B.B. KING Biography - Musicians


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Name: B. B. King                                                                           
Birth name: Riley B. King                                                                   
Born: 16 September 1925 Itta Bena, Mississippi, USA                                         
B. B. King (born Riley B. King on September 16, 1925) is an American blues                 
guitarist and singer-songwriter. Rolling Stone magazine ranked King the 3rd "Greatest       
Guitarist of All Time" in 2003.                                                             
B. B. King arrived in Memphis for the first time in 1946 to work as a musician,             
but after a few months of hardship he left, going back to Mississippi. There he             
decided to prepare himself better for the next visit and returned to Memphis two           
years later. Initially he worked at the local R&B radio channel WDIA as a singer.           
In 1949, he began recording songs under contract with Los Angeles-based RPM                 
Records. Many of King's early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who                 
later founded Sun Records. King was also a disc jockey in Memphis, where he                 
gained the nickname "Beale Street Blues Boy", later shortened to "B. B." Before             
his RPM contract, B. B. had debuted on Bullet Records by issuing the single "Miss           
Martha King" (1949), which got a bad review in Billboard magazine and did not               
chart well.                                                                                 
In the 1950s, B. B. King became one of the most important names in R&B music,               
amassing an impressive list of hits including "You Know I Love You," "Woke Up               
This Morning," "Please Love Me," "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer," "Whole               
Lotta Love," "You Upset Me Baby," "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Sneakin' Around,"         
"Ten Long Years," "Bad Luck," "Sweet Little Angel," "On My Word of Honor," and "Please     
Accept My Love." In 1962,B.B. King signed to ABC-Paramount Records, which was               
later absorbed into MCA Records, and then his current label, Geffen Records.               
In November 1964, King recorded the Live at the Regal album at the Regal Theater           
in Chicago, Illinois.                                                                       
B. B. King in concert in France (1989)                                                     
King's first success outside the blues market was his 1969 remake of Roy Hawkins'           
tune "The Thrill Is Gone." King's version became a hit on both pop and R&B                 
charts, which was rare for an R&B artist. It also gained the number 193 spot in             
Rolling Stone's Top 500 Songs Of All Time. He gained further rock visibility as             
an opening act on The Rolling Stones much-ballyhooed 1969 American Tour. King's             
mainstream success continued throughout the 1970s with songs like "To Know You             
Is to Love You" and "I Like to Live the Love."