Remembering B.B. King : His Top Performances and Songs - R.City Unlimited

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Remembering B.B. King : His Top Performances and Songs

Blues legend B.B. King died in his sleep Thursday at age 89. He was a monumental force in music, as well as one of the greatest guitarists the world has ever seen. "I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions," King said in his autobiography, Blues All Around Me, as reported by the New York Times

For most of his 89 years on earth, that's exactly what he did



Source: Denise Truscello/Getty Images

From the plantation to the stage. King lifted himself to blues superstardom out of the harshest conditions imaginable. He was born to a Mississippi sharecropping family in 1925. By the time he was 14, his father had left and his mother was dead, and King supported himself by sharecropping an acre of cotton. 

In 1947, King left the plantation and hitchhiked to Memphis with less than $3 in his pocket. He got his first big break on the radio performing as "Beale Street Blues" Boy, which later became "Blues Boy" King and then B.B. King. Read more HERE.

Check out some of the favorites voted by Entertainment Weekly:



“Thrill Is Gone”
This blues standard—written by Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell—has been recorded by dozens. But it’s B.B.’s version that endures—and also won him a Grammy in 1970. You can see why in this vintage clip, with King working up an intense sweat and unfurling some of his most melodic guitar licks on Lucille, his trusted musical weapon.



“Rock Me, Baby”
King is joined by Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, and Jim Vaughn at Clapton’s annual Crossroads fest for a smoking rendition of “Rock Me Baby.” Even into his ’80s, King gleefully hams it up and the rest of the guys trade soulful blues licks with ease.



“How Blue Can You Get”
In this clip of his performance at the New York State’s Sing Sing prison in 1972, King shows you didn’t need to go all-out with playing the blues on guitar—quiet, textured mastery was essential to the sound, too.




B.B. King and Friends, Live in 1987
This concert has it all: Gladys Knight, Clapton, Phil Collins, Etta James, the late Stevie Ray Vaughn, Chaka Khan, and more. A stone-cold classic.





Live in Africa
The guitarist traveled to Kinshasa, Zire for a three-day concert pegged to Muhammad Ali and George Foreman’s legendary Rumble in the Jungle. And his eight-song set features just about all the songs that made him a legend.

Do you have any favorites that aren't on the list?  


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