Gisteren overleed Bluesgitarist BB King.
Een ongelofelijke leeftijd voor iemand die vanaf 1953 (!) constant op tournee is geweest.
B. B. King, whose world-weary voice and wailing guitar lifted him from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a global stage and the apex of American blues, died on Thursday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 89.
John Fudenberg, the coroner of Clark County, Nev., said the cause was a series of small strokes attributable to Type 2 diabetes, The Associated Press reported. Mr. King, who was in hospice care, had been in poor health but had continued to perform until October, when he canceled a tour, citing dehydration and exhaustion stemming from the diabetes.
Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.
“I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions,” Mr. King said in his autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (1996), written with David Ritz.
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He told a tale about playing a dance hall in the early 1950s,
when two men got into a fight and knocked over a kerosene stove.
Mr. King fled but then ran back into the burning building to rescue his guitar.
He learned that the fight had been about a woman named Lucille and for the rest of his life he addressed his guitars,
— big Gibsons, curved like a woman’s hips — as Lucille.
John Shearer/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images