This Historic Day In Music: B.B.King

Last year, I missed B.B.King’s birthday and ended up writing about it belatedly on Sept. 20, 2010. I entitled that post “One That Got Away.”

This year, I vowed to not miss this very important and historic day in music.

In “One That Got Away,” I wrote:

B.B.King was born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925 in a house on the shores of Blue Lake, midway between Itta Bena and Indianola, Mississippi.

B.B. made his first recordings in 1949 for soon-to-be-out-of-business Bullet Records. His first hit record was “Three O’Clock Blues” on the RPM label. It reached #1 on the R&B charts in 1951 and stayed at #1 for 18 weeks. Between then and 1985, B.B. King put 74 recordings on the Billboard magazine R&B charts.

B.B.King has long been revered as the undisputed “King of the Blues.”

Back in 2010, I also wrote about one of my favorite videos of B.B.King. It came from a performance given on May 11, 1985 in Austin, Texas.

The event was a tribute concert held to honor the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. Organized and directed by Jimmie Vaughn, Stevie’s brother, the nationally-broadcast show brought together a stellar line-up of Blues musicians, including B.B.King, and gave each artist a chance to pay and play their respects to Stevie.

At the end, all of the artists joined together to play “SRV Shuffle,” an instrumental written by Jimmie for the occasion.

To be honest, back in 2010, I hadn’t figured out how to imbed video into my blog posts. But now, I know how!

So, here it is. I hope you’ve got nine minutes and eight seconds to watch and listen to this extraordinary Blues jam session. It is a master class in electric Blues guitar and features the incredible playing of Mr. B.B.King.

Now, if you don’t have nine minutes and eight seconds, here’s a shorter video of just B.B. that I recently discovered. It is from the “extras” of the DVD of the film “The Road To Memphis.” This was one of the films in the 2003 series “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues.”

Isn’t that amazing?

Happy 86th Birthday, B.B.King.

Thanks for working so hard and so long to keep the Blues alive and well.

Where would the Blues be now if not for you?

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2 Responses to This Historic Day In Music: B.B.King

  1. Pax Tecum says:

    I was greatful to find, recently, that ‘The Blues’ is still very much alive and well when we heard Hugh Laurie interviewed on TV. He is a primary Blues lover and, now, recording artist.
    Check out:
    http://www.hughlaurieblues.com/about.htm

    We were touched by his performances.

  2. TPS says:

    I am at work and can’t watch these now, but later, for sure…..

    It is because of artists like BB, like Muddy Waters, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Buddy Guy and of course SRV and Johnny Winter that the blues, and particularly the electric blues, has been the predominant genre in the soundtrack of my life.

    Al Kooper said on his live CD “Soul Of A Man”, “The blues are like pajamas. You put ’em on and they’re real comfortable”. I haven’t heard any quotes describing the blues that are better than that one.

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