Man with Smooth Voice B.B. King

Categories: MusicMusic Industry

B.B. King also known as the man who sold his “The man with a voice so smooth it could melt butter” He was born as Riley B King in Itta Bena, Mississippi on September 16th 1925 (Rolling Stone) His parents divorced when he was nine, and his mother unfortunately passed away leaving him to be raised by his grandmother on her side. King dropped out of high school in the 10th grade to start picking cotton, and singing gospel songs on the street corner.

He married early when he was 17 saying that we was eager for love claiming that no one has ever truly loved him.

In his adult years he was working as a tractor driver when he landed a job singing on local Sonny Boy Williamsons Radio show. “Soon B.B. needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King.”( That opened doors for him and allowed him to start venturing out and he got a job juke joint playing 6 nights a week that is where he met other legends like T-bone walker and Louis Jordan.

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This is where he heard his first electric guitar and fell in love, getting his own guitar in the gibson model. King had his first number one hit with this song 3’ O’Clock Blues and many more followed including “You Upset Me Baby”, “Sweet Sixteen”. One night while he was performing a fight over a woman broke out between two guys and it started two guys, and it resulted in a fire when the two men knocked over a kerosene lamp breaking out enveloping the entire venue.

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King got out of the venue only to realize that he left his beloved gibson guitar inside. Startled he ran back in to grab the guitar only to not be harmed in any way. Later on he found out that the fight was over a woman named Lucille so because of that he named his guitar Lucille.

Over the years King has developed one of the most unique guitar styles. His styles have precise and vocal like string bends and his left hand vibrato ( his note phrasing has been a model for years to come for many players including eric clapton. King was inducted into the Blues hall of fame 1984. In 1987 he received a lifetime achievement grammy award. He has also received many honorary doctorates from prestigious schools such as yale, university of mississippi. In 1991 King opened up his first night club which would be the first of many to be opened the first was on beale street in memphis. King continued to tour the world averaging about 250 concerts a year until he peacefully passed away in his sleep on May 14th 2015.

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Man with Smooth Voice B.B. King. (2021, Aug 19). Retrieved from

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