At the time of BB King’s death in May 2015, the man born Riley B King in mid-20s Mississippi was the undisputed King Of The Blues. The ‘Blues Boy’ survived brutal racism, extreme poverty and even a brief association with U2 to endure as the ambassador for a style of music that has defied being written off countless times.
Stylistically, BB King’s first few albums were heavily indebted to his idol T-Bone Walker, but by the early 60s he was his own man, and a powerful influence on a gang of white kids in London that included Peter Green, future Rolling Stone Mick Taylor and those two’s predecessor in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Eric Clapton.
“If you’re not familiar with his work,” said Clapton, “I would encourage you to go out and find an album called Live At The Regal, which is where it all really started for me as a young player.”
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