In Other News: BB King

black Gibson guitar

A look at a current news item through the lens of different Gale electronic resources.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

This week, the world lost a prolific and highly-esteemed musician, B.B. King. For non-jazz fans, B.B. (born Riley B King) was probably the only jazz musician whose name was recognizable (perhaps second to Louis Armstrong). Infamous for his black Gibson guitar, Lucille, B.B. was synonymous prized instrument. Though he consistently carried “Lucille” throughout his career, there were, in fact, many of ‘her’ along the way. Unlike his peers, B.B. named each of the guitars he carried Lucille as a reminder to make good choices and avoid risks. In fact, B.B. nearly died trying to rescue the first Lucille from a bar fire in Kansas, which was ignited during a fight. Over a woman. Named Lucille.

In the end, it was diabetes that ended his reign as King of the Blues. Having worked and shared the stage with many extraordinary artists, including U2 and Mick Jagger, BB’s influence on music is undisputed.

I would also like to note that earlier this month, jazz percussionist Jerome Cooper died at 68. Sad times for jazz fans.

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