B.B. King biography

The King Of The Blues!

Is there a more famous blues singer/guitar player than B.B. King? Not just well-known by the general public, B.B. King is held in the highest regard by his peers.

Legendary albums include Live At The Regal, Riding with the King (with Eric Clapton) and my personal favorite, B.B. King in London.

During his long careers B.B. picked up over 20 Grammies and numerous other Awards, all clearly well deserved!

Why is B.B. King’s guitar named Lucille?

Lucille is the name of B.B. King’s guitar for which he risked his life saving it from a fire.

The story goes that B.B. King frequently played a club where the only source of heat was to place an empty barrel in the middle of the dance floor, fill it with kerosene and set it alight.

Two men began fighting, knocking over the barrel and setting the wooden framed club on fire.
B.B. King ran back into the club to save his beloved guitar despite the dangers of falling burnt timber.

He later discovered that the two men were fighting over a girl named Lucille and decided to name his guitar after her as a reminder to never do anything as stupid ever again.

The Thrill Is Gone & Paying The Cost To Be The Boss

Perhaps his most famous single, The Thrill Is Gone is a minor blues which seemingly represents the genre.

Being a blues standard, this is one of those songs that you can call at any jam and expect musicians to play it at the drop of a hat, even knowing the key without asking.

Another legendary song we find in Paying The Cost To Be The Boss, a 1968 single that became a signature song of B.B’s.

Known for his legendary licks, B.B. comes up with them as he uses his guitar to direct the band. His secret is that he’s a singer and a band leader, using his guitar as a conductor uses his baton.

Paying The Cost To Be The Boss – Chords & Guitar Lessons

This is a classic B.B King mid-tempo blues. The chord progression use the sliding 6 to 9 trick we find seemingly everywhere in this style.

The licks B.B produce here are brilliant combinations of minor and major pentatonic scales, a feast for the budding blues soloist!

Go to Paying The Cost To Be The Boss chords.

Paying The Cost To Be The Boss – Lyrics

You act like you don’t wanna listen
When I’m talking to you
You think you outta do baby
Anything you wanna do

Go to Paying The Cost To Be The Boss lyrics.

The Thrill Is Gone – Chords

Using min7 chords, The Thrill Is Gone has an interesting chord progression variation on the standard minor blues format.

Instead of moving to chord IIIx we first hit the chord a semitone up, a IV. When the next chord is IIIx the tension is built even more to go back to the VI chord.

Go to The Thrill Is Gone chords.

The Thrill Is Gone – Lyrics

The thrill is gone, the thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby, the thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you’ll be sorry someday

Go to The Thrill Is Gone lyrics.