Winter Will Be Here Soon -- Study hard as finals approach...


 
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The Life of B. B. King

 

 B.B. King was a blues singer and guitarist. His full name
is Riley B. King. He was born September 16, 1925, near
Indianola, Mississippi. An important aspect in King's life
was, of course, when he was first exposed to the blues. 'I
guess the earliest sound of the blues that I can rremember
was in the fields while people would be pickin' cotton or
choppin' or somethin,' " he told Living Blues . " When I
sing and play now I can hear those same sounds that I used
to hear then as a kid."
 
B.B. King's first musical influence came through religion.
He was a member of the Church of God In Christ. He was
forbidden to play blues at home. He sang in spiritual
groups like the Elkhorn Singers and the Saint John's Gospel
Singers. A relative who was a guitarist and a preacher
showed King his first chords on the instrument. As a
teenager he began playing streetcorners for coins,
combining gospel songs with the blues. When he started
making more money playing in one night then he would in a
week on the farm, he decided to head to Memphis. After a
few years, King went back to Indianola to work and repay
some debts, eventually returning to Memphis to stay. King's
trademark is the trilling vibrato he developed in an
attempt to duplicate the stinging sound of the steel slide.
With the help of the late Sonny Boy William-son he began
singing radio commercials and became a disc jockey. Later
he played in small clubs, and then in larger venues in the
mid-1960's. He has toured extensively through-out the United States and around the world, appearing in concerts,
at blues festivals, on television, and in films. How did
Riley B. King receive the nickname B.B. King? Well, he was
known as " the blues boy from Beale Street," later
shortened to B.B."Riley B. King is the world's preeminent
blues guitarist. There is hardly a rock, pop, or blues
player anywhere who doesn't owe him something." Frank
Sinatra and Nat Cole are two who use the "B.B. King style
of blues." Finally, I leave you with a quote. In a Rolling
Stone interview King stated; " I was always afraid to say
that I was a blues singer. Because it looked like people
kind of looked down on you a lot of times when you mention
the word blues. But I thank God today I can stick out my
chest and say, yeah, I'm a blues singer !"
 



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