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B.B King: The King of the Blues

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To talk about B.B King is to talk about the one and only in Blues, the King of the Blues. Born on September 16, 1925, in Itta Bena, Mississippi, B.B. King is recognized as the greatest American blues songwriter and guitarist.

As a kid, B.B King spent most of his time working as a sharecropper with his mother and grandmother. By that time, he says he earned 35 cents for each 45 kg, and it was during this period that King learned his first three chords in some classes taught by his preacher. B.B King himself has affirmed he still uses those three chords progressions 1, 4 and 5. At the same time, he sang gospel music in church and it was then when he developed a true passion towards blues guitarists like T-Bone Walker, Lonnie Johnson, Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt.

In 1946, King moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he developed his own guitar technique. In 1949, while B.B King was performing at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas, there was a fire initially caused by a fight between two men. Due to the fire, there was an evacuation and once B.B was outside, he realized he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blazing fire with the sole purposeof rescuing his Gibson acoustic. The next day, B.B King discovered the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. After this event, B.B King has kept on naming every single guitar he had owned under the name of “Lucille”, to remind him never to do a thing like that again.

Eventually, B.B began recording songs with RPM Records. By the 1950’s, he had already become one of the most important artists in R&B Music, collecting a great number of hits. In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records. After this contract, the star of good luck never left B.B King, Billboard number ones and much more were almost daily news for the great B.B. Since the 80’s, B.B started recording less and less, but maintaining an active career and appearances on several TV shows.

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