B.B. King

Sarah Wales

Rhythm and Blues

This inventive sound came from Rock and Roll music as it developed the style with Jazz sounds. It utilizes the guitar to match the emotional appeal the voice brings to an audience. The stress put on the strings conveys a deeper feeling to the listener as it is fluid and carries each note to another. Created in the 1960s, this genre of music was formed by different African American musicians developing a strong back beat mixed with vocals filled with vibrato and silky qualities. Saxophone and piano are also widely used in the style joining with the guitar to create a unified sound.

Impact on Rhythm and Blues

King had a distinctive sound of rhythm and blues that was maintained as music changed over time. His devotion to this sound while adapting to contemporary ideas made his music very popular to the public. He is referred to as the "King of Blues" for his unique tone and captivating guitar playing. His inventive way of playing the guitar created a new interest in music. He would bend individual strings of his instrument to construct a unique sound. This style of blues appealed to many people of then and now because of its emotional sound of the guitar and vocals paired together.

Appeal in the 70's

B.B. King was accepted during this era due to his new sound that deferred greatly from the rock and roll that had been occurring. He had developed rock into his own style where emotion was emphasized and guitar was made a key component. The new and inventive way of controlling the sound of this instrument is a major contributor to Rhythm and Blues. King's music was a perfect combination of jazz and rock and roll, two styles that were currently popular when he emerged. This intrigued people and he soon developed a large following.

Popular Today

B.B. King's music continues to be played today as his songs have influenced multiple decades. This great presence is due to his large influence on rock and roll. His music appeals to a broad range of people as it has become timeless. Just like it did in the 70's people relate to the soulfulness and amazing quality of King's music. His songs will remain to be influential on other artists and be incorporated in music today. This large part in history has not only shaped the music industry but the conceptions of the public while they relate to his message and guitar strums.

His Best Hits

Some of his best known songs include the following:

Three O'Clock Blues

You Upset Me Baby

Every Day I Have The Blues

Don't Answer The Door

The Thrill is Gone

Key Events

1948 - B.B. King performed and served as a disk jockey for WDIA, a hit known radio station, which led to performing at Sixteenth Avenue Grill in Memphis.

1972 - The musician campaigns for prison reform as well as performs for inmates at Cook County Jail in Chicago.

1984 - King was inducted into the Blues Hall of fame.

1990 - B.B. King receives a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

2015 - King dies at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 89.