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January Brings B.B. King to Knight Theater

October 3, 2013

His name is fitting: B.B. King, “King of the Blues,” is one of the most legendary musicians of our time. He makes his return to Blumenthal for one night only on Jan. 12 at Knight Theater! CLICK HERE for ticket information and details.

For more than half a century, King has defined the blues for audiences around the world. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released more than 50 albums, many of them classics.

Here’s a prime example — King playing “The Thrill Is Gone” at a concert in 1993.

King was born Sept. 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Miss. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis to pursue his music career.

The first big break came in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM out of West Memphis. This led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a 10-minute spot on black-staffed and managed Memphis radio station WDIA. “King’s Spot,” became so popular, it was expanded and became the “Sepia Swing Club.” Soon King needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King.

He continues to tour extensively, averaging more than 250 concerts per year around the world. Classics such as “Payin’ the Cost to Be the Boss,” “The Thrill Is Gone,” “How Blue Can You Get,” “Everyday I Have the Blues,” and “Why I Sing The Blues” are concert (and fan) staples. Over the years, the Grammy Award-winner has had two No. 1 R&B hits, 1951′s “Three O’Clock Blues” and 1952′s “You Don’t Know Me”; and four No. 2 R&B hits, 1953′s “Please Love Me,” 1954′s “You Upset Me Baby,” 1960′s “Sweet Sixteen, Part I,” and 1966′s “Don’t Answer The Door, Part I.” King’s most popular crossover hit, 1970′s “The Thrill Is Gone,” went to No. 15 on the pop charts.

In this video, you’ll hear “Lucille.” If this doesn’t make you tap your foot, I don’t know what will.

Don’t miss out on seeing the reining “King of the Blues” Jan. 12 in Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets now!

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