Keeping the Blues Alive / Blues News  / B.B. King & Bo Diddley – Photo Of The Week

B.B. King & Bo Diddley

When it comes to BB King and Bo Diddley performing together, can it get any better than this? While they’re celebrating the second anniversary celebration of B.B. King’s Blues Club and Grill, you can tell that these two have a great camaraderie with each other. 

This photo was captured by photographer Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images.  For more on Jack Vartoogian click here 

B.B. King

He outlived all of his peers and admired by generations of blues, rhythm ‘n’ blues and rock musicians. Furthermore, he stood as a reminder of a time when music was a way to overcome the obstacles of life.  B.B. King started singing gospel songs on a Mississippi street corner as a teen and grew into the world’s unrivaled ambassador of the blues. From his days making the rounds on the chitlin’ circuit to singing, touring and eventually creating his own label.

He wrote hundreds of songs and became quite popular to mainstream blues radio. At one point he was dj-ing and singing on the radio.  He always took the time to help out the new generations of blues musicians and is known for his great advice and kindness. Eric Clapton has called him “the most important artist the blues has ever produced.” 

His Guitar Style

Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left-hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist’s vocabulary. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck.  B.B. mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In B.B.’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

B.B. King’s Blues Club opened in in New York City’s Times Square in June 2000.  Even though it was open for 18 years and over 6,000 shows, this location closed its doors on April 29, 2018. 

B.B. King was the man who made his guitar express every imaginable blues emotion. The blues legend everyone admired. The man who played for Presidents and a musician so well known that his guitar, which he named Lucille, was known to every lover of the blues. 

Keeping the Blues Alive

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