May 152015


From the obituary in The New York Times, May 15, 2015:

B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died Thursday in Las Vegas, The Associated Press reported. He was 89.

His death was reported to The A.P. by his attorney, Brent Bryson.

Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.

“I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions,” Mr. King said in his autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (1996), written with David Ritz.

In performances, his singing and his solos flowed into each other as he wrung notes from the neck of his guitar, vibrating his hand as if it were wounded, his face a mask of suffering. Many of the songs he sang — like his biggest hit, “The Thrill Is Gone” (“I’ll still live on/But so lonely I’ll be”) — were poems of pain and perseverance.


Mr. King considered a 1968 performance at the Fillmore West, the San Francisco rock palace, to have been the moment of his commercial breakthrough…

When he saw “long-haired white people” lining up outside the Fillmore, he said, he told his road manager, “I think they booked us in the wrong place.” Then the promoter Bill Graham introduced him to the sold-out crowd: “Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the chairman of the board, B. B. King.”

“Everybody stood up, and I cried,” Mr. King said. “That was the beginning of it.”

B.B. King, R.I.P.

  7 Responses to “THE THRILL IS GONE”

  1. I love this legend.

    Amazing to think he started recording in 1949… Fucking 1949…

  2. RIP BB King!

    Thanks to NCS for recognizing the importance he had (and still has). A legend is gone… 🙁

  3. yes thank you guys for this ,another shining light of the blues world has left us,a lot of concerts back in the 70s mixed blues masters like john lee hooker ,B.B. King.,Albert King etc.with newer blues rock bands so got to see so many blues greats back then,including Mr. B.B. King!!

  4. So glad you posted this. Sludge, stoner, Southern, the drudgiest funeral doom, or even black metal were all influenced by this generation of musicians. Scraping the bucket of your soul for anguish, longing, despair, and sorrow came from music like what B.B. played. Blues was (and still is) ostensibly “heavy.”

  5. RIP Indeed. I was lucky enough to catch a concert of his this past September. In hindsight, I’m really happy I didn’t miss that.

  6. well after all those years of wander in the metal realm, i always considered people like Pink Floyd, Blue Sheer, Bathory,.. etc; to be the Patriarchs of my music, so BB must be their Moses,.. and Les Paul his Aaron.
    may he rest.

  7. about fifteen or so years ago i was singing for a band that was in the line-up for a Kansas City festival which featured Mr. King as the headliner. Out guitar player’s father catered the event and he got to deliver B.B. his pre-show meal. I only stuck around long enough to hear a song or two from his set, he was pretty good even if it wasn’t a style of music i’m into. that’s my B.B. King story, it’s not terribly exciting.
    rest in peace, Mr. King.

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