B.B. King September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015

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Born Riley B. King September 16, 1925, B.B. King was became a legend who toured the world for over 65 years. His first big break came in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM out of West Memphis. This led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a ten-minute spot on black-staffed and managed Memphis radio station WDIA. “King’s Spot,” became so popular, it was expanded and became the “Sepia Swing Club.” Soon B.B. needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King. [bbking.com]

Mr. King’s health had been a concern of late, though the public message was very positive. On May 1 he noted, “I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas. Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”

B.B. King’s official website posted simply, “Mr. King passed peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 pm Pacific time May 14 2015.”

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