BB King to be buried in Mississippi hometown next week

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

B.B. King tribute, burial plans.

Nobody seems to know who came up with the mordant remark “smart career move” in response to the death of Elvis Presley, but there is no doubt that his demise revived his record sales. King will be buried on Saturday, May 30 on the grounds of a museum dedicated to his life in Indianola, a small Mississippi Delta town where his career began.

King had been admitted to hospice care, it was still an emotional blow to learn the 89-year-old King of the Blues had died at his Las Vegas home on May 14. A funeral procession will take King’s body from the airport in Memphis, Tennessee next Wednesday to Handy Park in Memphis, where King first achieved widespread fame, before continuing down U.S.

King – he and Presley were both were born in the US state of Mississippi, but made their names in Tennessee – has stimulated some additional interest in his voluminous but confusing discography. King was a member of the 2014 class of inductees into the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame, and his profound legacy has had impact on all genres of music. “B.B. King went from a childhood spent picking cotton in fields to becoming one of the most respected and beloved musicians in the world earning 15 Grammy Awards (one a “Lifetime Achievement Award”), a star on the Hollywood Boulevard “Walk of Fame,” induction in both the “Blues Hall of Fame” and the “Rock And Roll Hall of Fame,” was among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1995 and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006. King was first anthologised with the release of his debut album, Singin’ the Blues (1956), which was a collection of singles dating back to 1950 (his first release was Miss Martha King, issued in 1949).

I was a relatively young reporter then and sitting down with this legend of music was to say the least a bit intimidating and clearly it showed. “There’s nothing to be nervous about young man,” said King with a big smile while sitting down with his beloved black Gibson guitar “Lucille.” King spoke passionately that evening about the blues and today I wish to share some of that conversation in homage to the man and in remembrance of my personal brush with greatness all those years ago. In the early years, the only guitar books that taught musical notation had country and western tunes and folk songs like ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ So I could play Roy Acuff songs long before I could play Blind Lemon’s songs.” On the influence of Blues music: “Most people don’t recognize it but rock ‘n’ roll and even in this disco music of today, the Blues is very predominant. A preacher uncle taught him the guitar, and King didn’t play and sing blues in earnest until he was in basic training with the Army during World War II.

He moved to Indianola when he was 17 and spent many of his formative years there, driving a tractor on a plantation and playing gospel and blues music in churches and clubs, on street corners and the radio, before moving to Memphis in 1948. He was ranked by Rolling Stone Magazine as No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists, and considered a major influence on other blues and rock guitarists. It is difficult to think of a better one, although it was not King’s favourite of his own albums, and he insisted that the performance, captured on November 21, 1964, at the Regal Theatre in Chicago, was a typical rather than an exceptional show among the hundreds he played that year. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. A rather different favoured venue was the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and for 1991’s Grammy-winning Live at The Apollo (GRP), he performed with the Phillip Morris Super Band – a 16-piece consisting entirely of big-name jazz musicians.

Regular staples of his repertoire were rearranged for a top-calibre swing band which included Ray Brown on bass, Kenny Burrell as a back-up guitarist and a horn section which included Plas Johnson on tenor saxophone and James Morrison on trumpet. That relationship led to a 1982 live album titled Royal Jam, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and King features to advantage on several tracks, but the best of their work together is to be found on the studio albums.

Collaborations suited King, and he went the then fashionable multiple-guest-artist route on several albums in the ’90s, starting with 1991’s Blues Summit and continuing through Lucille and Friends and Deuces Wild. He famously played 342 one night stands in 1956 and played and estimated 300 dates a year through the early 2000s continuing to tour until last October when sidelined due to ill health caused by his long time battle with diabetes. “I was very saddened by the news of his death,” said Charlie Blum, CEO and Talent Buyer for Star Productions. “He was not only a legendary musician but he was a wonderful individual with a demeanor that was always jolly and easy going. Bone Burnett, won him his last Grammy and included some deeply felt, philosophically reflective blues from a man who still had a fair stretch of the road ahead, but could see it coming to an end.

Live in Africa 1974 (2009): King’s classic concert in Zaire, staged to tie in with the Muhammad Ali versus George Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle” fight. King would like to see you.’ Myself and Mark (Bishop) were worried that something was wrong, but when we got there, B said – ‘I wanted to see you and thank you personally for allowing me the privilege to perform here at this wonderful theater and to play for you.’ “ King requested Blum and his staff call him ‘B’ and not ‘Mr.

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