style inspired many to learn the instrument.
“BB, anyone could play a thousand notes and never say what you said in one,” tweeted Lenny Kravitz in tribute.
BB King was ranked No. 6 on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
He was known for his sophisticated soloing, subtle vibratos and bend notes – playing on the Gibson guitar he called Lucille.
Live at Sing Sing Prison in the 1970s
This is an open thread. Dakinikat will have a Friday Reads post a little later on.