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Legendary Blues Man B.B. King Transitions at Age 89 — Listen To His Music



By Tim Weiner
B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89.

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"The Thrill Is Gone"


"Why I Sing The Blues"



"Live" Guitar Solo



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His death was reported on his website, which said he died in his sleep. Mr. King, who was in hospice care, had been performing until October 2014, when he canceled a tour, citing dehydration and exhaustion stemming from diabetes.

Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.

“I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions,” Mr. King said in his autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (1996), written with David Ritz.

In performances, his singing and his solos flowed into each other as he wrung notes from the neck of his guitar, vibrating his hand as if it were wounded, his face a mask of suffering. Many of the songs he sang — like his biggest hit, “The Thrill Is Gone” (“I’ll still live on/But so lonely I’ll be”) — were poems of pain and perseverance.

The music historian Peter Guralnick once noted that Mr. King helped expand the audience for the blues through “the urbanity of his playing, the absorption of a multiplicity of influences, not simply from the blues, along with a graciousness of manner and willingness to adapt to new audiences and give them something they were able to respond to.”

B. B. stood for Blues Boy, a name he took with his first taste of fame in the 1940s. His peers were bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, whose nicknames fit their hard-bitten lives. But he was born a King, albeit in a sharecropper’s shack surrounded by dirt-poor laborers and wealthy landowners.

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Baltimore Police Union Launches Propaganda Campaign Against State Attorney Who Indicted Killer Cops (Video)

Police and their representatives were shocked when the state attorney indicted the killer cops so quickly. They hoped to have plenty of time to leak lies about the victim, Walter Gray (like Gray "injured himself purposely" while in the police van) to influence the public and a future jury. Police also hoped a grand jury would allow the cops to go free after a cover up and a weak presentation by the prosecutor. Now, that the state attorney has surprised everyone with no grand jury and a quick indictment the police union is crying "foul" and wants the state attorney removed from the case for alleged conflicts of interest like receiving a campaign contribution from the lawyer retained by Walter Gray's family — even though she also accepted campaign contributions from the police union.—Ronald David Jackson

RELATED STORYAppalling History of ‘Intimidation and Violence’ in Domestic Case by Officer Involved in Gray’s Arrest
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