‘Always a rotten apple’: BB King, poison and the ‘daughters’ of an infertile legend

31 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Always a rotten apple’: BB King, poison and the ‘daughters’ of an infertile legend.

BB King always slept with the light on, even as an old man, because he’d never shaken his fear of the dark. As the instrument lay propped up on King’s casket, hundreds of mourners packed into Bell Grove Baptist Church to honour the one-time cotton picker whose talent inspired generations of musicians. “For those of us here in Indianola and around the world, B.B. One summer night when he was a boy, a tornado howled across the Delta and deposited small fish in the cotton fields and left him in his mother’s arms in a cabin without a roof. King, who rose from sharecropper in the area’s flat cotton fields to worldwide fame as a blues singer and guitarist who influenced generations of entertainers.

Two of his daughters have claimed he was poisoned by longtime associates – allegations dismissed as unfounded by an attorney for the artist’s estate. More than 200 people who couldn’t get into the sanctuary watched a live broadcast of the funeral in the church’s fellowship hall, many waving hand-held fans with a black-and-white photo of a smiling King hugging his black electric guitar, Lucille. He’d been with King at a funeral a few years earlier, and he said King had told him, “I want you to pay special attention to the lyrics of the lead song on my new album.” King’s favorite bluesman was Blind Lemon Jefferson, who sang a song called “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean”. At the beginning of the service, family members filed past King’s open casket, which had an image of Lucille embroidered on the padded white cloth inside the lid.

Country singer Marty Stuart said King created a musical legacy for the home state they share. “As a fellow Mississippian, I’m so proud to stand in his shadow as I walk across the world,” Stuart said. King drives on Beale Street during a processional on May 27, 2015 in Memphis, Tennessee. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images) Noting the thousands of people who came to Indianola for the public viewing Friday and funeral Saturday, Bryant said: “He would have loved to know that one more time he’s helping the Mississippi Delta.” A children’s choir based at the B.B.

King Museum clapped as they sang gospel songs, including one with the chorus: “Let’s all get together, bring peace to the world.” “The blues has lost its king and American has lost a legend,” Obama said. “No one worked harder than B.B. Karen Williams and Patty King didn’t trust his longtime business manager, LaVerne Toney, who had power of attorney and controlled his finances and medical care.

He’d met a lot of women playing 300 shows per year, and he had a saying, according to Sawyer: “If a woman is pregnant, and she says you’re the father, the only question to ask is, ‘Is it possible?’ And if it’s possible, it’s yours.” But Sawyer, the biographer, said King also told him something else, a second piece of information that seemed to contradict the first. This assertion had long been forgotten in his portrait of a blues legend now stalked by family intrigue: King and his second wife couldn’t have children, and he took a fertility test that showed his sperm count was too low to conceive.Sawyer said he published this in his book, The Arrival of BB King, an authorized biography that is now out of print. In any case, King took responsibility for 15 children, including Patty Elizabeth King, who later went to prison for cocaine trafficking. (She is one of the two making accusations against King’s business manager; their attorney, Larissa Drohobyczer, told the Guardian, “They have the right to know how their father died.”) “There are always – I don’t want to call them this, but – there’s always a rotten apple in the barrel,” King’s son Willie said in an interview Friday afternoon. “And sometimes you can take hurt, and turn it into something that it should not be. And I think out of the anger of losing their dad, they went to the extreme. “I pray that the public don’t really accept them as an angry person like that, because being my sisters, they are not like that.

Wanda Clark, the project coordinator for the Mississippi Blues Trail, had taken on the task of finding two white horses in a line. “White horses just aren’t common around here,” she said. And so a worker found a way to dye the straps, and there they were on Saturday afternoon, holding up BB King’s coffin, chain-like and nearly golden, letting him down into the ground.

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