The New York Times is reporting that blues guitar legend B.B. King has died at the age of 89. According to his daughter, King died in Vegas where he was attempting to recover from dehydration and exhaustion which caused him to cancel shows this year.
Legend has it that B.B. was playing a dance in Arkansas in the late 40’s when a fight broke out toppling a lantern full of kerosene. King raced through the burning venue to retrieve his guitar. Later, it was revealed the fight was over a woman named Lucille. From that moment on he and Lucille would go hand in hand.
It was stories like these that made King such a master blues man. I had the privilege of seeing him many years ago at The Palace Theater in Albany. It was one part blues show, one part story session. He talked as much as he played, and it didn’t matter because both were worth every penny.