The Life and Legacy of B.B. King: A Mississippi Blues Icon

The Life and Legacy of B.B. King: A Mississippi Blues Icon

by Diane Williams, London G. Branch

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Overview

Blues legend B.B. King spent his life sharing the music of his soul, which shone relentlessly through hardship and triumph alike.


Born on a cotton plantation in 1925, the man born Riley B. King would grow up to be one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, being crowned "The King of the Blues." He never wavered from his vocation, even as he gathered up other musicians in his wake and melded them into the harmony of his animating passion. In this intimate portrait of King, author Diane Williams offers a brief account of the monumental blues man's life before settling in for a series of interviews with his bandmates and beloved family members, offering readers an invaluable opportunity to feel like they know King too.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781439668597
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 11/25/2019
Series: American Heritage
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 572,975
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Diane Williams calls herself a "narratologist." She is a professional performing artist/storyteller, teaching artist, author, poet and mixed-media fiber artist whose tapestries often tells stories. She is former board chair for the National Storytelling Network and former board member and Life Member of the National Association of Black Storytellers. She is a recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award and the Oracle Award for Regional Leadership and Service in Storytelling. Three of the books she either authored or edited have won Storytelling World Awards. She is retired from a position in state government as director of grants for the Mississippi Arts Commission. Her writings are included in anthologies and literary journals, and her fiber art has been included on the cover of literary journals. Diane is currently on the Mississippi Humanities Council's Speakers Bureau. She is also a member of the Mississippi Craftsmen's Guild, and her artwork has been exhibited and lives in the collections of museums. She has exhibited in galleries and artistic and community venues around the region.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. London G. Branch 7

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

Part I The Life and Legacy of B.B. King

1 Humble Beginnings 23

2 Education from the Cotton Fields to the Schoolhouse to the Church House 27

3 Bigotry and Prejudice 37

4 Switching Gears 41

5 Beale Street 44

6 Making Music 52

7 The Business of Making Music 58

Part II Family Recollections

8 Shirley King: B.B. King's Daughter 69

9 Mary Alice Smith: Martha's Daughter 73

10 Marvin Gardner: Little B.B. King 78

Part III Let Them Talk but Hear What They've Got to Say Interviews with Music Makers Who Were Influenced B.B. King

11 Malcolm Shepherd: Percussionist and President, Central Mississippi Blues Society 83

12 Bobby Rush: Blues Entertainer 87

13 Billy Branch: "Son of the Blues" 94

14 Nellie "Mack" McInnis: Bass Player 96

15 Jesse Robinson: Guitarist 101

16 Melvin Hendrex: "House Cat" 105

17 Ben Pay-ton: Blues Guitarist and Singer 109

18 Dexter Allen: Let it Lead You 115

19 Robert Hill: Owner, Radio Station WRNE 980 FM, Pensacola, Florida 120

20 JaWonn Smith: Southern Soul 122

21 Abdul Rasheed: Singer and Bass Player 124

22 Thank You Mr. King…the King of the Blues: By Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed 127

Conclusion: Influential Considerations on Black Music 129

Appendix I Blues Curricula 137

Appendix II B.B. King Discography 143

Appendix III Awards and Distinctions 151

Bibliography 157

About the Author 160

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