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B.B. King: A celebration of life

May 16, 2015

BB King died Thursday in his sleep at age 89. Although this writer never got to see the music icon because of not having any money for concert tickets or transportation for the performance in 2010, KFDX News Channel 3 did a tribute to his life on the noon news today. Below was a celebration of his life.

Here’s what the Bible said:

Psalms 98:4

4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music; (NIV)

His career spanned more than 70 years and he won 15 Grammies for his music, he wasn’t the only blues singer on the roster with a guitar. Artists like: Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Keith Richards looked to him as their mentor.

With his legendary guitar, named Lucille, he developed an unusual style of music. He didn’t like to sing and play all at once so he developed what was named a ‘call and response‘ system between himself and his guitar, a line of individual notes and bent chords. He didn’t want the music only heard, he wanted his audience to relive his stories.

He visited Wichita Falls Memorial Auditorium in the fall of 1993, but at that time, my friend her mother, father and me went to see a traveling Broadway production of  “CATS“. This was a treat because of seeing the traveling Broadway production of  “The Phantom of the Opera“, in Dallas in April that same year, a much anticipated college graduation gift to myself. The town was teased with a lesser stage play that came through. This small town didn’t have a stage big enough for that production. Back then, B.B. King had quite a following with the NATO pilots. One mother and son were visiting from Germany.

This writer enjoyed seeing the legendary artist in commercials playing his legendary guitar explaining his diabetes. The last commercial a little over a week ago, he was in a Toyota commercial where his guitar was bought to him. Even though he was gone his music and stories lived on.

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