B.B. King is in town! This Friday in our own town, we have the honor of presenting Mr. B.B. King live at the Fareway Plaza. For a little background information on the musical genius, I had the priveledge of attending a speech he made last Saturday in Little Rock Arkansas. There I learned how King's early experiences in life helped shape his career as a blue's musician.
So, we all know King has a great talent in singing the blues, but i bet you didn't know that King actually started by singing gospel. That's right, Kings career started with his love for gospel and evolved into his passion for the blue's. Kings love for music and the many churches in his hometown of Indianola, naturally drew him to gospe, but he broke into blue's a different way. King tols us that as a child his great grandmother would tell him stories of her experience as a slave.
She explained how the blue's originated in the fields and were used as secret messages to warn if the master was coming. Of course though, it was also just a way to unburden their souls and let out the emotions of the hard days work. "I could see the blue's were about survival," King told us. It was becoming obvious to me that King was intrigued by the blue's from an early age.
As Mr. King put it, "I was never a fluent speaker...My mind fights my mouth, words are not my friend, music is my friend." King explained, "Sometimes for seconds, minutes, days, months, years, sometimes all my life." King then continued to tell us that as a child he studdered. He had trouble communicating ideas and getting his feelings out. "I talk through music," King said. His way of communicating using music eventually lead to his career as a Blue's musician.
King told us about his dreams as a child, "I had a dream, i wanted to preach, sing, play guitar, travel with gospel groups...I saw how gospel groups got so popular that they didn't need day jobs...Living off music seemed better then living off land." As a result of this dream, King would sit on street corners and sing gospel songs such as "Old Rugged Cross," and "Workin' on the Building." "One day a man stopped and hummed along." King explained, "When i finished singing he patted me on the back and said 'you can sing son' then he walked away...NO TIP!" King told us that he had to make a move from sanctified to secular. He began singing some blue's he had heard, 12-bar blue's he told us. He started singing loud and from the heart. The same man came by and listened for a while, then tipped him! Beleive it or not, this experience began his career as a blue's musician. He started blue's for the money and before long the rythm, beats, sounds, "pure emotion" as King put it, captured his soul.
As a result of Kings love for music, his great grandmothers stories, and his experience as a street singer, King is now one of the most well-known and respected musicians in the world. Like King said, "Blue's began loving me, I gave the blue's more of me." So be there Friday beginning as 4:00 p.m. at the Fareway Plaza. Tickets are available all week at your local ticket master!