Skip to comments."Most Beautiful Day Of My Life," B.B. King Says After Ceremony At MS Capitol
Posted on 02/16/2005 8:11:04 AM PST by bourbon
Blues great B.B. King says he had never set foot in the Mississippi Capitol until Tuesday. Once he arrived, he got a grand welcome.
The state House and Senate declared Tuesday to be B.B. King Day.
During a standing-room-only ceremony in the Senate chamber, lawmakers and Gov. Haley Barbour honored the 79-year-old Delta native whose hits include "The Thrill is Gone.''
King pulled a white handkerchief from his pocket and wiped away tears.
"I never learned to talk very well without Lucille,'' King said, speaking of his black Gibson guitar. "But today, I'm trying to say only God knows how I feel. I am so happy. Thank you.''
Outside the Senate chamber, King was mobbed by fans seeking autographs and pictures. He graciously indulged the requests, even signing a candy-apple red Fender electric guitar for Ben Thompson, chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck.
"Signing guitars that are not Gibson is like being married and kissing a woman who is not your wife,'' the blues man said with a smile.
Arkansas Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller was at the Mississippi Capitol during the ceremony, and stayed to get a picture made with King.
The singer and invited guests were treated to lunch at the Governor's Mansion.
During an after-lunch interview in his limousine, King said his home state, which once struggled with racial oppression, has made "night and day'' changes over the decades.
"I feel like the prodigal son and they have killed the fattest calf,'' he said. "I am having the time of my life. I thought when I got married it was the happiest time. I thought when I had my first child it was the happiest time. Those were great times.
"This has been the most beautiful day of my life.''
He said the last time he cried was at Ray Charles' funeral.
"That was tears of sorrow,'' King said. "Today, it was tears of joy.''
Riley B. King was born Sept. 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation in Berclair, outside Itta Bena. He earned the nickname "B.B.'' - for Beale Street Blues Boy or just Blues Boy - during his early career in Memphis, Tenn.
King has earned 13 Grammy awards and has been inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has sold more than 40 million records worldwide, and Barbour said there are "more to come - because the thrill is not gone.''
The resolutions are Senate Concurrent Resolution 534 and House Concurrent Resolution 65.
I saaw BB perform a few years ago at his club in NYC. He was still outstanding, and he gave us more than our money's worth -- he must have played for three hours. He also used his American flag guitar strap and made some patriotic remarks that made some in the lefty crowd uncomfortable, so I admired him even more. Bless his soul.
Neat! I really like his music!
Do we get the day off work? Congrats BB King.
B.B.King ~ Bump!
The Thrill Is Not Gone!
Man, I love listening to BB King. 'Specially at about 3 am on a hot, rainy night. Something about it...
"A very heartwarming story."
Couldn't happen to a finer gentleman IMO. I saw him in concerts about 12 years ago and he was awesome, as was his band.
How do the "racial arsonists" respond to this beautiful statement by a G-d fearing man, moved by the progress made in our country over the years?
This is a good man who appreciates how far we've come instead of whining how far we still have to go.And in so doing, he doesn't incite anger against our institutions, but gratitude toward them. G-d bless him.
I too, saw B.B. a few years back. An awesome show. Here's to you, Mr. King! Best wishes!
BB's touring schedule has been pretty unbelievable for the past 10-15 years, considering that he is pretty old and that he was diagnosed with diabetes some years back.
Doesn't matter, Clapton will end up with it. Rumor has it he bought the George Harrison guitar that went to auction at Sothby's just recently. Clapton has the most vast collection of guitars (with provanance) in the world.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.