89, “Live at the Cook County Jail”, “The Thrill is Gone”, “Three O’Clock Blues”, BB King, BB King Club All Stars, Beale Street, blues, Blues Club, Blues Hall of Fame, Chicago House of Blues, death, diabetes, Grammys, guitar, guitarist, Las Vegas NV, Lucille, memorial, Memphis TN, Nashville, Orlando, radio, rock, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, singer, Sonny Boy Williamson, Will Tucker
Nobody could create the sound that was BB King. He made Lucille, his guitar, talk in a crystal clear voice that took his blues and rock to another level where no one else could play. BB King kicked off in Memphis on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio show and moved on up until he was opening for the Rolling Stones.
He was a hard working bluesman and routinely played hundreds of dates a year. He worked all over the world and was forced to stop in the middle of a date at the Chicago House of Blues on Oct. 6 last year and cancelled the rest of his tour due to ill health.
He played Chicago in the early ’60’s and recorded “Live at the Cook County Jail”. He also recorded live at the Regal Theater there. And he lived down around the University of Chicago, and when I was 19 I met him at a gathering at his apartment. Unfortunately he wasn’t playing Lucille that night. He was just a guy who had people over.
As a musician he won 15 Grammys, was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. His crossover “The Thrill is Gone” was named as number 183 as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. His “Three O’clock Blues” lifted him to fame in 1951.
BB King opened his BB King’s Blues Club at 143 Beale Street in Memphis in 1991. He also has clubs in Nashville and Orlando.
BB had lived in Vegas for many years, and his club there closed in November.
The show in Memphis will go on tonight and tomorrow night with the Will Tucker Band and the BB King Club All Stars.
Before their game against the Golden State Warriors Friday the Memphis Grizzlies paid tribute to BB.
The Memphis mayor declared Tuesday, May 19, to be”BB King Day.”
To read the full official obituary, click HERE.
Plans are in the works for a memorial concert.
Tonight the show goes on just like BB King would have liked it.
Update: BB King will be buried on the grounds of his museum in Indianola, Miss., some time next week. There will be a public viewing this Friday at Palm South Jones Mortuary in Los Vegas from 3 to 7 p.m. The mortuary spokesman said there would be no public memorial service at that time. A private family service is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 16, at another Palm South mortuary in downtown Vegas.
The remains of B.B. King will arrive in Memphis before noon on Wednesday, May 27. From noon to 4 p.m. the will be a procession from Beale Street’s to Handy Park for a tribute.
On Friday, May 29, a public viewing will take place at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Saturday, May 30, funeral services will take place at the Bell Grove M.B. Church in Indianola from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At 4 p.m., a procession will be led from the church to the museum, and there will be a 5 p.m. private graveside service for family and friends.
— Caroll Lucas