Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known professionally as B.B. King, was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists.
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues", and is considered one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert and Freddie King). King was known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing on average at more than 200 concerts per year into his 70s. In 1956 alone, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.
King was born on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, and later worked at a cotton gin in Indianola, Mississippi. He was attracted to music and the guitar in church, and began his career in juke joints and local radio. He later lived in Memphis, Tennessee, and Chicago, and toured the world extensively. King died at the age of 89 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 14, 2015.
|Oral History, B.B. King reflects on his greatest musical influences. interview date August 3, 2005, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
King at the 2009 North Sea Jazz Festival
|Birth name||Riley B. King|
|Born||September 16, 1925|
Itta Bena, Mississippi, U.S.
|Died||May 14, 2015 (aged 89)|
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on the Berclair cotton plantation near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King. He considered the nearby city of Indianola, Mississippi to be his home. When King was four years old, his mother left his father for another man, so he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Elnora Farr, in Kilmichael, Mississippi.
While young, King sang in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. King was attracted to the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ because of its music. The local minister performed with a Sears Roebuck Silvertone guitar during services. The minister taught King his first three chords. It seems that at the age of 12 he purchased his first guitar for $15.00, although another source indicates he was given his first guitar by Bukka White, his mother's first cousin (King's grandmother and White's mother were sisters).
In November 1941, "King Biscuit Time" first aired, broadcasting on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. It was a radio show featuring the Mississippi Delta blues. King listened to it while on break at a plantation. A self-taught guitarist, he then wanted to become a radio musician.
In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John's Gospel Singers of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi.
In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee. White took him in for the next ten months. However, King returned to Mississippi shortly afterward, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948. He performed on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop an audience. King's appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a ten-minute spot on the Memphis radio station WDIA. The radio spot became so popular that it was expanded and became the Sepia Swing Club.
He worked at WDIA as a singer and disc jockey, where he was given the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "Blues Boy", and finally to B.B. It was there that he first met T-Bone Walker. King said, "Once I'd heard him for the first time, I knew I'd have to have [an electric guitar] myself. 'Had' to have one, short of stealing!"
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, King was a part of the blues scene on Beale Street. "Beale Street was where it all started for me," King said. He performed with Bobby Bland, Johnny Ace and Earl Forrest in a group called The Beale Streeters. 
According to King and Joe Bihari, Ike Turner introduced King to the Biharis brothers while he was a talent scout at Modern Records. In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records, a subsidiary of Modern. Many of King's early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later founded Sun Records. Before his RPM contract, King had debuted on Bullet Records by issuing the single, "Miss Martha King" (1949), which did not chart well. "My very first recordings [in 1949] were[sic] for a company out of Nashville called Bullet, the Bullet Record Transcription company," King recalled. "I had horns that very first session. I had Phineas Newborn on piano; his father played drums, and his brother, Calvin, played guitar with me. I had Tuff Green on bass, Ben Branch on tenor sax, his brother, Thomas, on trumpet, and a lady trombone player. The Newborn family were the house band at the famous Plantation Inn in West Memphis."
King assembled his own band; the B.B. King Review, under the leadership of Millard Lee. The band initially consisted of Calvin Owens and Kenneth Sands (trumpet), Lawrence Burdin (alto saxophone), George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone), Millard Lee (piano), George Joyner (bass) and Earl Forest and Ted Curry (drums). Onzie Horne was a trained musician elicited as an arranger to assist King with his compositions. By his own admission, King could not play chords well and always relied on improvisation.
King's recording contract was followed by tours across the United States, with performances in major theaters in cities such as Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and St. Louis, as well as numerous gigs in small clubs and juke joints of the southern United States. During one show in Twist, Arkansas, a brawl broke out between two men and caused a fire. He evacuated along with the rest of the crowd but went back to retrieve his guitar. He said he later found out that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. He named the guitar Lucille, as a reminder not to fight over women or run into any more burning buildings.
Following his first Billboard Rhythm and Blues charted number one, "3 O'Clock Blues" (February 1952), B.B. King became one of the most important names in R&B music in the 1950s, amassing an impressive list of hits including "You Know I Love You", "Woke Up This Morning", "Please Love Me", "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer", "Whole Lotta Love", "You Upset Me Baby", "Every Day I Have the Blues", "Sneakin' Around", "Ten Long Years", "Bad Luck", "Sweet Little Angel", "On My Word of Honor", and "Please Accept My Love". This led to a significant increase in his weekly earnings, from about $85 to $2,500, with appearances at major venues such as the Howard Theater in Washington and the Apollo in New York, as well as touring the "Chitlin' circuit". 1956 became a record-breaking year, with 342 concerts booked and three recording sessions. That same year he founded his own record label, Blues Boys Kingdom, with headquarters at Beale Street in Memphis. There, among other projects, he was a producer for artists such as Millard Lee and Levi Seabury. In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records, which was later absorbed into MCA Records (which itself was later absorbed into Geffen Records). In November 1964, King recorded the Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater. King later said that Regal Live "is considered by some the best recording I've ever had . . . that particular day in Chicago everything came together . . ."
From the late 1960s, new manager Sid Seidenberg pushed King into a different type of venue as blues-rock performers like Eric Clapton (once a member of The Yardbirds, as well as Cream), and Paul Butterfield were popularizing an appreciation of blues music among white audiences. King gained further visibility among rock audiences as an opening act on the Rolling Stones' 1969 American Tour. He won a 1970 Grammy Award for his version of the song "The Thrill Is Gone;" which was a hit on both the Pop and R&B charts. It also gained the number 183 spot in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2004, he was awarded the international Polar Music Prize, given to artists "in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music."
From the 1980s to his death in 2015, he maintained a highly visible and active career, appearing on numerous television shows and sometimes performing 300 nights a year. In 1988, King reached a new generation of fans with the single "When Love Comes to Town," a collaborative effort between King and the Irish band U2 on their Rattle and Hum album. In December 1997, he performed in the Vatican's fifth annual Christmas concert and presented his trademark guitar "Lucille" to Pope John Paul II. In 1998, he appeared in The Blues Brothers 2000, playing the part of the lead singer of the Louisiana Gator Boys, along with Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Koko Taylor and Bo Diddley. In 2000, he and Clapton teamed up again to record Riding With the King, which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
Discussing where he took the Blues, from "dirt floor, smoke in the air" joints to grand concert halls, King said the Blues belonged everywhere beautiful music belonged. He successfully worked both sides of the commercial divide, with sophisticated recordings and "raw, raucous" live performance.
In 2006, King went on a "farewell" world tour, although he remained active afterward. The tour was partly supported by Northern Irish guitarist, Gary Moore, with whom King had previously toured and recorded. It started in the United Kingdom, and continued with performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival and in Zürich at the Blues at Sunset. During his show in Montreux at the Stravinski Hall, he jammed with Joe Sample, Randy Crawford, David Sanborn, Gladys Knight, Leela James, Andre Beeka, Earl Thomas, Stanley Clarke, John McLaughlin, Barbara Hendricks and George Duke.
In June 2006, King was present at a memorial of his first radio broadcast at the Three Deuces Building in Greenwood, Mississippi, where an official marker of the Mississippi Blues Trail was erected. The same month, a groundbreaking was held for a new museum, dedicated to King, in Indianola, Mississippi. The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened on September 13, 2008.
In late October 2006, King recorded a concert album and video entitled B.B. King: Live at his B.B. King Blues Clubs in Nashville and Memphis. The video of the four-night production featured his regular B.B. King Blues Band and captured his show as he performed it nightly around the world. Released in 2008, they documented his first live performances in over a decade.
In 2007, King played at Eric Clapton's second Crossroads Guitar Festival and contributed the songs "Goin' Home", to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (with Ivan Neville's DumpstaPhunk) and "One Shoe Blues" to Sandra Boynton's children's album Blue Moo, accompanied by a pair of sock puppets in a music video for the song.
In the summer of 2008, King played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, where he was given a key to the city. Also in 2008, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.
King performed at the Mawazine festival in Rabat, Morocco, on May 27, 2010. In June 2010, King performed at the Crossroads Guitar Festival with Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan, and Eric Clapton. He also contributed to Cyndi Lauper's album Memphis Blues, which was released on June 22, 2010.
On February 21, 2012, King was among the performers of "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues," during which President Barack Obama sang part of "Sweet Home Chicago". King recorded for the debut album of rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T., who also hails from Mississippi. On July 5, 2012, King performed a concert at the Byblos International Festival in Lebanon.
On October 3, 2014, after completing his live performance at the House of Blues in Chicago, a doctor diagnosed King with dehydration and exhaustion, and the eight remaining shows of his ongoing tour had to be cancelled. King didn't schedule any additional shows for the remainder of the year.
B.B. King used equipment characteristic of the different periods he played in. He played guitars made by various manufacturers early in his career. He played a Fender Esquire on most of his recordings with RPM Records. However, he was best known for playing variants of the Gibson ES-355.
In the September edition 1995 of Vintage Guitar magazine, early photos show him playing a Gibson ES-5 through a Fender tweed amp. In reference to the photo, B.B. King stated, "Yes; the old Fender amplifiers were the best that were ever made, in my opinion. They had a good sound and they were durable; guys would throw them in the truck and they’d hold up. They had tubes, and they’d get real hot, but they just had a sound that is hard to put into words. The Fender Twin was great, but I have an old Lab Series amp that isn’t being made anymore. I fell in love with it, because its sound is right between the old Fender amps that we used to have and the Fender Twin. It’s what I’m using tonight."
He later moved on from the larger Gibson hollow bodied instruments which were prone to feedback when played a high volumes to various semi-hollow models beginning first with the ES-335 and then a deluxe version called the ES-355 which employed a stereo option. In 1980, Gibson Guitar Corporation launched the B.B. King Lucille model, a ES-355 with stereo options, a varitone selector and fine tuners (neither of which were actually utilized by B.B.) and, at King's direct request, no f-holes to further reduce feedback. In 2005, Gibson made a special run of 80 Gibson Lucilles, referred to as the "80th Birthday Lucille", the first prototype of which was given as a birthday gift to King, and which he used thereafter.
King used a Lab Series L5 2×12" combo amplifier and had been using this amplifier for a long time. It was made by Norlin Industries for Gibson in the 1970s and 1980s. Other popular L5 users are Allan Holdsworth and Ty Tabor of King's X. The L5 has an onboard compressor, parametric equalization, and four inputs. King also used a Fender Twin Reverb.
He used his signature model strings "Gibson SEG-BBS B.B. King Signature Electric Guitar Strings" with gauges: 10–13–17p–32w–45w–54w and D'Andrea 351 MD SHL CX (medium 0.71mm, tortoise shell, celluloid) picks.
In 1991, Beale Street developer John Elkington recruited B.B. King to Memphis to open the original B.B. King's Blues Club, and in 1994, a second club was launched at Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles. A third club in New York City's Times Square opened in June 2000 but closed on April 29, 2018. Management is currently in the process of finding a new location in New York City. Two more clubs opened, at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut in January 2002, and in Nashville in 2003. Another club opened in Orlando in 2007. A club in West Palm Beach opened in the fall of 2009 and an additional one, based in the Mirage Hotel, Las Vegas, opened in the winter of 2009. Another opened in the New Orleans French Quarter in 2016.
King made guest appearances in numerous popular television shows, including The Cosby Show, The Young and the Restless, General Hospital, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Sesame Street, Married... with Children, Sanford and Son, and Touched by an Angel.
King, who was diabetic, appeared in several television commercials for OneTouch Ultra, a blood glucose monitoring device, in the 2000s and early 2010s. He appeared in 1995 in a McDonald's commercial with Australian guitarist Nathan Cavaleri, and then in a commercial for the Toyota Camry with his guitar Lucille.
King was married twice, to Martha Lee Denton, November 1946 to 1952, and to Sue Carol Hall, 1958 to 1966. The failure of both marriages has been attributed to the heavy demands made by King's 250 performances a year. It is reported that he fathered 15 children with several different women. After his death, three more have come forward, claiming King as their father as well. Though neither of his marriages produced children, and biographer Charles Sawyer wrote that doctors found his sperm count too low to conceive children, King never disputed paternity of any of the 15 who claimed it, and by all accounts was generous in bankrolling college tuitions and establishing trust funds. In May 2016, the 11 surviving children initiated legal proceedings against King's appointed trustee over his estimated $30 million to $40 million estate. Several of them also went public with the allegation that King's business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson, had fatally poisoned him. Autopsy results showed no evidence of poisoning. A defamation suit filed by Johnson against the accusing family members (including his own sister, Karen Williams) is pending. Other children have filed lawsuits targeting King's music estate, which remains in dispute.
King was an FAA certified private pilot and learned to fly in 1963 at what was then Chicago Hammond Airport in Lansing, Illinois. He frequently flew to gigs but in 1995 his insurance company and manager asked him to fly only with another certified pilot. As a result, he stopped flying around the age of 70.
King's favorite singer was Frank Sinatra. In his autobiography he spoke about how he was a "Sinatra nut" and how he went to bed every night listening to Sinatra's classic album In the Wee Small Hours. During the 1960s Sinatra had arranged for King to play at the main clubs in Las Vegas. He credited Sinatra for opening doors to black entertainers who were not given the chance to play in "white-dominated" venues.
In September 1970, King recorded Live in Cook County Jail, during a time in which issues of race and class in the prison system were prominent in politics. King also co-founded the Foundation for the Advancement of Inmate Rehabilitation and Recreation, tying in his support for prisoners and interest in prison reform. In addition to prison reform, King also wanted to utilize prison performances as a way to preserve music and songs in a similar way that Alan Lomax did.
In 2002, King signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underprivileged public schools throughout the United States. He sat on the organization's Honorary Board of Directors.
In the 2000s to early 2010s, King was also involved in a diabetes awareness campaign with American Idol contestant, Crystal Bowersox, with One Touch Ultra, starring in commercials promoting diabetes health management.
The remaining eight shows of his 2014 tour were cancelled because of health problems caused by complications from high blood pressure and diabetes. King died in his sleep on May 14, 2015, at the age of 89, from vascular dementia caused by a series of small strokes as a consequence of his type 2 diabetes. Two of his daughters alleged that King was deliberately poisoned by two associates trying to induce diabetic shock, however an autopsy showed no evidence of poisoning.
On May 27, 2015, King's body was flown to Memphis. A funeral procession went down Beale Street, with a brass band marching in front of the hearse, playing "When the Saints Go Marching In." Thousands lined the streets to pay their last respects. His body was then driven down Route 61 to his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi. He was laid in repose at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, in Indianola, for people to view his open casket. The funeral took place at the Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Indianola, on May 30. He was buried at the B.B. King Museum.
Years reflect the year in which the Grammy was awarded, for music released in the previous year.
|1971||Best Male R&B Vocal Performance||"The Thrill Is Gone"||Won|
|1981||Best R&B Instrumental Performance||"When I'm Wrong"||Nominated|
|1982||Best Ethnic or Traditional Recording||"There Must Be a Better World Somewhere"||Won|
|1983||Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals||"Street Life"||Nominated|
|1984||Best Traditional Blues Recording||Blues 'n Jazz||Won|
|1986||My Guitar Sings the Blues||Won|
|1991||Live at San Quentin||Won|
|1991||Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||"Waiting on the Light to Change"||Nominated|
|1992||Best Traditional Blues Album||Live at the Apollo||Won|
|1995||Best Country Collaboration with Vocals||"Patches"||Nominated|
|1997||Best Rock Instrumental Performance||"SRV Shuffle"||Won|
|1999||Best Contemporary Blues Album||Deuces Wild||Nominated|
|2000||Best Traditional Blues Album||Blues on the Bayou||Won|
|2001||Best Traditional Blues Album||Riding with the King||Won|
|2001||Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals||"Is You or Is You Ain't (Baby)"||Won|
|2003||Best Traditional Blues Album||A Christmas Celebration of Hope||Won|
|2003||Best Pop Instrumental Performance||"Auld Lang Syne"||Won|
|2005||Best Traditional R&B Performance||"Sinner's Prayer" (with Ray Charles)||Nominated|
|2006||Best Traditional Blues Album||B. B. King & Friends: 80||Won|
|2009||Best Traditional Blues Album||One Kind Favor||Won|
|1995||Country Music Association||Album of the Year||Rhythm, Country and Blues ("Patches" with George Jones)||Nominated|
|2002||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Series or Special||Sesame Street||Nominated|
...was born on a cotton plantation, in Itta Bene [sic], Mississippi, just outside the delta town of Indianola.
1980: B.B. King is inducted into the first class of the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame.
"3 O'Clock Blues" or "Three O'Clock Blues" is a slow twelve-bar blues recorded by Lowell Fulson in 1946. When it was released in 1948, it became Fulson's first hit. When B.B. King recorded the song in 1952, it became his first hit as well as one of the best-selling R&B singles in 1952."3 O'Clock Blues" effectively launched King's career and remained a part of his concert repertoire throughout his life. The song was included on his first album, Singin' the Blues and since has appeared on several King albums, including a remake in 2000 with Eric Clapton for the Riding with the King album.B.B. King's Bluesville
B.B. King's Bluesville is a Sirius XM Radio channel devoted to Blues music. It plays a mix of traditional blues, modern blues, rockin' blues and soul or "finger-poppin'" blues.
Bill Wax was the original Program Director for the channel until his departure from SiriusXM in June 2013. While playing music in the fictional town of Bluesville, Wax was often heard hanging out in Low-Fi's Bar and Pool Hall. Tony Colter plays the role of a night-time bartender at Low-Fi's.
B.B. King was the "Mayor" of Bluesville, having been dubbed as such by Bill Wax, and made several live appearances on the station. King, along with co-host Wax, had his own weekly music show on the channel that began in September 2008. The program featured a broad range of blues and gospel music hand-selected by King, along with stories about the artists and other personal anecdotes from the bluesman's epic career. The show is no longer in production but continues to be re-run on the channel.
The channel launched on XM as Bluesville in 2001; King's name was officially added on July 14, 2008. At the time it had around 4 million listeners.On November 12, 2008 it was added to the Sirius lineup, replacing SIRIUS Blues. B.B. King's Bluesville can be heard on channel 74 on Sirius XM Radio.B.B. King in London
B.B. King in London is the nineteenth studio album by B.B. King recorded in London in 1971. He is accompanied by US session musicians and various British rock- and R&B musicians, including Ringo Starr, Alexis Korner and Rick Wright (not the same from Pink Floyd), as well as members of Spooky Tooth and Humble Pie, Greg Ridley, Steve Marriott, and Jerry Shirley.
The album was released in the United Kingdom on November 19, 1971 in order to coincide with the first date of King's tour of the country.Wright and his female companion Fritz started a short-lived blues-based band Sunrise which came to an end after Wright's untimely death in a car accident in 1974. Sunrise also included session blues guitarist Paul Asbell. John Lennon had announced that he would perform on some of the tracks, but ended up having no involvement with the album.Big Boss Man (song)
"Big Boss Man" is a blues song first recorded by Jimmy Reed in 1960. Unlike his most popular songs, the songwriting is credited to Luther Dixon and Al Smith. It was a hit for Reed and has been interpreted and recorded by a variety of artists, including Elvis Presley and B.B. King, who had record chart successes with the song.Bobby Bland and B. B. King Together Again...Live
Bobby Bland and B. B. King Together Again...Live is a live album recorded in 1976 at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles by Bobby Bland and B. B. King.Every Day I Have the Blues
"Every Day I Have the Blues" is a blues song that has been performed in a variety of styles. An early version of the song is attributed to Pinetop Sparks and his brother Milton. It was first performed in the taverns of St. Louis by the Sparks brothers and was recorded July 28, 1935 by Pinetop with Henry Townsend on guitar. The song is a twelve-bar blues that features Pinetop's piano and falsetto vocal. The opening verse includes the line "Every day, every day I have the blues."
After a reworking of the song by Memphis Slim in 1949, it became a blues standard with renditions recorded by numerous artists. Four different versions of "Every Day I Have the Blues" have reached the Top Ten of the Billboard R&B chart and two—one by the Count Basie Orchestra with Joe Williams and one by B.B. King—have received Grammy Hall of Fame Awards. In 2019, it was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame as a "Classic of Blues Recording".How Blue Can You Get
"How Blue Can You Get" (alternatively "Downhearted") is a blues song first recorded by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers in 1949. It is a slow twelve-bar blues that jazz critic Leonard Feather and his wife, Jane Feather, are credited with writing. The song has been recorded by several blues and other artists. In 1964, it was a hit for B.B. King and became a staple of his live shows.Let the Good Times Roll (Louis Jordan song)
"Let the Good Times Roll" is a jump blues song recorded in 1946 by Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five. A mid-tempo twelve-bar blues, the song became a blues standard and one of Jordan's best-known songs.Live at B.B. King Blues Club
Live at B.B. King Blues Club is a 2007 album by English blues rock band the Yardbirds.Live at the Apollo (B. B. King album)
Live at the Apollo is a Blues album by B.B. King and the Phillip Morris "Super Band" recorded at the famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. It was awarded the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.Lucille (album)
Lucille is the fifteenth album by blues artist B. B. King. It is named for his famous succession of Gibson guitars, currently the Signature ES-355.Lucille (guitar)
Lucille is the name B.B. King gave to his guitars. They were usually black Gibson guitars similar to the ES-345-355.Riding with the King (B.B. King and Eric Clapton album)
Riding with the King is a blues album by Eric Clapton and B.B. King that was released in 2000. It was their first collaborative album and won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. The album reached number one on Billboard's Top Blues Albums and was certified 2× Multi-Platinum in the United States. Riding with the King was also released on a DVD-Audio in higher resolution and with a 5.1 surround sound mix in 2000.
The album was generally well received by reviewers, although some felt that it could have been better, and that the sound on the CD was too polished for a blues album.Rock Me Baby (song)
"Rock Me Baby" is a blues standard that has become one of the most recorded blues songs of all time. It originated as "Rockin' and Rollin'", a 1951 song by Lil' Son Jackson, itself inspired by earlier blues. Renditions by Muddy Waters and B.B. King made the song well-known. When B.B. King's recording of "Rock Me Baby" was released in 1964, it became his first single to reach the Top 40 in Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart.Singin' the Blues
Singin' the Blues is the 1956 debut album by blues performer B.B. King, issued by the Bihari brothers on their budget Crown label. Among its tracks, the album gathered together five charting singles. "You Upset Me, Baby" was the highest charting single, reaching number one on Billboard's "Black Singles" chart. Other charting singles include "Every Day I Have the Blues" (number eight), "Ten Long Years" (number nine), "Crying Won't Help You" (number fifteen), "Bad Luck" (number three) and "Sweet Little Angel" (number six).
The album was originally released on the Crown subsidiary of Modern Records and has been reissued several times, as part of a two-album combined compact disc alongside King's second release The Blues and with bonus tracks by P-Vine Records (Japan) an Ace Records (UK). On "Please Love Me", King combines T-Bone Walker's hard-picking, distorted guitar style with his own mournful singing.The Thrill Is Gone
"The Thrill Is Gone" is a slow minor-key blues song written by West Coast blues musician Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell in 1951. Hawkins' recording of the song reached number six in the Billboard R&B chart in 1951. In 1970, "The Thrill Is Gone" became a major hit for B.B. King. His rendition helped make the song a blues standard.When Love Comes to Town
"When Love Comes to Town" is a song by Irish rock band U2 featuring blues guitarist B. B. King. It is the twelfth track from U2's 1988 album, Rattle and Hum, and was released in 1989 as the record's third single. The song was recorded at the historic Sun Studio in Memphis. "When Love Comes to Town" reached number one in the Irish Singles Chart, number six in the UK singles chart, number ten in the Dutch Top 40 and number two in the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.Worried Life Blues
"Worried Life Blues" is a blues standard and one of the most recorded blues songs of all time. Originally recorded by Big Maceo Merriweather in 1941, "Worried Life Blues" was an early blues hit and Maceo's most recognized song. An earlier song inspired it and several artists have had record chart successes with their interpretations of the song.
Awards for B.B. King