Happy 83rd Birthday B.B. King

Categories: Throwbacks

So I just got off the phone with blues singer Shemekia Copeland, who'll be performing at the Hollywood Clambake on September 26 and, as far as I could tell, she's really looking forward to coming down to South Florida. She's going to be working out some new songs off of her upcoming album and promises to put on a great show like always.

Not long after I got off the phone with her, I realized that today is blues legend BB King's 83rd Birthday. I head over to YouTube looking for a video to post (natch) since it's Throwback Tuesdays, and the first thing that pops up is this swinging performance listed above of both Copeland and King performing together from the David Letterman show. It must be fate! Check it out.

And if you really want to go old school, check out this soulful performance from 1968. It's from the Ralph Gleason Jazz Casual show and features B.B. singing as clear as ever. Definitely worth watching as the blues that they're cooking up here is funky and jazzy and sounds like something Grant Green could have done!
The line up here is:
B.B. King - guitar
Sonny Freeman - drums
James Toney - organ
Mose Thomas - trumpet
Lee Gatling - sax

He doesn't stand up anymore when he plays, and has lost some of his faculties. But what he lacks in mobility these days, he makes up for just fine in strong git-ar playing and better than average singing as well. I'm glad B.B. is still here with us so here's an official Happy Birthday to the greatest living blues singer in the world.

--Jonathan Cunningham


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