#1021: 1969, BB King, The Thrill Is Gone

by George_East on May 16, 2015

A legend is gone, that’s for sure.

The sad news of BB King’s death at the age of 89, sees the loss of one of the last remaining blues greats.  Buddy Guy is still going strong, as is Taj Mahal, but as the years go by those with real connections to that extraordinary musical style that emerged in the Delta in the 1920s and 1930s are, like First World War veterans before them, gradually disappearing.

BB King was the real thing. Born on a cotton plantation in a the small Mississippi delta town of Itta Bena (also the birth place of notorious Washington DC mayor, Marion Berry) in 1925, King moved to Memphis in 1946, originally staying with fellow blues legend, Bukka White.

After successful slots on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio show, he began recording in 1949 and pretty much never stopped for the next 65 years touring up to last year.

His distinctive talking guitar sound and rich voice was perhaps too smooth for some (when compared to say Howlin Wolf or John Lee Hooker) but his influence was as enormous as the man himself.

BB King can truly be said to sit with the blues greats, from Son House to Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters.

BB King RIP.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Killingworth May 17, 2015 at 9:01 am

Amen.

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