B B King was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of guitar playing using articulated sounds and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. Over the years, BB King has developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles and he has been a model for thousands of players, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Jeff Beck. He has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound.
Riley B. King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015), known professionally as B.B. King, was an American blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer. King introduced a sophisticated style of guitar playing using articulated sounds and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists.
King was born on a cotton plantation called Berclair, near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi. While young, he sang in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. He was attracted to the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ because of its music. The local minister, who led worship with a Sears Roebuck Silvertone guitar, taught King his first three chords.
In November 1941, “King Biscuit Time” first aired, broadcasting on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. It was a radio show featuring the African-American blues artist Sonny Boy Williamson ll (Rice Miller) and Robert Lockwood Jr. who played live in the studio and who were the key musicians in the original band, the King Biscuit Entertainers. King listened to the program while on break at the plantation and then wanted to become a radio musician.
In 1948, King went on to perform on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM in West Memphis, where he began to develop an audience. King’s appearances led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis and later to a ten-minute spot on the Memphis radio station WDIA where he worked as a singer and disc jockey. “King’s Spot,” became so popular, it was expanded and became the “Sepia Swing Club.” Soon B.B. needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King.
Soon after his number one hit, “Three O’Clock Blues,” B.B. began touring nationally. In 1956, B.B. and his band played an astonishing 342 one-night stands. From small-town cafes and country dance halls to rock palaces, symphony concert halls, universities, resort hotels and amphitheatres, nationally and internationally, B.B. has become the most renowned blues musician of the past 40 years.
Over the years, BB King has developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles and he has been a model for thousands of players, including Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Jeff Beck. He has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound.
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname “The King of the Blues”.
King died at the age of 89 in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 14, 2015, from congestive heart failure and diabetic complications.
B B King Backing Tracks – Barzone … Big Boss Man … Blues Before Sunrise … Blues Boys Tune … Blues Has Got Me … Caldonia … Choo Choo Cha Boogie … Come Rain Or Come Shine … Don’t Answer The Door … Every Day I Have The Blues … Get Off My Back Woman … Hold On I’m Coming … How Blue Can You Get … I’ll Survive … Into The Night … Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby … Key To The Highway … Let The Good Times Roll … Merry Christmas Baby … Paying The Cost To Be The Boss …Please Accept My Love … Please Send Me Someone To Love … Riding With The King … Rock Me Baby … See That My Grave Is Kept Clean … Since I Met You Baby … Something You Got … Stand By Me … Sweet Sixteen … There’s Something On Your Mind … The Thrill Is Gone … Three O’Clock Blues … To Know You Is To Love You …When Love Comes To Town … Why I Sing The Blues … Woke Up This Morning