Today’s Jam is dedicated to the memory of the Beale Street Blues Boy and recognized King of the Blues, B.B. King, who passed last night at the age of eighty-nine.
I was fortunate enough to hear B.B. in person on three occasions, first at Wolf Trap in Northern Virginia, then at the Stanley Theater in Utica, and finally at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids. Presenting a rousing, engaging performance through his late seventies and early eighties, King was the consummate showman if anyone ever was.
Here he is with the great Buddy Guy, who remembered B.B. in a post early this morning:
This morning, I come to you all with a heavy heart. BB King was the greatest guy I ever met. The tone he got out of that guitar, the way he shook his left wrist, the way he squeezed the strings… man, he came out with that and it was all new to the whole guitar playin' world. He could play so smooth, he didn't have to put on a show. The way BB did it is the way we all do it now. He was my best friend and father to us all. I'll miss you, B. I love you and I promise I will keep these damn Blues alive. Rest well. All my love, Buddy
The King is dead they say. Long live the King.