B.B. King

American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter B.B. King

Riley B. King, known by the stage name B.B. King, is an African-American blues songwriter, vocalist and guitarist. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No. 6 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time (previously ranked No. 3 in the 2003 edition of the same list), and he was ranked No. 17 in Gibson's Top 50 Guitarists of All Time. According to Edward M.
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Biography
B.B. King's personal information overview.
Deceased
14 May 2015
Death Place
Las Vegas
Relationships
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News
News about B.B. King from around the web
The Weird and Wonderful Latest All-Inclusive Outreach of Yiddish Soul
Huffington Post - over 1 year
I arrived at Yiddish Soul, the free Concert at Summerstage in Central Park - presented by the 101-year-old National Yiddish Theatre/Folksbiene as the opening event of its Second Annual KulturfestNYC, expecting the same old, same old - over-vibratoed vocal chords singing "My Yiddish Mama" and "By Mir Bist Du Shain" to the de rigueur grey-haired seniors who display more nostalgia for their Jewish upbringing now than they felt when they were living through it. Boy, was I in for a surprise! Yiddish Soul was an inclusive, international leap of faith, a mix of old and new designed to attract everyone and anyone from the religiously affiliated to the ethnically non-religious and hopefully their non-Jewish partners, particularly young families with children who seemed pleased enough with their Yiddishkeit - Jewish heritage - to dance in circles in the aisles. WFMU's Nachum Segal hosted, welcomed one and all and reminded anyone who could eat a little something that Mendy's Booth was se...
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 Huffington Post article
Talkin' Jaco with Metallica's Robert Trujillo, Chatting with Denise Donatelli, Plus the Nolatet, Svetlana & The Delancey Five and Rolla Olak Exclusives
Huffington Post - about 2 years
A Conversation with Robert Trujillo Mike Ragogna: Robert, was your first big musical inspiration Jaco Pastorius? Robert Trujillo: Yeah. I'm always pulling and really feeding off of my inspirations, I think most musicians do. But I try to incorporate a lot of that influence in what I do. So Jaco was definitely a huge inspiration back in 1979 when I saw him for the first time. It really did change my life and set me on an interesting creative path. Definitely. MR: When did you first see him perform live? RT: I saw him with Weather Report. I had started hearing about him in the late seventies and then in 1979 they came through town. They were playing at the Santa Monica civic auditorium, that was our local concert venue at the time. The great thing about Santa Monica civic auditorium was it was a place you could ride your bike to. In this case my dad dropped me and my friends off and we'd go see Ronnie James Dio or Jean-Luc Ponty or Weather Report or the Pretenders. There w...
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 Huffington Post article
White House leads BB King tributes
Yahoo News - almost 3 years
Legendary blues guitarist BB King has been remembered by a host of musicians and two US presidents after his death aged 89.
Article Link:
 Yahoo News article
Bluesman BB King 'in home hospice care,' his website says - CNN
Google News - almost 3 years
CNN Bluesman BB King 'in home hospice care,' his website says CNN (CNN) Blues legend B.B. King is battling health problems, with a message on his website saying the 89-year-old musician is in "home hospice care." King was admitted to a Las Vegas hospital Thursday afternoon, CNN affiliate KLAS reported, because his ... BB King in hospice care at his Las Vegas homeReuters BB King in home hospice care, his website saysLos Angeles Times Blues Great B.B. King Tells Fans He's in Las Vegas HospiceNBC Bay Area all 246 news articles »
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 Google News article
Todd Rundgren: I Saw the Light
Huffington Post - almost 3 years
"Hello, it's me." Todd Rundgren can never escape that greeting and song title. Nor would he want to, I imagine. It's a signature song for him, one that was transcendent for American radio. Between that 1973 "Midnight Special" performance and the show I covered a few months back at BB King's NYC, Rundgren has traveled a long, winding road well and with grace. His bands, Nazz and Utopia with his eponymous, "Todd Rundgren" band and solo career displayed his talents as a musician but were in my opinion overshadowed by his strong artistic ability as a producer of other musicians' records. Rundgren worked with Robbie Robertson and The Band (spending a lot of time in Woodstock), Janis Joplin (on what would be taken over by another producer ultimately, to become the album "Pearl"), Jesse Winchester, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, New York Dolls, The New Cars, Hall & Oates, Badfinger, Sparks, Rick Derringer, Grand Funk Railroad, James Cotton Blues Band, Patti Smith Group...
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 Huffington Post article
In search of one perfect bite at Chinatown's BBQ King House
Chicago Times - over 4 years
A few years ago, the Peking duck dinner at Chinatown's BBQ King House was the deal of the decade...     
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 Chicago Times article
The Man Behind <i>The Voice</i>: Jermaine Paul -- Legend in the Making
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Music is the soundtrack to our life; it sparks our soul when we meet that special someone, initiates the first time you make love and fills the air during the first dance after shared vows. The voice behind the sound... well now, that's a whole other story. R&amp;B love songs consist of a few simple ingredients: A sensual melody, passionate lyrics and a voice to tie it all together. These three characteristics can form a lifetime of memories and will replay in our hearts for an eternity. When the NBC show The Voice auditioned singers for their 2nd season, I don't think they expected to discover the next living R&amp;B legend. Leaving the ultimate decision to fans across the country only solidified the glorious power that is in The Voice. Winner of the primetime competition, Jermaine Paul sets himself apart not only vocally but by his magnificent influence in his community and home. His voice demands your attention and draws you in but this man of many talents has a lot more to o...
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 Huffington Post article
The Band's Robbie Robertson Wants Your Kids To Listen To Better Music
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Is today's music making you wince while doing little to teach your offspring about good musical taste? Robbie Robertson to the rescue. The former Band member and successful solo artist and film composer/producer has put together a beautifully illustrated coffee table book to introduce kids to some of the greatest artists of all time. Alongside his manager Jim Guerinot, son Sebastian Robertson and A&amp;R man Jared Levine, the lifelong music fans co-wrote Legends, Icons &amp; Rebels: Music That Changed The World (Tundra Books), an easy-to-read history book that also includes two CDs. The 27 chosen ones — such as Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Louis Armstrong, Sam Cooke, Carole King, Beach Boys and Bob Dylan — are each given four pages, complete with a mini bio (that doesn't whitewash their stories from drugs to plane crashes), a recommended playlist, a quote from another great, and brilliant portrait art. The book is actually as much for adults and the CDs contain ageless ...
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 Huffington Post article
Remember this OTR interview? BB King in Appleton, Wisconsin!
Fox News - over 4 years
We interviewed BB King in my hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin.  I bought a bunch of tickets and invited my high school friends — many traveled from afar.  But are you ready for this?  BB King gave me a ‘shout out’ from the stage in my hometown….it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?  This was a THRILL! The post Remember this OTR interview? BB King in Appleton, Wisconsin! appeared first on Gretawire.
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 Fox News article
Michael Pollack Is in a Music 'State of Mind'
Huffington Post - over 4 years
It was a January day and 19-year-old freshman Michael Pollack was sitting in the audience at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. On stage was music icon Billy Joel. Joel was doing a Question and Answer session. The Long Island, New York native (and big Joel fan) raised his hand and asked if he could play with the music icon. According to an interview with Inside Vandy, Pollack describes his intentions: "So I decided I was gonna go see Billy Joel right when we found out he was coming, and as a childhood idol of mine, right away I knew what I wanted to do when we went there. My roommate and I decided that we would try and find a way to get a question to be asked, and see if we could get on stage. And the day came, I put together a question, and I was raising my hand, and my friends to the right of me kept pointing to me, and finally after a few questions he picked on me and I hesitantly said how 'New York State of Mind' was my favorite song, and how I had performed it with his saxophon...
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 Huffington Post article
Eddie Cota: Kat Dahlia Planning Debut Album Titled My Garden
Huffington Post - over 4 years
An artist to watch this year is Cuban-American Kat Dahila. The Miami raised 22-year-old released a single titled Gangsta, which caught everyone's attention and has her new fans wondering what's next. She made a stop in Los Angeles recently and we had a chance to discuss her moves in music. Her debut album titled My Garden is scheduled to drop sometime in September through Vested in Culture/Epic Records. She has been in the studio with some impressive beat makers like Timbaland and Salaam Remi and says the hardest part will be selecting from all the recorded music to make her first album. The inspiration behind her lead single Gangsta came when one of her producers gave her the track and she automatically thought of 50 Cent's hit rap song Wanksta. "There was no song that was telling me how I was feeling, so I made Gangsta, explained Dahlia. Now it's a female anthem." She also recorded a Spanish version of Gangsta, proving that she can make music in both lang...
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 Huffington Post article
Mark DeCarlo: SUMMER MUSIC: Buddy Guy can kick your Ass!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Summer is the perfect time for travel, and what better way to spend some time in a new place than at an outdoor concert enjoying a living, snarling, joyful legend? Check out this video. DAMN RIGHT! Buddy Guy puts on a show you've got to feel to believe. On tour all summer, last time Buddy played Los Angeles' Greek Theater he miraculously avoided burning down all of Griffith Park. Not sure how it survived... because there were enough sparks for a whole summer's worth of music. This Guy, at an age when most guys are chasing punks off their lawn, put on a show, a clinic, then led a parade through a delirious crowd: I have seen Buddy live many times over the years, and will keep seeing as long as he keeps playing. No matter the weather (it was 90 this night) he sweats more than you do.  Sometimes he meanders through iconic blues chestnuts, others, he vamps on his impressions of OTHER great guitar players - the guys who showed Buddy the way. Rarely though, does ...
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 Huffington Post article
President Obama 'Sings' Daft Punk's 'Get Lucky'
Rolling Stone - over 4 years
President Obama has already shown off some musical chops singing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" at a fundraiser and joining BB King for "Sweet Home Chicago" at the White House But now thanks to some clever editing we can see the commander-in-chief take on "Get Lucky" with robots-du-jour Daft Punk Obama...
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 Rolling Stone article
AmongMen.com: 8 Must-See Canadian Summer Music Festivals
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
When summer finally hits in the Great White North, it blooms into a music festival paradise. From Osheaga in Montreal to NXNE in Toronto to the folk festivals out West, this land was made for music fans. Here are some of the key sites where you can catch a wealth of exciting musical acts from June until August: Fest: NXNE Where: Toronto When: June 10-16th Who: Big Boi, The National, Fucked Up, Calexico, Coeur de Pirate, FLAG, Millencolin, Supersuckers, and a ton more of eclectic, lesser known acts. Cost: A wristband for the entire fest is $60 +tax ( and a guarantee that you don't pay a cover for a show). A priority pass, which gets you a front-of-the-line priority, is $275, and $150 for students. The cost is $30 for a day wristband. NXNE has been a staple of the TO summertime for almost 20 years. The lineup features well-known acts and emerging artists about to hit it big. Past acts have included The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop and The Stooges, De La Soul, Broken Social S...
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 Huffington Post article
Frank Schaeffer: A Tribute To My Evangelical Leader Mom-- Edith Schaeffer RIP
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
Edith Schaeffer 1914 - 2013 RIP My mother Edith Schaeffer died today. She was the author of many books on family life and spirituality and co-founder with my father Francis Schaeffer of the evangelical ministry of L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. She has just gone to be with the Lord, as she would put it. She died at home which was her wish. I last talked to Mom yesterday. Rather she slept as I talked. A few days before my granddaughter Lucy was on my lap and we were talking to Mom via Skype. That day she was awake. Mom's face filled the screen and she was looking at us on the laptop placed on the covers of her bed. I last had been with her in person two years ago when I'd spent ten days with her. Before she was bedridden (about four months ago) we'd talk on the phone and after that we'd Skype. I've been talking to her every day for the last several weeks knowing she was slipping away. Since I care for my two youngest grandchildren, Lucy (4) and Jack (2) five day...
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 Huffington Post article
Suspected gunman manifesto: Politics, pop culture
Fox News - about 5 years
The rambling manifesto police say was written by suspected killer Christopher Dorner focuses mainly on his anger at the Los Angeles Police Department and those he felt wronged him. But it also shows a more human side, including musings about music, celebrities, politics and even the proper room temperature. Here are some samples, which are as originally written but in some cases edited for length: ___ "It's kind of sad I won't be around to view and enjoy The Hangover III. What an awesome trilogy. Todd Phillips, don't make anymore Hangovers after the third, takes away the originality of its foundation. World War Z looks good and The Walking Dead season 3 (second half) looked intriguing. Damn, gonna miss shark week." ___ "Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" is the greatest piece of music ever, period. Hanz Zimmer, William Bell, Eric Clapton, BB King, Bob Marley, Sam Cooke, Metallica, Rob Zombie, Nora Jones, Marvin Gaye, Jay-Z, and the K...
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 Fox News article
Ivanley Noisette: A Letter To Our Ancestors: Dear Fellow Citizens
Huffington Post - about 5 years
Dear Fellow Citizens: One hundred fifty years ago, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. As most serious Lincoln scholars agree, the crux of the former President's opposition to the cruel institution was its denial of a person's basic entitlement -- the fruits of his or her own labor, and the depravations of human dignity that resulted from this denial. Labor injustice was indeed a preeminent challenge facing American society during the 1800s. As Ira Berlin observes in his insightful book, The Making of African America: The Four Great Migrations, the involuntary migration of "Angolans, Igbos, Kongos, Minas, Mandes, and others" between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, by the millions, to the shores of the Americas, transformed these men, women, and children "into Africans and, in time, African Americans." These forced departures were primarily motivated by the insatiable and manufactured demand for 'free' labor--the sweat equity needed ...
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 Huffington Post article
2012 best feature photos
Chicago Times - about 5 years
My favorite feature images this year come from a variety of assignments. I have some street photos, an old school fire hydrant weather photo, a pair of portraits (the powerhouse acting trio of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin and the amazing photojournalist John H. White), a couple dog photos, two concert photo (BB King being greeted by George Clinton and some neighborhood kids peeking into the Pitchfork music festival), a military father and son reunion at an elementary school and two art pieces (Cloud Gate aka The Bean during the Luminous Field installation and Martin Creed's "Half the air in a given space" art installation at Chicago's Water Tower). Best news photos Best sports photos- December 28th Best photo stories- December 29th Best Chicago iPhone photos- December 30th Best out of town iPhone photos- December 31st
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 Chicago Times article
Malerie Yolen-Cohen: 11 Ideal Inns For A Northeast College Tour
Huffington Post - over 5 years
Your kid's future alma mater isn't cookie-cutter, so why should your college tour accommodations be? Sure, you can stay in some boilerplate roadside franchise, but if you're used to traveling in style, really delving into the most welcoming aspects of these college towns, stay in these one-of-a-kind hotels, inns and B&amp;B's. Yale, New Haven, CT: Study at Yale A pair of mammoth brass eyeglasses sits at the entrance to this sleek New Haven, CT boutique hotel, a play on its academic influence, neighbor and namesake, Yale University. Street-level windows entice sidewalk amblers to peek into the sleek lobby-cum-study with its tidy hardwood floors, contemporary area rugs, leather and plush seating in blues, creams and grays and stacked geometric bookshelves brimming with art and architecture books. Digs: "Study-sleek" suites sport light woods, luxe bedding with "rumpled-look" duvet, heather teals and earth-browns with colorful pinstriped carpeting. Ergonomic chairs are t...
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 Huffington Post article
Listen: The Favorite Songs of Patch Town Mayors
Cleveland Heights Patch - over 5 years
Hey, mayors are people, too. While they're busy running an entire city, they get judged and ridiculed by the people in it, which is an occupational hazard, of course. But when they're off the clock, or running from meeting to meeting, they jam out to music, too, and we wanted to know what songs they're rockin' in their cars. Behold, the favorite songs of the mayors of our Patch towns. Are you surprised by any of these songs? Note: To listen to the playlist, you have to be a Spotify user. If you click play in the application above, it will launch your Spotify. If the playlist does not appear, try clicking play once your Spotify is open. "All Along the Watch Tower," Jimi Hendrix: Mayor William Roth, Fairlawn "Free Bird," Lynyrd Skynyrd: Mayor Katherine Procop, Twinsburg "Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen: Mayor Ed Kelley, Cleveland Heights "Can't Help Falling in Love," Elvis Presley: Mayor Don Robart, Cuyahoga Falls "God Bless America," by Kate Smith: Mayor Jerr...
Article Link:
 Cleveland Heights Patch article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of B.B. King
    LATE ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 89
    On May 30, 2015, King's funeral was held at the Bell Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Indianola, Mississippi.
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    On May 29, 2015, King's body was laid out, in a purple satin shirt and a floral tuxedo jacket, flanked by two black Gibson guitars, at the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, in Indianola.
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    On May 27, 2015, King's body was flown to Memphis.
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    The Clark County coroner's office confirmed on May 25, 2015, that it was performing an autopsy on King's body and conducting a homicide investigation with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, although CNN reported that initial indications did not support the notion of foul play.
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    He died in his sleep on May 14, 2015, at the age of 89.
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    On May 1, 2015, after two hospitalizations caused by complications from high blood pressure and diabetes, King announced on his website that he was in hospice care at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    From the 1980s to his death in 2015, he maintained a highly visible and active career, appearing on numerous television shows and performing 300 nights a year.
  • 2014
    Age 88
    After the cancellation of the remaining eight shows of his 2014 tour because of health problems, King announced on October 8, 2014, he was back at home to recuperate.
    He appeared in a 2014 commercial for the Toyota Camry with his guitar Lucille.
    On October 3, 2014, not feeling well enough, King had to stop his live performance at the House of Blues in Chicago, Illinois.
  • 2013
    Age 87
    On May 26, 2013, King appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Festival.
  • 2012
    Age 86
    On July 5, 2012, King performed a concert at the Byblos International Festival in Lebanon.
    On February 21, 2012, King was among the performers of "In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues", during which President Barack Obama sang part of "Sweet Home Chicago".
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  • 2011
    Age 85
    Rolling Stone ranked King at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
    In 2011, King played at the Glastonbury Music Festival, and in the Royal Albert Hall in London, where he recorded a concert video.
  • 2010
    Age 84
    He also contributed to Cyndi Lauper's album Memphis Blues, which was released on June 22, 2010.
    In June 2010, King performed at the Crossroads Guitar Festival with Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan, and Eric Clapton.
    King performed at the Mawazine festival in Rabat, Morocco, on May 27, 2010.
  • 2008
    Age 82
    Also in 2008, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame.
    In the summer of 2008, King played at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, where he was given a key to the city.
  • 2007
    Age 81
    In 2007, King played at Eric Clapton's second Crossroads Guitar Festival and contributed the songs "Goin' Home", to Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino (with Ivan Neville's DumpstaPhunk) and "One Shoe Blues" to Sandra Boynton's children's album Blue Moo, accompanied by a pair of sock puppets in a music video for the song.
  • 2006
    Age 80
    In late October 2006, King recorded a concert album and video entitled B.B. King: Live at his B.B. King Blues Clubs in Nashville and Memphis.
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    In June 2006, King was present at a memorial of his first radio broadcast at the Three Deuces Building in Greenwood, Mississippi, where an official marker of the Mississippi Blues Trail was erected.
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    In 2006, King went on a "farewell" world tour, although he remained active afterward during the last years of his life.
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  • 2005
    Age 79
    In 2005, Gibson made a special run of 80 Gibson Lucilles, referred to as the "80th Birthday Lucille", the first prototype of which was given as a birthday gift to King, and which he used thereafter.
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  • 2000
    Age 74
    In 2000, he and Clapton teamed up again to record Riding With the King, which won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
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  • 1998
    Age 72
    In 1998, he appeared in The Blues Brothers 2000, playing the part of the lead singer of the Louisiana Gator Boys, along with Eric Clapton, Dr. John, Koko Taylor and Bo Diddley.
  • 1997
    Age 71
    In December 1997, he performed in the Vatican's fifth annual Christmas concert and presented his trademark guitar "Lucille" to Pope John Paul II.
  • 1988
    Age 62
    In 1988, King reached a new generation of fans with the single "When Love Comes to Town", a collaborative effort between King and the Irish band U2 on their Rattle and Hum album.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1980
    Age 54
    King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Official Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1970
    Age 44
    He won a 1970 Grammy Award for the song "The Thrill Is Gone"; his version became a hit on both the pop and R&B charts.
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  • 1969
    Age 43
    King gained further visibility among rock audiences as an opening act on the Rolling Stones' 1969 American Tour.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1964
    Age 38
    In November 1964, King recorded the Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater.
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  • 1962
    Age 36
    In 1962, King signed to ABC-Paramount Records, which was later absorbed into MCA Records, and which itself was later absorbed into Geffen Records.
  • 1956
    Age 30
    This led to a significant increase in his weekly earnings, from about $85 to $2,500, with appearances at major venues such as the Howard Theater in Washington and the Apollo in New York, as well as touring the entire "Chitlin' circuit". 1956 became a record-breaking year, with 342 concerts booked and three recording sessions.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1949
    Age 23
    Before his RPM contract, King had debuted on Bullet Records by issuing the single "Miss Martha King" (1949), which did not chart well. "My very first recordings 1949 were for a company out of Nashville called Bullet, the Bullet Record Transcription company," King recalled. "I had horns that very first session.
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    In 1949, King began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM Records.
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  • 1948
    Age 22
    However, King returned to Mississippi shortly afterward, where he decided to prepare himself better for the next visit, and returned to West Memphis, Arkansas, two years later in 1948.
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  • 1946
    Age 20
    King was married twice, to Martha Lee Denton, 1946 to 1952, and to Sue Carol Hall, 1958 to 1966.
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    In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, Tennessee.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1943
    Age 17
    In 1943, King left Kilmichael to work as a tractor driver and play guitar with the Famous St. John's Quartet of Inverness, Mississippi, performing at area churches and on WGRM in Greenwood, Mississippi.
  • 1941
    Age 15
    In November 1941 "King Biscuit Time" first aired, broadcasting on KFFA in Helena, Arkansas.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1925
    Born
    Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation called Berclair, near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi, the son of sharecroppers Albert and Nora Ella King.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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