What was it about BB King that allowed him to float to the top of a sea of brilliant blues musicians making him the most well-known artist of the genre? I've been asking this question for many years and I always come back to the same answer- MASSIVE likability. Yes, to become a musical ambassador a person has to have qualities beyond just musical skill. BB King was a guy with a warm personality, a brand that was easily marketable to the masses, and the ability to endure. It helps that he rose to prominence during the birth of rock n roll, an era when the general record buying public was much more friendly with blues artists.
However, as the decades went on, blues went back underground. Only a very small handful of artists would remain in public consciousness. It was the BB King brand that thrived via commercials, print ads, his club for tourists in Memphis, his guest appearances on other people's records, etc. People never got tired of BB. You can't really attribute that to his music. It was the power of his celebrity. He was the go-to guy when you wanted someone to represent the blues, especially as his contemporaries went on to the next life.
The LEGEND of BB King is so huge, it's hard to imagine a world without him. He falls in that elite category of people who personify their art. There is now a gaping hole in the landscape of our American culture, much like when Ray Charles and Johnny Cash passed away. These folks are as much (if not more) a part of who we are as a nation as any political leaders.
So today I mourn the passing of an American icon. Today I will dance to what is currently my favorite BB King 45. I hope you'll do a little shuffle too. If you are someone who was introduced to the blues through BB King, I hope you'll take some time to dig a little deeper into the genre in his honor. He led you there to show you there's so much more to love.
DJ Action Slacks
I'm excited to highlight some of my favorite records in a variety of genres (soul, R&B, classic country, rockabilly, oldies, garage rock, etc). These won't all necessarily be "dance" records per se. They will all be records that I believe deserve a special listen. I simply love good music, rare or not. Hopefully you will spend some time here and love music right along with me! Lets give this a shot!