RILEY B. KING
September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015
He was the brand of Mississippi the heart of that beautiful state. Mr. King was a impeccable blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist and still will forever be KING of the blues. He has shared himself with the world including the music he wrote and performed for over four decades. He has countless entries in the rhythm and blues chart.
Quoted by President Obama 2015:
“The blues has lost its king and America has lost a legend,” the president wrote. “No one worked harder than B.B. No one did more to spread the gospel of the blues. He gets stuck in your head, he gets you moving, he gets you doing the things you probably shouldn’t do — but will always be glad you did. B.B. may be gone but that thrill will be with us forever.”
“Death is a cold chill, frightening beyond reason,” a statement mentioned in his autobiography. Death took his baby brother, and then his mother, and then his grandmother” ,without any one to truly be his physical leader he relied on God and his strength. He remained as a child growing up still on the plantation taking tea cracker breaks in a sharecroppers cabin. In his spare time he would be given the opportunity to expand his mind by listening to records of blues in which he could release his pain on his aunt Mima wind up Victrola. His favorite to listen to was the guitarist Blind Lemmon Jefferson.
He took his pain from child hood and the music which he honed his craft from an relocated to Memphis became famous there and then the worldwide stardom came in effect. A plan life had for him in which he did not expect. He was humble and did not compromise who and what the was. His pain and reality in music hit the hearts and minds of generations past and present which they will share with the future generations. His art form is unmatched and that is why he has been called one of the three kings of the guitar and King of the Blues.
BB King solo art of playing on the string instrument introduced a sophisticated style with his fingers on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists.
BB King was ranked by the Rolling Stone as number 6 on its 2011 list of 100 all time guitarist. 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”, and one of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”. BB King was known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s. In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.
King died at the age of 89 in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 14, 2015. He died of multi-infarct dementia after a series of small strokes. The Funeral was held in Indianola, Mississippi.
He is survived by his 15 children Shirley Ann, Patty, Ruby, Rita, Michele, Claudette, Riletta, Karen, Big Barbara, Little Barbara, Gloria, Robert, Willie, Leonard and Riley Jr.