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Remembering the Legend, B.B. King & His Beloved "Lucille"

By Maria-Karmina Landicho

Musicians, politicians and blues lovers around the world express the sorrow over the death of the blues legend, B.B. King (at the age of 89) — expressing their gratitude for the legacy he left. Radio and television newscasts played clips from his most famous songs, which took blues from his native Mississippi into the mainstream.

President Obama, (who calls the blues mecca of Chicago his home) remembered how he sang “Sweet Home Chicago” with King at a White House blues concert three years ago. Stating in an interview:

“…that thrill will be with us forever … And there’s going to be one killer blues session in heaven tonight.”

B.B. King’s legacy all began with one hitch of a ride. In the late 1940’s, he hitched a ride to Memphis at the ripe age of 20 years old —  the soon to be legend, started his career off with the name of “Beale Street Blues Boy” (Blues Boy). Later shortening it to the name we all will remember him by as “B.B. King“.

For those that don’t know about B.B. King and his famous mistress, Lucille (his guitar) — let’s educate you. The story of Lucille started in 1950’s where he was playing a show in Twist, Arkansas. Before the show could end, the building went up in flames. Once he was safely outside, B.B. King realized that his guitar was left inside of the building. After running back in to save his guitar, and barely missing death — B.B. King later learned that the fire was started between two men, over a female named “Lucille“. So as the story goes, B.B. King thus named his beloved guitar after that woman Lucille and later providing names for all of his future guitars, as well.

Deeply rooted in blues, B.B. King went on to creating 50 albums and winning 15 Grammy’s. Making him a major musical icon and household name. Only to lay down tracks for artists like some of the most killer guitarists like Eric Clapton and John Mayor.

Needless to say, with a beautiful story like that — B.B. King and Lucille will live on for centuries to come. So instead of sending him off, mourning over his death — let’s sit and remember that B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world will  never get enough of him.

Rest In Peace, you will live on B.B. King. Take a listen to B.B. King with his tune titled, “Lucille“:

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