SJF is very sad to announce the death of blues legend, B. B. King, who passed away aged 89 in his sleep in Las Vegas yesterday, Friday 15th May.
Born Riley King in Bena, Mississippi in 1925, to parents who were sharecroppers, King acquired the nickname ‘Blues Boy’ in the 1940s when he moved to Memphis and hosted his own radio show. But it was as a guitar player and singer that truly brought him fame. Equipped with an expressive voice and a distinctive bittersweet fretboard sound (which he played the guitar he named ‘Lucille’), he proved to be a consistent hit maker and between the years 1951 and 1992 he racked up a phenomenal 76 chart entries on the US R&B charts, including four number ones in the early 1950s (they were ‘3 O’Clock Blues,’ ‘You Know I Love You,’ ‘Please Love Me,’ and ‘You Upset Me Baby,’ all recorded for the RPM label).
King was a hugely influential musician and those who fell under his spell included rock axe deities Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Peter Green.
R.I.P. B.B. King 1925-2015