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B.B. King: The Thrill is Not Gone

B.B. King is introduced in the above clip by Jimmy Walker, of Good Times fame (Dyn-O-mite!). The song is of How Blue Can You Get? Below King sings Just a Little Bit of Love on a show hosted by David Steinberg, another 1970s/80s television comedian. David Brenner and Nipsy Russell aren’t far behind.

B.B. King, of course, is one of the most important musicians the U.S. has produced. This is the beginning of the bio at his website:

His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don’t look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can’t get enough of him. (Continue Reading…)

King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Here is part of the very well written bio at the Hall’s site:

As a guitarist, King is best-known for his single-note solos, played on a hollowbody Gibson guitar. King’s unique tone is velvety and regal, with a discernible sting. He’s known for his trilling vibrato, wicked string bends, and a judicious approach that makes every note count. Back in the early days, King nicknamed his guitar “Lucille,” as if it were a woman with whom he was having a dialogue. In fact, King regards his guitar as an extension of his voice (and vice versa). “The minute I stop singing orally,” King has noted, “I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

There have been many Lucilles over the years, and Gibson has even marketed a namesake model with King’s approval. King selected the name in the mid-Fifties after rescuing his guitar from a nightclub fire started by two men arguing over a woman. Her name? Lucille. (Continue Reading…)

It’s interesting that one of King’s early  influences was his cousin, Bukka White. Here is a great version of The Thrill Is Gone, King’s signature song.