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B.B. King - Blues Guitar Music Legend Part 1

posted 19 Nov 2010, 20:53 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 19 Nov 2010, 20:55 ]

One of my favorite guitarists has always been blues guitar
music legend BB King! He is arguably the most influential
and certainly the most visible blues guitarist in history.
Other famous guitar players such as Eric Clapton, Carlos
Santana, Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons and Mike Bloomfield
have all acknowledged their debt to BB King. And, BB King's
playing today remains just as fresh, vibrant and alive as

Riley King was born in Mississippi in 1925 to Albert and
Nora King. His mother left her husband for another man when
BB was 4 years old and he was sent to live with his maternal
grandmother also in Mississippi without objection from his
father. Nora had 2 other husbands and BB was shuffled back
and forth between them and his grandmother. His musical
education began when he started singing in the Sanctified
Church, whose preacher Archie Fair was his uncles'
brother-in-law. Archie Fair strummed some gospel guitar
songs and gave the curious youngster his first enticing
taste of playing on the strings. BB's mother died in 1935
but fortunately not before she could call her 9 year old son
to her side before passing.

Afterwards, BB went back to stay with his grandmother and
attended the Baptist sponsored Elkhorn School where he
continued strengthening his young voice in the gospel choir.
When his grandmother died in 1940, the 14 year old tried
tenant farming on her land until later that year when he
left for the Delta to live with his father and extended
family for the next 2 years. By the age of 15 he was already
playing on street corners. He had discovered that he could
make more money in tips in one day of playing guitar than he
could for a whole week's work picking cotton! Soon he was
doing singing commercials on Memphis radio stations and from
that he moved on to getting his own show. It was at this time
that he picked up the nickname "BB" which was short for
"Blues Boy".

His popularity continued to grow and eventually he was
signed to the RPM record label. His first hit "3 O'Clock
Blues" went to Number 1 on the rhythm and blues charts and
heralded the arrival of a blues guitar superstar. BB
continued touring and recording throughout the fifties, but
it wasn't until the sixties that his name became familiar to
white audiences. In 1970 he won a grammy award for his
monumental hit "The Thrill Is Gone". To this day, he
continues to tour over 200 days a year and to record with
his band and with other artists as diverse as Larry Carlton
and U2. His numerous television and film appearances along
with countless awards continue to affirm his stature as an
all time blues guitar great. Fortunately, for aspiring blues
guitarists there is a wealth of instructional blues guitar
tab books as well as a DVD course taught by BB King himself!

About the Author:

Peabody Conservatory trained guitarist Steven Herron helps
people succeed at becoming better guitar players. Find out
more about blues guitar tab books and instructional DVDs by
BB King and claim Steven's popular free monthly guitar
lesson e-course available at: =>