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» B.B. King

B.B. King
Born: September 16, 1925 in Indianola, Mi
Active: '40s-2010s Major
Styles: Soul-Blues, Modern Electric Blues, Early R&B
Instrument: Guitar (Electric), Guitar Representative
Albums: "Singin' the Blues/The Blues", "Live in Cook County Jail", "Early Blues Boy Years, Vol.
1: 1949-51" Representative
Songs: "The Thrill Is Gone", "Every Day I Have the Blues", "Sweet Little Angel"

UPC Type Title
5060332491063 (i) CD 101-Everyday I Have the Blues
029667183529 (i) CD 1950-51 Modern Recordings
602498842461 CD 80'
4011778005117 (i) CD All Over Again 1983
8026575204423 (i) CD B.B. Boogie
880831033824 CD B.B. King Collection
029667188227 (i) CD B.B. King Wails
029667198622 (i) CD B.B. King
805520130127 (i) CD B.B. King & Kings of the Electric Blues
826663110432 DVD B.B. King Live in Africa '74
8427328501019 CD B.B. King: Vol. 1-Early Years of Blues
8427328501026 CD B.B. King: Vol. 2-Early Years of Blues
029667188128 (i) CD B.B. King: Vol. 1-My Kind of Blues
4995879081747 (i) CD B.B. King: Vol. 2-Best Blues Masters
4580113670940 (i) CD B.B. King: Vol. 1-Great Blues Masters
4995879082072 (i) CD B.B. King: Vol. 1-Blues Giant: Best Selection
826663129472 DVD B.B. King: Live at the Royal Albert Hall
014381713022 DVD B.B. King: Live
014381713152 Blu-Ray B.B. King: Live
826663129489 Blu-Ray B.B. King: Live at the Royal Albert Hall
024266119429 CD Back 2 Back
607707408827 CD Back 2 Back
602527958354 (i) CD Bb King & Friends Live at the Royal Albert Hall
602527966038 (i) Blu-Ray Bb King & Friends Live at the Royal Albert Hall
030309990597 DVD Bb King Blues Session
5901384833176 (i) CD Bbs Blues
090431103722 CD Best of B.B. King
094633090422 CD Best of B.B. King
090431866726 CD Best of B.B. King
029667176026 (i) CD Best of Kent Singles 1958-71
089353303129 CD Best of Rpm & Kent Recordings
029667025829 (i) CD Best of the Early Years
029667027021 (i) CD Best of the Blues Guitar King 1951-1966
741157131321 CD Black Jack-21 Essential Classics
029667015820 (i) CD Blues
4995879043691 (i) CD Blues (Mini LP Sleeve)
792014515228 CD Blues 20 Hits
778325250423 CD Blues Biography
617917216624 CD Blues Boy
805520090131 (i) CD Blues Boy
7798136571336 (i) CD Blues Boy
5413992501199 CD Blues D'Azur
029667199629 (i) CD Blues in My Heart
4995879043684 (i) CD Blues in My Heart (Mini LP Sleeve)
4988005676313 (i) CD Blues Is King
4988005743916 (i) CD Blues Is King
741157929522 CD Blues King's Best
741157030211 Vinyl Blues Kings Best
654979028208 DVD Blues Master
008811187927 CD Blues on the Bayou
5017261200693 (i) CD Blues on Top of Blues
4988005743923 (i) CD Blues on Top of Blues
008811071028 CD Blues Summit
008811084790 DVD Blues Summit Concert
4995879043769 (i) CD Boss of the Blues (Mini LP Sleeve)
5060143490675 (i) CD Can't Kick the Blues
602498603789 CD Christmas Collection
5032427125306 (i) CD Classic Years
024266105521 CD Classics
602498497852 (i) CD Colour Collection
008811176822 CD Completely Well
5017261206022 (i) CD Completely Well/Live in Cook County Jail
4988005743954 (i) CD Completely Well
008811171124 CD Deuces Wild
008811172220 (i) CD Deuces Wild
029667001724 (i) CD Easy Listening Blues
4995879043745 (i) CD Easy Listening Blues (Mini LP Sleeve)
5060143493157 (i) CD Electric Blues
693723975429 (i) CD Essential Blue Archive:Tak
792014087022 CD Favorite Gospel Hymns
012676047821 CD Favorite Gospel Hyms
5017261201256 (i) CD Friends
602498551257 CD Gold
4995879043660 (i) CD Great (Mini LP Sleeve)
029667008624 (i) CD Great B.B. King
076732412428 CD Great Moments with B.B King
008811174620 CD Greatest Hits
4988005767240 (i) CD Greatest Hits
8712177052165 (i) CD Greatest Hits
4988005525178 (i) CD Greatest Hits
4988005314383 (i) CD Greatest Hits
5017261200716 (i) CD Guess Who
654979039556 DVD Highlights
4988005743930 (i) CD His Best: Electric B.B.King
5017261200372 (i) CD His Best: The Electric B.B. King
731454734028 (i) CD His Definitive Greatest Hits
076742037925 CD I Like to Live the Love
602517372252 CD I Like to Live the L
602527625959 CD Icon
602527625942 CD Icon
008811084325 CD In London
5017261200426 (i) CD In London
4988005743978 (i) CD In London
4988005685933 (i) CD In London
076743134326 CD Indianola Mississippi Seeds
5017261202376 (i) CD Indianola Mississippi Seeds
4988005685926 (i) CD Indianola Mississippi Seeds
4988005743961 (i) CD Indianola Mississippi Seeds
5051503103816 CD It's B.B. King
5051503203929 CD Its B.B. King
8436017760088 (i) DVD Jazz Casual
029667030922 (i) CD Jungle
4995879043738 (i) CD Jungle (Mini LP Sleeve)
5060143494895 (i) CD Kent Years 1958-62
7798141335886 CD King of Blues
8712177045044 (i) CD King of Blues
008811067724 CD King of the Blues
741157284829 CD King of the Blues
723721633752 CD King of the Blues
723721635251 CD King of the Blues
029667189729 (i) CD King of the Blues
4995879043752 (i) CD King of the Blues (Mini LP Sleeve)
8436028698998 (i) CD King of the Blues + My Kind of Blues
076742218324 (i) CD King of the Blues-1989
741157284911 Vinyl King of the Blues
741157814316 Vinyl King of the Blues
8436028690671 (i) Vinyl King of the Blues
600753408827 (i) CD Life of Riley Soundtrack
600753408858 (i) CD Life of Riley Soundtrack
824046012724 CD Live
602517445574 CD Live
602517531079 DVD Live
602517836891 Blu-Ray Live
5017261202338 (i) CD Live & Well
4988005743947 (i) CD Live & Well
801213918195 DVD Live at Montreux 1993
7898103206374 (i) DVD Live at Montreux 1993
801213333295 Blu-Ray Live at Montreux 1993
008811251727 CD Live at San Quentin
008811164621 CD Live at the Regal
602517655102 CD Live at the Apollo
011105963725 CD Live at the Apollo
600753063149 CD Live at the BBC
826663129465 CD Live at the Royal Albert Hall 2011
5017261202352 (i) CD Live at the Regal
4988005676306 (i) CD Live at the Regal
029667108614 (i) Vinyl Live at the Regal
008811164614 (i) Vinyl Live at the Regal
4988005647160 (i) SACD Live at the Regal
602498608449 DVD Live by Request
008811176921 CD Live in Cook County Jail
4988005743985 (i) CD Live in Cook County Jail
4988005685940 (i) CD Live in Cook County Jail
008811181024 (i) CD Live in Japan
4988005685988 (i) CD Live in Japan
4988005743992 (i) CD Live in Japan
8436028690411 (i) DVD Living Legend
5017261200365 (i) CD Lucille
008813300829 (i) CD Lucille & Friends
5013929884120 (i) CD Makin' Love Is Good for You
4988067044518 (i) CD Makin Love Is Good for You
605457255722 (i) CD Master of Blues
8712177054299 (i) DVD Memphis Blues Session
076742701123 CD Midnight Believer
5017261206046 (i) CD Midnight Believer/Take It Home
4988005744012 (i) CD Midnight Believer
4988005685971 (i) CD Midnight Believer
008811193928 CD Millennium Collection-20th Century Masters
5018755250019 DVD Mojo Bones
4995879043677 (i) CD More (Mini LP Sleeve)
029667005425 (i) CD More B.B. King
8712177047598 (i) CD Move the Groove
600753390863 CD Mr. B.B. King
5017261206657 (i) CD Mr. Blues/Confessin' the Blues
012676046725 CD Mr.Blues
4995879043714 (i) CD My Kind of Blues (Mini LP Sleeve)
029667130028 (i) CD My Sweet Little Angel
5413992502646 CD On Stage with Lucille
602517812413 CD One Kind Favor
094631165429 CD Original Greatest Hits
7798093713916 (i) CD Originals
090204629756 (i) CD Pepper Cake Presents B
602517498518 CD Playlist Plus
602517737631 CD Playlist Your Way
725543030115 Vinyl Rarest King
093624761228 CD Riding with the King
093624761211 Vinyl Riding with the King
605633127720 (i) CD Rough Guide to B.B. King
029667171229 (i) CD Rpm Hits 1951-57
4011222328311 (i) CD Shake It Up & Go
029667017428 (i) CD Sing Spirituals
077778629627 CD Singin' the Blues/the Blues
5050457069629 (i) CD Singin' the Blues
029667007429 (i) CD Singin' the Blues
4995879043646 (i) CD Singin' the Blues (Mini LP Sleeve)
5060149621431 Vinyl Singin' the Blues
8436028699209 (i) CD Singin the Blues + More B.B.King
4995879043707 (i) CD Sings Spirituals (Mini LP Sleeve)
602517372283 CD Six Silver Strings
076732561621 CD Six Silver Strings
4995879043721 (i) CD Soul of (Mini LP Sleeve)
077778623120 CD Spotlight on Lucille
089353700225 DVD Standing Room Only
008811177027 CD Take It Home
7798136572319 (i) CD Talent
5017261201249 (i) CD There Must Be a Better World Somewhere
8712177037001 (i) CD Thrill Is Gone
5413992503193 CD Thrill of the Blues
5017261208538 (i) CD To Know You Is to Love You/L.a. Midnight
4988005685957 (i) CD To Know You Is to Love You
076742701222 CD Together Again Live
5017261201621 (i) CD Together Again Live
076732416020 CD Together for the First Time
5017261201614 (i) CD Together for the First Time Live
4988005685964 (i) CD Together for the First Time: Live
4988005744005 (i) CD Together for the First Time: Live
4988067037565 (i) CD Twin Best
602498266137 CD Ultimate Collection
008811226022 (i) CD Universal Masters Collection
008811950521 (i) CD Very Best of
029667000826 (i) CD Vintage Years
4995879043653 (i) CD Wails (Mini LP Sleeve)
602517372313 CD Why I Sing the Blues
076742025625 CD Why I Sing the Blues
8712177045037 (i) CD Woke Up This Morning

Biography: Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King is without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century. His bent notes and staccato picking style have influenced legions of contemporary bluesmen, while his gritty and confident voice -- capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric -- provides a worthy match for his passionate playing. Between 1951 and 1985, King notched an impressive 74 entries on Billboard's R&B charts, and he was one of the few full-fledged blues artists to score a major pop hit when his 1970 smash "The Thrill Is Gone" crossed over to mainstream success (engendering memorable appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand). Since that time, he has partnered with such musicians as Eric Clapton and U2 while managing his own acclaimed solo career, all the while maintaining his immediately recognizable style on the electric guitar.

The seeds of Riley B. King's enduring talent were sown deep in the blues-rich Mississippi Delta, where he was born in 1925 near the town of Itta Bena. He was shuttled between his mother's home and his grandmother's residence as a child, his father having left the family when King was very young. The youth put in long days working as a sharecropper and devoutly sang the Lord's praises at church before moving to Indianola -- another town located in the heart of the Delta -- in 1943.

Country and gospel music left an indelible impression on King's musical mindset as he matured, along with the styles of blues greats (T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson) and jazz geniuses (Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt). In 1946, he set off for Memphis to look up his cousin, a rough-edged country blues guitarist named Bukka White. For ten invaluable months, White taught his eager young relative the finer points of playing blues guitar. After returning briefly to Indianola and the sharecropper's eternal struggle with his wife Martha, King returned to Memphis in late 1948. This time, he stuck around for a while.

King was soon broadcasting his music live via Memphis radio station WDIA, a frequency that had only recently switched to a pioneering all-black format. Local club owners preferred that their attractions also held down radio gigs so they could plug their nightly appearances on the air. When WDIA DJ Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert exited his air shift, King took over his record-spinning duties. At first tagged "The Peptikon Boy" (an alcohol-loaded elixir that rivaled Hadacol) when WDIA put him on the air, King's on-air handle became "The Beale Street Blues Boy," later shortened to Blues Boy and then a far snappier B.B.

King had a four-star breakthrough year in 1949. He cut his first four tracks for Jim Bulleit's Bullet Records (including a number entitled "Miss Martha King" after his wife), then signed a contract with the Bihari Brothers' Los Angeles-based RPM Records. King cut a plethora of sides in Memphis over the next couple of years for RPM, many of them produced by a relative newcomer named Sam Phillips (whose Sun Records was still a distant dream at that point in time). Phillips was independently producing sides for both the Biharis and Chess; his stable also included Howlin' Wolf, Rosco Gordon, and fellow WDIA personality Rufus Thomas.

The Biharis also recorded some of King's early output themselves, erecting portable recording equipment wherever they could locate a suitable facility. King's first national R&B chart-topper in 1951, "Three O'Clock Blues" (previously waxed by Lowell Fulson), was cut at a Memphis YMCA. King's Memphis running partners included vocalist Bobby Bland, drummer Earl Forest, and ballad-singing pianist Johnny Ace. When King hit the road to promote "Three O'Clock Blues," he handed the group, known as the Beale Streeters, over to Ace.

It was during this era that King first named his beloved guitar "Lucille." Seems that while he was playing a joint in a little Arkansas town called Twist, fisticuffs broke out between two jealous suitors over a lady. The brawlers knocked over a kerosene-filled garbage pail that was heating the place, setting the room ablaze. In the frantic scramble to escape the flames, King left his guitar inside. He foolishly ran back in to retrieve it, dodging the flames and almost losing his life. When the smoke had cleared, King learned that the lady who had inspired such violent passion was named Lucille. Plenty of Lucilles have passed through his hands since; Gibson has even marketed a B.B.-approved guitar model under the name.

The 1950s saw King establish himself as a perennially formidable hitmaking force in the R&B field. Recording mostly in L.A. (the WDIA air shift became impossible to maintain by 1953 due to King's endless touring) for RPM and its successor Kent, King scored 20 chart items during that musically tumultuous decade, including such memorable efforts as "You Know I Love You" (1952); "Woke Up This Morning" and "Please Love Me" (1953); "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer," "Whole Lotta' Love," and "You Upset Me Baby" (1954); "Every Day I Have the Blues" (another Fulson remake), the dreamy blues ballad "Sneakin' Around," and "Ten Long Years" (1955); "Bad Luck," "Sweet Little Angel," and a Platters-like "On My Word of Honor" (1956); and "Please Accept My Love" (first cut by Jimmy Wilson) in 1958. King's guitar attack grew more aggressive and pointed as the decade progressed, influencing a legion of up-and-coming axemen across the nation.

In 1960, King's impassioned two-sided revival of Joe Turner's "Sweet Sixteen" became another mammoth seller, and his "Got a Right to Love My Baby" and "Partin' Time" weren't far behind. But Kent couldn't hang onto a star like King forever (and he may have been tired of watching his new LPs consigned directly into the 99-cent bins on the Biharis' cheapo Crown logo). King moved over to ABC-Paramount Records in 1962, following the lead of Lloyd Price, Ray Charles, and before long, Fats Domino.

In November of 1964, the guitarist cut his seminal Live at the Regal album at the fabled Chicago theater and excitement virtually leaped out of the grooves. That same year, he enjoyed a minor hit with "How Blue Can You Get," one of his many signature tunes. "Don't Answer the Door" in 1966 and "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss" two years later were Top Ten R&B entries, and the socially charged and funk-tinged "Why I Sing the Blues" just missed achieving the same status in 1969.

Across-the-board stardom finally arrived in 1969 for the deserving guitarist, when he crashed the mainstream consciousness in a big way with a stately, violin-drenched minor-key treatment of Roy Hawkins' "The Thrill Is Gone" that was quite a departure from the concise horn-powered backing King had customarily employed. At last, pop audiences were convinced that they should get to know King better: not only was the track a number-three R&B smash, it vaulted to the upper reaches of the pop lists as well.

King was one of a precious few bluesmen to score hits consistently during the 1970s, and for good reason: he wasn't afraid to experiment with the idiom. In 1973, he ventured to Philadelphia to record a pair of huge sellers, "To Know You Is to Love You" and "I Like to Live the Love," with the same silky rhythm section that powered the hits of the Spinners and the O'Jays. In 1976, he teamed up with his old cohort Bland to wax some well-received duets. And in 1978, he joined forces with the jazzy Crusaders to make the gloriously funky "Never Make Your Move Too Soon" and an inspiring "When It All Comes Down." Occasionally, the daring deviations veered off-course; Love Me Tender, an album that attempted to harness the Nashville country sound, was an artistic disaster.

Although his concerts were consistently as satisfying as anyone in the field (King asserted himself as a road warrior of remarkable resiliency who gigged an average of 300 nights a year), King tempered his studio activities somewhat. Nevertheless, his 1993 MCA disc Blues Summit was a return to form, as King duetted with his peers (John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Fulson, Koko Taylor) on a program of standards. Other notable releases from that period include 1999's Let the Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan and 2000's Riding with the King, a collaboration with Eric Clapton. King celebrated his 80th birthday in 2005 with the star-studded album 80, which featured guest spots from such varied artists as Gloria Estefan, John Mayer, and Van Morrison. Live was issued in 2008; that same year, King released an engaging return to pure blues, One Kind Favor, which eschewed the slick sounds of his 21st century work for a stripped-back approach. A long overdue career-spanning box set of King's over 60 years of touring, recording, and performing, Ladies and Gentlemen...Mr. B.B. King, appeared in 2012. ~ Bill Dahl, Rovi