B.B. King

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Descriptive "tags": blues guitar jazz blues rock classic rock Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Biography

Riley B. King, 16 September 1925, Indianola, Mississippi, USA. The son of a sharecropper, King went to work on the plantation like any other young black in Mississippi, but he had sung in amateur gospel groups from childhood. By the age of 16, he was also playing blues guitar and singing on street corners. When he was 20 years old, he temporarily quit sharecropping and went to Memphis, where he busked, and shared a room for almost a year with his second cousin, Bukka White. However, it was not until 1948 that he managed to pay off his debts to his former plantation boss. After leaving farming, he returned to Memphis, determined to become a star. He secured work with radio station KWEM, and then with WDIA, fronting a show sponsored by the health-tonic Pepticon, which led to disc jockeying on the Sepia Swing Show. Here he was billed as ‘The Beale Street Blues Boy’, later amended to ‘Blues Boy King’, and then to ‘B.B. King’. Radio...

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