Occasionally, in seventiesmusic, we feature a song by an artiste about whom little can be said – the name alone says it all. BB King is such an artiste.
bb king fax
- Born on a cotton plantation in Mississippi, back in 1925, BB King was attracted to music and the guitar in church. BB died, aged 89, on May 14, 2015.
- In between those two dates BB became one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, even earning the nickname, “The King of the Blues.”
- From early in his career, which continued until very shortly before his death, BB was a tireless performer. Even into his 70s he would often perform 200+ shows a year. It’s said that, in 1956, he performed 342 concerts!
- BB was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
- In 1949, BB was playing a gig in Arkansas. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over a barrel of burning oil used to heat the venue. The hall burst into flames, and the building was evacuated.
- Once outside, BB realised that he had left his beloved $30 Gibson guitar inside – he ran back into the burning building to retrieve it.
- The next day, BB heard that the two men had been fighting over a woman who worked at the hall named Lucille. BB named that guitar, and every guitar he subsequently owned, Lucille, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.
- BB was had a certified private pilot’s licence and would often fly himself to gigs around the US.
- BB’s favourite singer was Frank Sinatra. In his autobiography, BB wrote that he went to bed every night listening to Frank’s album In the Wee Small Hours. During the 1960s, Frank had arranged for BB to play clubs in Las Vegas. BB praised Frank for opening doors to black entertainers who were not given the chance to play in white-dominated venues.
- Married twice, BB was said to have fathered 15 children to various women.
- BB suffered throughout his later life with diabetes and was active in the campaign to warn people of the spread of diabetes.
the thrill is gone fax
- The Thrill Is Gone was written by blues musician Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell in 1951. Roy’s recording, released the same year, peaked at #6 on the US R&B charts.
- BB King recorded his version of The Thrill Is Gone in June 1969 for his album Completely Well.
- When released as a single in December 1969, The Thrill is Gone, became one of the biggest hits of BB’s career, peaking at #15 on the US singles chart.
- BB’s recording won the 1970 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and a Grammy Hall of Fame award in 1998. It was ranked at #183 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
- Other artistes to cover The Thrill is Gone include: Aretha Franklin (1970), Barbara Mandrell (1982), Jerry Garcia and David Grisman (1991), The Manhattan Transfer (1995), The Marshall Tucker Band (1975) and Christina Aguilera (2014).
- The Thrill is Gone lyrics.
the thrill is gone – roy Hawkins – 1951 – video
the thrill is gone – bb king – 1970 – video
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