Monday, 31 March 2014

This week's playlist

The Veldman Brothers - "2 Times 360"
Long John Baldry - "Digging My Potatoes"
Jeff Black - "All Right Now"
Champion Jack Dupree - "24 Hours"
Peetie Wheatstraw - "Weeping Willow Blues"
Son House - "Death Letter"
Status Quo - "A B Blues"
Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers - "Noah's Blues"
Charley Patton - "A Spoonful Blues"
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry - "Ain't Got No Home"
Long John Baldry - "Gallows Pole"
Bonnie Raitt - "Ain't Nothin' In Ramblin'"
Bessie Smith - "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
Long John Baldry - "East Virginia Blues"
Matt 'Guitar' Murphy and Memphis Slim - "All By Myself"
The Timothy Hay - "Feral Beast"
Willie And The Poor Boys - "All Night Long"
Deborah Magone - "Queen Bee"
John Lee Hooker - "Baby Lee"
The Deluxe Blues Band - "All Your Love"
Jon Amor Blues Group - "Angel In A Black Dress"
Long John Baldry - "Right To Sing The Blues"
Bob Margolin - "Aliens Blues"

Featured Artist: Long John Baldry

John William "Long John" Baldry
(12 January 1941 – 21 July 2005)
Baldry grew to 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m), resulting in the nickname "Long John". He was one of the first British vocalists to sing blues in clubs. Baldry appeared quite regularly in the early '60s in the Gyre and Gymble coffee lounge, around the corner from Charing Cross railway station, and at the Brownsville R. & B. Club, Manor House, London, also "Klooks Kleek" (Railway Hotel, West Hampstead). He sometimes appeared at Eel Pie Island on the Thames at Twickenham and at the Station Hotel in Richmond, one of the Rolling Stones' earliest venues.
In the early 1960s, he sang with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, with whom he recorded the first British blues album in 1962, R&B From The Marquee. At stages, Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts were members of this band while Keith Richards and Brian Jones played on stage, although none played on the R&B at the Marquee album. When The Rolling Stones made their debut at the Marquee Club in July 1962, Baldry put together a group to support them. Later, Baldry was the announcer introducing the Stones on their US-only live album, Got Live If You Want It!, in 1966.
Baldry became friendly with Paul McCartney after a show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in the early 1960s, leading to an invitation to sing on one of The Beatles 1964 TV specials, Around The Beatles. In the special, Baldry performs "Got My Mojo Workin'" and a medley of songs with members of The Vernon Girls trio; in the latter, the Beatles are shown singing along in the audience.
In 1963, Baldry joined the Cyril Davies R&B All Stars with Nicky Hopkins playing piano. He took over in 1964 after the death of Cyril Davies, and the group became Long John Baldry and his Hoochie Coochie Men featuring Rod Stewart on vocals and Geoff Bradford on guitar. Stewart was recruited after Baldry heard him busking a Muddy Waters song at Twickenham station after Stewart had been to a Baldry gig at Eel Pie Island. Long John Baldry became a regular fixture on Sunday nights at Eel Pie Island from then onwards, fronting a series of bands.
In 1965, the Hoochie Coochie Men became Steampacket with Baldry and Stewart as male vocalists, Julie Driscoll as the female vocalist and Brian Auger on Hammond organ. After Steampacket broke up in 1966, Baldry formed Bluesology featuring Reg Dwight on keyboards and Elton Dean, later of Soft Machine, as well as Caleb Quaye on guitar. Dwight adopted the name Elton John, his first name from Dean and his surname from Baldry.
Baldry was openly gay during the early 1960s, at least amongst his friends and industry peers. However, he did not make a formal public acknowledgement of this until the 1970s—possibly because until 1967 in Britain, homosexuality was still a criminal offense that could lead to forced medication and/or jail time.
Baldry had a brief relationship with lead-guitarist of The Kinks, Ray Davies and supported Elton Johnin coming to terms with his own sexuality. In 1978 his then-upcoming album Baldry's Out announced his formal coming out, and he addressed sexuality problems with a cover of Canadian songwriter Bill Amesbury's "A Thrill's a Thrill".
In 1967, he recorded a pop song "Let The Heartaches Begin" that went to number one in Britain, followed by a 1968 top 20 hit titled "Mexico", which was the theme of the UK Olympic team that year. "Let the Heartaches Begin" made the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
Bluesology broke up in 1968, with Baldry continuing his solo career and Elton John forming a songwriting partnership with Bernie Taupin. In 1969, Elton John tried to commit suicide after relationship problems with a woman. Taupin and Baldry found him, and Baldry talked him out of marrying the woman, helping make Elton John comfortable with his sexuality. The song "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" from “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” was about the experience.
In 1971, John and Stewart each produced one side of It Ain't Easy which became Baldry's most popular album and made the top 100 of the US album chart. The album featured "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll" which became his most successful song in the US. Baldry's first tour of the US was at this time. The band included,Mick Waller, Ian Armitt, Pete Sears, and Sammy Mitchell. Stewart and John would again co-produce his 1972 album Everything Stops For Tea which made the lower reaches of the US album charts. The same year, Baldry worked with ex-Procol Harum guitarist Dave Ball.
Baldry had mental health problems and was institutionalised for a brief time in 1975. The 1979 album Baldry's Out was recorded after his release. He played live at Zolly's nightclub in Oshawa, underneath the Oshawa Shopping Centre, shortly after releasing Baldry's Out. In a 1997 interview with a German television program, Baldry claimed to be the last person to see singer Marc Bolan before Bolan's death on 16 September 1977, having conducted an interview with the fellow singer for an American production company, he says, just before Bolan drove away and had his accident.
He played his last live show in Columbus, Ohio, on 19 July 2004, at Barristers Hall with guitarist Bobby Cameron. The show was produced by Andrew Myers. They played to a small group, some came from Texas. Two years previously the two had a 10-venue sell-out tour of Canada. Baldry's final UK Tour as 'The Long John Baldry Trio' concluded with a performance on Saturday 13 November 2004 at The King's Lynn Arts Centre, King's Lynn, Norfolk, England. The trio consisted of LJB, Butch Coulter on harmonica and Dave Kelly on slide guitar.

Monday Morning Blues 31/03/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues - 31/03/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 24 March 2014

This week's playlist

John Lee Hooker - "Time Is Marchin"
Jim Jackson - "I Woke Up This Morning She Was Gone"
Jimmy Reed - "Going By The River Pt. 1"
The Yardbirds - "Train Kept A-Rolling"
Buddy Guy - "Stone Crazy"
Johnny Winter - "Trick Bag"
Cannon's Jug Stompers - "Viola Lee Blues"
Harry Bodine - "Travellin' The Southland"
Bowden and Williamson - "You Got It"
Jim Jackson - "My Monday Woman Blues"
Jo-Ann Kelly - "Try Me One More Time"
Dr. Feelgood - "Sugar Bowl"
Jim Jackson - "I Heard The Voice Of A Porkchop"
Deborah Bonhan - "What It Feels"
The John Pippus Band - "Two Hearts On The Run"
Magic Slim - "Give Me Back My Wig"
J.J. Cale - "Unemployment"
Big Bill Broonzy - "Long Tall Mama"
Doc Watson - "Rising Sun Blues"
Janiva Magness - "Use What You Got"
Jim Jackson - "Bye, Bye Policeman"
Mississippi Mathilda - "Hard Workin' Woman"

Featured Artist: Jim Jackson

Jim Jackson
(1884 - 1937)
Jackson was born in Hernando, Mississippi, and was raised on a farm, where he learned to play guitar. Around 1905 he started working as a singer, dancer, and musician in medicine shows, playing dances and parties often with other local musicians such as Gus Cannon, Frank Stokes and Robert Wilkins. He soon began traveling with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, featuring Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, and other minstrel shows.
He also played clubs on Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. His popularity and proficiency secured him a residency at Memphis's prestigious Peabody Hotel in 1919. Like Lead Belly, Jackson knew hundreds of songs including blues, ballads, vaudeville numbers, and traditional tunes, and became a popular attraction.
In 1927, talent scout H. C. Speir signed him to a recording contract with Vocalion Records. On October 10, 1927, he recorded “Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues”, which became a best-seller, and in the melody and lyrics of which can be traced the outline of many later blues and rock and roll songs, including “Rock Around The Clock” and “Kansas City”. Following his hit Jackson recorded a series of 'Kansas City' follow-ups and soundalikes. It also led to other artists covering and reworking the song, including Charlie Patton, who changed it to "Gonna Move To Alabama". Jackson moved to Memphis in 1928, and made a series of further recordings, including the comic medicine show song "I Heard the Voice of a Pork Chop". He also appeared in King Vidor's all-black, 1929 film, “Hallelujah!”.
Jackson ran the Red Rose Minstrels, a traveling medicine show which toured Mississippi, Arkansas and Alabama. As a talent scout for Brunswick Records, he discovered Rufus “Speckled Red” Perryman, gaining him his first recording session. Shortly afterwards, in February 1930, Jackson recorded his own last session. He later moved back to Hernando, and continued to perform until his death in 1937.
Janis Joplin later recorded a version of "Kansas City Blues", inserting the lines "Babe, I'm leavin', yeah I'm a-leavin' this mornin' / Goin' to Kansas City to bring Jim Jackson home".
Jackson was a major influence on the Chicago bluesman J. B. Lenoir, and his "Kansas City Blues" was a regular fixture of Robert Nighthawk's concert set list.
The song "Wild About My Lovin'" was covered by The Lovin' Spoonful and released on their 1967 album, “The Best Of The Lovin' Spoonful”.

Monday Morning Blues 24/03/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues 24/03/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 17 March 2014

This week's playlist

Jimmy Yancey and Faber Smith - "East St. Louis Blues"
Dr. Ross - "Call The Doctor"
Eddie Martin - "Flowers To The Desert"
Johnny Moore's Three Blazers - "How Blue Can You Get"
Delta Reign - "Columbus Stockade Blues"
Mississippi Sheiks - "The World Is Going Wrong"
Collins, Cray and Copeland - "Something To Remember You By"
Minnie Wallace - "The Old Folks Started It"
Dr. Ross - "Sunnyland"
Alger Texas Alexander - "The Risin' Sun"
The Rolling Stones - "The Spider And The Fly"
Dr. Ross - "Numbers Boogie"
The City Shakers - "Get Out Of The Car"
Guitar Slim - "The Things That I Used To Do"
All Cued Up 2 - "Best Suit On"
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band - "The Money Goes"
iReedMan and Merry Clayton - "Backyard Bulldog"
Lemon Nash - "I'm Blue Every Monday"
Wesley Pruitt Band - "Thief In The Night"
Dr. Ross - "San Francisco Breakdown"
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - "This Is All"

Featured Artist: Dr. Ross

Charles Isaiah Ross
(October 21, 1925 – May 28, 1993),
 (aka Doctor Ross, the harmonica boss)
Ross played various forms of the blues that have seen him compared to John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson I, and is perhaps best known for the recordings he made for Sun Records in the 1950s, notably "The Boogie Disease" and "Chicago Breakdown".
Isaiah “Doc” Ross was a throwback to a bygone era; a true one-man band, he played harmonica, acoustic guitar, bass drum, and hi-hat simultaneously, creating a mighty racket harking back to the itinerant country-blues players wandering the Delta region during the earlier years of the 20th century. Born Charles Isaiah Ross on October 21, 1925 in Tunica, Mississippi, he took early inspiration from the music of Robert Johnson, Blind Boy Fuller and Sonny Boy Williamson I; primarily a harpist -- hence his nickname "The Harmonica Boss" -- he only added the other instruments in his arsenal in order to play a USO show while a member of the Army during World War II. (The "Doc" moniker was acquired because he carried his harmonicas in a doctor's bag.)
Upon his release from the military, Ross settled in Memphis, where he became a popular club fixture as well as the host of his own radio show on station WDIA; during his club residency he was witness to a number of brutal murders, however, and swore off appearances in such venues during the later years of his life.
In 1951 Ross began to be heard on Mississippi and Arkansas radio stations, now nicknamed Doctor because of his habit of carrying his harmonicas in a black bag that resembled a doctors bag. Over the next three years he recorded in Memphis, Tennessee for both Chess and Sun, creating exhilarating harmonica or guitar boogies made distinctive by his sidemen playing washboard (with a spoon and fork) and broom.
In 1965 he cut his first full-length LP, “Call The Doctor”, and that same year mounted his first European tour; as the years passed Ross performed live with decreasing frequency, however, and was infamous for backing out of shows to catch his beloved Detroit Tigers on television.
Upon winning a Grammy for his 1981 album Rare Blues, he experienced a career resurgence, and played festival dates to great acclaim prior to his death on May 28, 1993.

Monday Morning Blues 17/03/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 10 March 2014

This week's playlist

Robert Johnson - "Sweet Home Chicago"
'Blind' Lemon Jefferson - "Worried Blues"
Daddy Long Legs - "You Wonder"
Daddy Long Legs - The Devil's In The Details"
Paul Rodgers - "Louisianna Blues"
Even Dozen Jug Band - "Take Your Fingers Off It"
The Mescal Canyon Troubadours - "Chattahoochee Coochee Man"
Albert Collins - "Blue Monday Hangover"
'Blind' Lemon Jefferson - "Black Snake Moan"
The Black Tongued Bells - "Kingbee Jam"
'Blind' Lemon Jefferson - "Low Down Mojo Blues"
Big Maybelle - "Way Back Home"
Jimmy Rogers - "That's All Right"
Shamekia Copeland - "Ghetto Child"
The Mitch Laddie Band - "So Excited"
Ry Cooder - "Bourgeois Blues"
Joe Taino - "Take Me Now"
Michael Harrison - "Fortune Favors The Brave"
'Blind' Lemon Jefferson - "That Crawlin' Baby Blues"
Earl Hooker - "The End Of The Blues"

Featured Artist: 'Blind' Lemon Jefferson

"Blind" Lemon Jefferson
(Lemon Henry Jefferson) 
September 24, 1893 – December 19, 1929)
Lemon Henry Jefferson was born blind near Coutchman, Texas in Freestone County, near present-day Wortham, Texas, one of eight children born to sharecroppers Alex and Clarissa Jefferson. Disputes regarding his exact birth date derive from contradictory census records and draft registration records. By 1900, the family was farming southeast of Streetman, Texas, and Lemon Jefferson's birth date is indicated as September 1893 in the 1900 census. The 1910 census, taken in May before his birthday, further confirms his year of birth as 1893, and indicated the family was farming northwest of Wortham, near Lemon Jefferson's birthplace.
In his 1917 draft registration, Jefferson gave his birth date as October 26, 1894, further stating that he then lived in Dallas, Texas and had been blind since birth. In the 1920 census, he is recorded as having returned to Freestone County and was living with his half-brother, Kit Banks, on a farm between Wortham and Streetman.
Jefferson began playing the guitar in his early teens, and soon after he began performing at picnics and parties. He became a street musician, playing in East Texas towns, in front of barbershops and on streetcorners. According to his cousin, Alec Jefferson, quoted in the notes for Blind Lemon Jefferson, Classic Sides:
They were rough. Men were hustling women and selling bootleg and Lemon was singing for them all night... he'd start singing about eight and go on until four in the morning... mostly it would be just him sitting there and playing and singing all night.
By the early 1910s, Jefferson began traveling frequently to Dallas, where he met and played with fellow blues musician LeadBelly. In Dallas, Jefferson was one of the earliest and most prominent figures in the blues movement developing in the Deep Ellum section of Dallas. Jefferson likely moved to Deep Ellum in a more permanent fashion by 1917, where he met Aaron Thibeaux Walker, also known as T-Bone Walker. Jefferson taught Walker the basics of blues guitar, in exchange for Walker's occasional services as a guide. By the early 1920s, Jefferson was earning enough money for his musical performances to support a wife, and possibly a child. However, firm evidence for both his marriage and any offspring is unavailable.
Prior to Jefferson, very few artists had recorded solo voice and blues guitar, the first of which was vocalist Sara Martin and guitarist Sylvester Weaver. Jefferson's music is uninhibited and represented the classic sounds of everyday life from a honky-tonk to a country picnic to street corner blues to work in the burgeoning oil fields, a further reflection of his interest in mechanical objects and processes.
Jefferson did what very few had ever done - he became a successful solo guitarist and male vocalist in the commercial recording world. Unlike many artists who were "discovered" and recorded in their normal venues, in December 1925 or January 1926, he was taken to Chicago, Illinois, to record his first tracks. Uncharacteristically, Jefferson's first two recordings from this session were gospel songs ("I Want to be like Jesus in my Heart" and "All I Want is that Pure Religion"), released under the name Deacon L.J. Bates. This led to a second recording session in March 1926. His first releases under his own name, "Booster Blues" and "Dry Southern Blues", were hits; this led to the release of the other two songs from that session, "Got the Blues" and "Long Lonesome Blues," which became a runaway success, with sales in six figures. He recorded about 100 tracks between 1926 and 1929; 43 records were issued, all but one for Paramount Records. Unfortunately, Paramount Records' studio techniques and quality were bad, and the resulting recordings sound no better than if they had been recorded in a hotel room. In fact, in May 1926, Paramount had Jefferson re-record his hits "Got the Blues" and "Long Lonesome Blues" in the superior facilities at Marsh Laboratories, and subsequent releases used that version. Both versions appear on compilation albums and may be compared.
Jefferson died in Chicago at 10:00 am on December 19, 1929, of what his death certificate called "probably acute myocarditis". For many years, apocryphal rumors circulated that a jealous lover had poisoned his coffee, but a more likely scenario is that he died of a heart attack after becoming disoriented during a snowstorm. Some have said that Jefferson died from a heart attack after being attacked by a dog in the middle of the night. More recently, the book, Tolbert's Texas, claimed that he was killed while being robbed of a large royalty payment by a guide escorting him to Union Station to catch a train home to Texas. Paramount Records paid for the return of his body to Texas by train, accompanied by pianist William Ezell.
Jefferson was buried at Wortham Negro Cemetery (later Wortham Black Cemetery). Far from his grave being kept clean, it was unmarked until 1967, when a Texas Historical Marker was erected in the general area of his plot, the precise location being unknown. By 1996, the cemetery and marker were in poor condition, but a new granite headstone was erected in 1997. In 2007, the cemetery's name was changed to Blind Lemon Memorial Cemetery and his gravesite is kept clean by a cemetery committee in Wortham, Texas.

Monday Morning Blues 10/03/14 (1st hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday Morning Blues 10/03/14 (2nd hour) by Kev "Legs" on Mixcloud

Monday, 3 March 2014

This week's playlist

3AM - "Insatiable"
B.B. King - "Fine Looking Woman"
Barrence Whitfield and The Savages - "I'm Sad About It"
Blind Lemon Jefferson - "Southern Woman Blues"
David 'Honeyboy' Edwards - "Hambone Blues"
Billy D and The Hoodoos - "Somewhere In The Middle Of The Blues"
The Memphis Jug Band - "It Won't Act Right"
The Holmes Brothers - "You're The Kind Of Trouble"
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils - "Standing On The Rock"
B.B. King - "When Your Baby Packs Up And Goes"
Simon Prager and Masha Vlassova - "Jelly Bean Blues"
Irene Torres and The Sugar Devils - "Sticky Fingers"
B.B. King (with Joe Louis Walker) - "Everybody's Had The Blues"
Joe Louis Walker - "Hornet's Nest"
Alison Joy Williams - "What They Used To Call The Blues"
Anthony Gomes - "Back To The Start"
The Jeff Healey Band - "Yer Blues"
Status Quo - "Unspoken Words"
Cyril Neville - "Blues Is The Truth"
B.B. King - "B.B. Blues"
Virgil and The Accelerators - "88"

Featured Artist: B.B. King

Riley B. King (B.B. King)
Born September 16 1925
Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King is without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century. His bent notes and staccato picking style have influenced legions of contemporary bluesmen, while his gritty and confident voice -- capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric -- provides a worthy match for his passionate playing. Between 1951 and 1985, King notched an impressive 74 entries on Billboard's R&B charts, and he was one of the few full-fledged blues artists to score a major pop hit when his 1970 smash "The Thrill Is Gone" crossed over to mainstream success (engendering memorable appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand). Since that time, he has partnered with such musicians as Eric Clapton and U2 while managing his own acclaimed solo career, all the while maintaining his immediately recognizable style on the electric guitar.
The seeds of Riley B. King's enduring talent were sown deep in the blues-rich Mississippi Delta, where he was born in 1925 near the town of Itta Bena. He was shuttled between his mother's home and his grandmother's residence as a child, his father having left the family when King was very young. The youth put in long days working as a sharecropper and devoutly sang the Lord's praises at church before moving to Indianola -- another town located in the heart of the Delta -- in 1943.
Country and gospel music left an indelible impression on King's musical mindset as he matured, along with the styles of blues greats (T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson) and jazz geniuses (Charlie Christian and Django Reinhardt). In 1946, he set off for Memphis to look up his cousin, a rough-edged country blues guitarist named Bukka White. For ten invaluable months, White taught his eager young relative the finer points of playing blues guitar. After returning briefly to Indianola and the sharecropper's eternal struggle with his wife Martha, King returned to Memphis in late 1948. This time, he stuck around for a while.
King was soon broadcasting his music live via Memphis radio station WDIA, a frequency that had only recently switched to a pioneering all-black format. Local club owners preferred that their attractions also held down radio gigs so they could plug their nightly appearances on the air. When WDIA DJ Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert exited his air shift, King took over his record-spinning duties. At first tagged "The Peptikon Boy" (an alcohol-loaded elixir that rivaled Hadacol) when WDIA put him on the air, King's on-air handle became "The Beale Street Blues Boy," later shortened to Blues Boy and then a far snappier B.B.
King had a four-star breakthrough year in 1949. He cut his first four tracks for Jim Bulleit's Bullet Records (including a number entitled "Miss Martha King" after his wife), then signed a contract with the Bihari Brothers' Los Angeles-based RPM Records. King cut a plethora of sides in Memphis over the next couple of years for RPM, many of them produced by a relative newcomer named Sam Phillips (whose Sun Records was still a distant dream at that point in time). Phillips was independently producing sides for both the Biharis and Chess; his stable also included Howlin' Wolf, Rosco Gordon, and fellow WDIA personality Rufus Thomas.
The Biharis also recorded some of King's early output themselves, erecting portable recording equipment wherever they could locate a suitable facility. King's first national R&B chart-topper in 1951, "Three O'Clock Blues" (previously waxed by Lowell Fulson), was cut at a Memphis YMCA. King's Memphis running partners included vocalist Bobby Bland, drummer Earl Forest, and ballad-singing pianist Johnny Ace. When King hit the road to promote "Three O'Clock Blues," he handed the group, known as The Beale Streeters, over to Ace.
It was during this era that King first named his beloved guitar "Lucille." Seems that while he was playing a joint in a little Arkansas town called Twist, fisticuffs broke out between two jealous suitors over a lady. The brawlers knocked over a kerosene-filled garbage pail that was heating the place, setting the room ablaze. In the frantic scramble to escape the flames, King left his guitar inside. He foolishly ran back in to retrieve it, dodging the flames and almost losing his life. When the smoke had cleared, King learned that the lady who had inspired such violent passion was named Lucille. Plenty of Lucilles have passed through his hands since; Gibson has even marketed a B.B. -approved guitar model under the name.
The 1950s saw King establish himself as a perennially formidable hitmaking force in the R&B field. Recording mostly in L.A. (the WDIA air shift became impossible to maintain by 1953 due to King's endless touring) for RPM and its successor Kent, King scored 20 chart items during that musically tumultuous decade, including such memorable efforts as "You Know I Love You" (1952); "Woke Up This Morning" and "Please Love Me" (1953); "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer," "Whole Lotta' Love," and "You Upset Me Baby" (1954); "Every Day I Have the Blues" (another Fulson remake), the dreamy blues ballad "Sneakin' Around," and "Ten Long Years" (1955); "Bad Luck," "Sweet Little Angel," and a Platters-like "On My Word of Honor" (1956); and "Please Accept My Love" (first cut by Jimmy Wilson) in 1958. King's guitar attack grew more aggressive and pointed as the decade progressed, influencing a legion of up-and-coming axemen across the nation.
In 1960, King's impassioned two-sided revival of Joe Turner's "Sweet Sixteen" became another mammoth seller, and his "Got a Right to Love My Baby" and "Partin' Time" weren't far behind. But Kent couldn't hang onto a star like King forever (and he may have been tired of watching his new LPs consigned directly into the 99-cent bins on The Biharis' cheapo Crown logo). King moved over to ABC-Paramount Records in 1962, following the lead of Lloyd Price, Ray Charles, and before long, Fats Domino.
In November of 1964, the guitarist cut his seminal “Live At The Regal” album at the fabled Chicago theater and excitement virtually leaped out of the grooves. That same year, he enjoyed a minor hit with "How Blue Can You Get," one of his many signature tunes. "Don't Answer the Door" in 1966 and "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss" two years later were Top Ten R&B entries, and the socially charged and funk-tinged "Why I Sing the Blues" just missed achieving the same status in 1969.
Across-the-board stardom finally arrived in 1969 for the deserving guitarist, when he crashed the mainstream consciousness in a big way with a stately, violin-drenched minor-key treatment of Roy Hawkins' "The Thrill Is Gone" that was quite a departure from the concise horn-powered backing King had customarily employed. At last, pop audiences were convinced that they should get to know King better: not only was the track a number-three R&B smash, it vaulted to the upper reaches of the pop lists as well.
King was one of a precious few bluesmen to score hits consistently during the 1970s, and for good reason: he wasn't afraid to experiment with the idiom. In 1973, he ventured to Philadelphia to record a pair of huge sellers, "To Know You Is to Love You" and "I Like to Live the Love," with the same silky rhythm section that powered the hits of The Spinners and The O'Jays. In 1976, he teamed up with his old cohort Bland to wax some well-received duets. And in 1978, he joined forces with the jazzy Crusaders to make the gloriously funky "Never Make Your Move Too Soon" and an inspiring "When It All Comes Down." Occasionally, the daring deviations veered off-course; “Love Me Tender”, an album that attempted to harness the Nashville country sound, was an artistic disaster.
Although his concerts were consistently as satisfying as anyone in the field ( King asserted himself as a road warrior of remarkable resiliency who gigged an average of 300 nights a year), King tempered his studio activities somewhat. Nevertheless, his 1993 MCA disc “Blues Summit” was a return to form, as King duetted with his peers (John Lee Hooker, Etta James, Fulon, Koko Taylor) on a program of standards. Other notable releases from that period include 1999's “Let The Good Times Roll: Thre Music Of Louis Jordan” and 2000's “Riding With The King”, a collaboration with Eric Clapton. King celebrated his 80th birthday in 2005 with the star-studded album “80” which featured guest spots from such varied artists as Gloria Estefan, John Mayer and Van Morrison. “Live” was issued in 2008; that same year, King released an engaging return to pure blues, “One Kind Favor”, which eschewed the slick sounds of his 21st century work for a stripped-back approach. A long overdue career-spanning box set of King's over 60 years of touring, recording, and performing, “Ladies And Gentlemen...Mr. B.B. King”, appeared in 2012.