BB King will be described as ‘the greatest blues guitarist’, or ‘the father of modern rock music’. These descriptions maybe true, however, considering he was renowned for doing 250 shows per year. It would be fair to describe him as ‘the last of the great showman’. A showman that would give his audience 100% effort in every gig.
BB King was born Riley B King to a family of poor sharecroppers. As traditional African American singers tend to do his singing started in the church. He acquired his first guitar around the age of 12 and through hard work and diligence he became well known around the Southern states of the USA as a handy guitarist.
He began to get recognition within the R and B circuit and had a number of hits in the 1950’s. However his step up to legend status came around when young white musicians from the UK who were making a name for themselves in the US cited BB King as their inspiration. This was reinforced when The Rolling Stones had BB King as there opening act for their 1969 tour.
He regularly dueted or appeared on a number of artist singles, playing his now trademark sound and did numerous tours Apparently his name came from the time he did radio shows in which he was called Blues Boy King and his most striking statement was when he named his guitar ‘Lucille’.
BB King was married twice and had 15 children but 4 died before him.