Blues legend BB King has died in Las Vegas at the age of 89, his lawyer has said. Brent Bryson told the Associated Press King died peacefully in his sleep on May 14, 2015 at his home in Las Vegas. He had been suffering ill health in recent months and was recently taken to hospital with a diabetes-related illness. The one-time farmhand brought new fans to the blues and influenced a generation of musicians with his heartfelt vocals and soaring guitar on songs such as The Thrill Is Gone, Lucille, Sweet Black Angel and Rock Me Baby. He played a Gibson guitar he affectionately called Lucille and was a mentor to scores of guitarists including Eric Clapton. He was awarded his 15th Grammy in 2009 in the traditional blues album category for One Kind Favor. Rolling Stone magazine placed him behind only Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. Until recently, King performed in at least 100 concerts a year. (Guardian/BBC)
“One of the things that enabled BB to have such a profound effect on generations of rock-blues guitarists, from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to the present day, was [his music’s] very accessibility – its emotional accessibility in the high-flying, single-string focus of his soloing, and its musical accessibility in the broad range of sources from which he drew,” blues historian Peter Guralnick said in a 2014 interview.
The guitar accounted for only part of Mr King’s popularity. “The World’s Greatest Blues Singer,” as he often was introduced, could shout and exhort the blues in a harsh, blustery baritone like a backwoods preacher, then caress the words with a soft falsetto plea in the same verse. He seamlessly wove his guitar phrases between his vocals almost as though the guitar and his voice were one instrument. He never played while he sang. Lucille always answered his voice but never accompanied it. “He holds the same place in blues as Louis Armstrong did in jazz. He is an ambassador for the music,” Guralnick said. – washingtonpost.com
Here is an excellent sounding and complete FM broadcast of BB King at the Paramount Theatre courtesy of taperpat. The recording was done by his friend Dick who recorded this off of KISW-FM using a Sony R-2-R deck when it was originally broadcast sometime in 1972. This is a really hot performance by BB King and especially his backing band, called Sony Freeman And The Unusuals. The backing band’s rendition of Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) by Otis Redding almost steals the show before BB can even get on stage.
This one really hit me hard. I found out about BB’s passing at about 2 am last night… I only got around to seeing BB once, but it was at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, so that was cool. But now I’m kicking myself for not seeing him several more times. (by peskypesky)
Recorded live at the Paramount Theatre, Seattle, WA; May 30, 1971.
Very good FM broadcast.
John Browning (trumpet)
Joseph Burton (trombone)
Sonny Freeman (drums)
Wilbert Freeman (bass)
Milton Hopkins (guitar)
Louis Hubert (saxophone)
B.B. King (guitar, vocals)
Ron Levy (piano)
Earl Turbinton (saxophone)
01. From The Marr-ket Place (Marr/Redd) 2.52
02. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) (Redding/Cropper) 3.43
03. Hot Pants (unknown) 6.14
04. Blue Monk/BB King Intro (Monk) 1.09
05. Everyday I Have The Blues (Chatman) 1.37
06. How Blue Can You Get? (J.Feather/L.Feather) 6.48
07. Help The Poor (Singleton) 3.23
08. Whole Lotta Lovin’ 3:15 (5.5MB)
09. Rock Me Baby (King/Taub) 4.19
10. Hummingbird (Russell) 3,53
11. Sweet Sixteen/Lucille (King/Josea/ 13:39 (22.9MB)
12. Band Introduction 1.32
13. The Thrill Is Gone (Hawkings(DArnell) 6.36
14. Just Like A Woman (Demetrius/Moore) 4.03