Skip to comments.BB King at 87: the last of the great bluesmen
Posted on 10/07/2012 6:52:56 AM PDT by Rummyfan
The fat red sun settles itself against the horizon, throwing a last, honey-sweet light through humid evening and over a small crowd on the lawn beside a railroad track that cuts through the cotton fields beyond. A quarter-moon rises and a chorus of cicadas serenades imminent twilight, now conjoined by the sound of the band; the drummer catches the backbeat and the compere announces: "How about an Indianola hometown welcome for the one-and-only King of the Blues: BB KING!"
And on he comes, to applause from people who know him well and claim him as their own the last of the blues masters a few weeks short of his 87th birthday. "Nice evening, isn't it?" he says, and introduces his nephew on sax. Some of his 15 children (all by different mothers) and innumerable grandchildren are in the audience, though one of his daughters died recently of diabetes, as had BB's mother a poignant riptide beneath the occasion. "I guess you can look at me," he says from the stage, "and tell I'm the old man. My name is BB King."
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
B.B. King at 87:The Thrill Is Not Gone!
Saw him live in 1970. Still ranks among the top ten concerts of my life.
When he played the White House I wonder if he changed the lyrics for one of his signature songs: “Nobody loves me but Obama, and he could be jivin’ me too.”
He ain’t dead, yet.
One of my favorites
I must admit that I’m not a BB King fan simply because his style is too urban. I read somewhere that his fingers were too large for him to play the traditional rural Delta bottleneck style, and that’s why his style is so urban. Too bad.
Uh...he aint dead, yet.
BB King has something in common with Steven Spielberg, to wit: He makes what he does look so easy that many watching think that THEY can do it too.
Seen king play twice, once in ‘97 and the other about 4 years ago. His stage demeanor is incredibly polite and respectful of the audience.
In ‘97 sixteen year-old Johnny Lang opened for him and about stole the show. It was hard to reconcile a kid with a singing voice that sounded like it had been drinking scotch and gargling gravel for 30 years.
Had the privilege of seeing him live on three occasions over the years. Came away from one of the shows with a quick chat, and a signed 8x10 that hangs prominently in my home.
It’ll be a truly sad day when he’s gone.
Thanks for the post Rummy.
Huh...and here all this time I thought he only had eyes for Lucile..
Oops...should have read the story.
I would argue that he isn’t the last great blues artist by any stretch. Buddy Guy is still around and is a better blues artist in my opinion.
Saw him live on Boston Common with Bo Diddley and the great Charles Berry in 1972.
BB had to follow Chuck Berry. He played a few numbers, but the crowd was still roaring for Chuck.
A few bars of The Thrill is Gone, and the gathering hushed...
Well reading the comments the title was pretty misleading and this isnt the first time that Mr. King has “died” on the cyber-news.
I guess when he does finally pass away, nobody will believe it, eh?
I saw BB King a few times in the 1970s. Never liked his music much. Albert King (no relation) had some better tunes and Eric Clapton took and borrowed from him. I didn’t like BBs shtick ... But I admit the man made his mark
you don’t hafta be black to be a great bluesman
Hank Jr. is a great bluesman
Buddy can actually play, not just hit a few licks.
“Gentlemen. Gentlemen. I don’t do chords.”
saw him a few years back, house of blues in chicago- OUTSTANDING!
John Mayall is pretty good for a white guy...
Saw him twice in the late 60s, when he opened for Janis Joplin. Loved him ever since.