The King is Dead

The King is Dead
or: Blues on Beale Street

Like many whiteboys who came of musical age in the days of Elvis and the Beatles, I first heard of BB King when “the Thrill is Gone” took over the airwaves in the summer of 69. I’d heard hints of blues from guys like Bloomfield and Clapton but, even on first listen, I could tell this was something else altogether.

SDCC 92, someone at Valiant had connections and secured the first few rows of the Pacific Amphitheatre. At the end of his set, BB came to the edge of the stage and I was close enough, and long enough, to shake his hand... and you weren’t, ha.

I’ve probably got more CDs by BB than by any other artist. He’s the only one with his own private tray in the music rack. Wouldn’t you know, the most recent CD I have of his (the one on the speakers during the drawing portion of tonights program) is “One Kind Favor”

I’m finishing it all up listening to my favorite, “Live in Cook County Jail.” BB Shouting, pleading, joking, wailing to a literally captive audience about the girl you gave your all too and she just don’t care, “I gave you seven children... and now you wanna give’em back!” How blue can you get, indeed.

Thanks, BB. I’m sure Momma wasn’t jiv’n.






2 Comments so far

John Klein III's picture

BB King, a true legend and such a nice guy from the interviews I've read and seen
Laura (Del Morris) Sutton's picture

BB King played occasionally in Reno in a small lounge venue in Harrah's. It was like being in someone's living room. He would only play "Thrill is Gone" if he liked the audience. Well, you got a handshake, I got a hug!


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