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RIP BB King

Documentary: Live at Sing Sing Prison

 

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Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925 on a cotton plantation near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King.

He appears on everyone's short list of the top guitarists of all time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him in 1987.

King was a tireless performer appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s. In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.

King was introduced to music by singing in the gospel choir of Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael, Mississippi.

His nickname came from the time he worked as a singer and disc jockey on WDAI where he earned the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy" which was later shortened to "Blues Boy" and then BB.

It was on that gig that he first met T-Bone Walker.

King said of the experience: "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."



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