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harry brown

B.B. KING,DIES/

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NEWS SAYS   THE GREAT   BLUES   SINGER AND  GUITAR   PLAYER   B.B. KING   HAS  DIED....ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE   SAYS,  B.B. KING   WAS   ONE  OF THE  6 TOP   GUITAR , PLAYERS  OF  ALL    TIME... WEBSITE SAYS  HE  WON  15  GRAMMY AWARDS..EARLY YEARS   HE    SUNG,GOSPEL MUSIC//.LOT  OF   ROCK  AND  ROLL   GROUPS    PRAISE  B.B. KING,/// I BELIEVE,HIS  GUITAR  WAS  NAMED   LUCILLE, I THINK.../SAW   A     YOUTUBE   VIDEO   OF  B.B.  KING  IN   AFRICA, SINGING,   LIKE  TO  LIVE  THE  LOVE  I  SING  ABOUT,GREAT  SONG....AFRICANS   WERE   DANCING,  BELIEVE  I  SAW  B.B. KING   STANDING  NEXT  TO BOXER  PROMOTER   DON  KING....... PERFORMER  WHO COULD   ACTUALLY  SING,  SOMETHING   THAT   SEEMS  ,NOT THAT    IMPORTANT  NOW...  LOT   OF  PEOPLE  WHO SING  THESE  DAYS     CANNOT  SING.B.B.  KING   WAS   ONE  OF  THE   GREAT  TALENTS////.///

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Yeah BB King was good.  I would have loved to see him perfome when he was in his prime.  I saw him about 15 years ago and he was okay. Whenever I go see an artist, past their prime, it is more like seeing historical figure in real life, I'm paying homage, rather that expecting an inspired performance. RIP BB King.

 

Around the same time I saw Bobby Blue Bland, who passed in 2013 to much less fanfare.  Bland was in his 70's when I saw him perform.  Again, I was not expecting much; I went to see a piece of history before he was gone.  To my delight the performeance was excellent.  He sang a song that night, that I do not recall hearing before, or since, and it was beautiful.  I can't even image what Bobby Blue Bland was like in his prime.

 

Some artists never lose it (or so it seems). I saw drummer Roy Haynes perform a couple of years back.  Haynes was in his deep 80's and was fantastic! 

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I'm hoping that Memphis finds a way to promote BB in the same way they've done with Elvis. He deserves more than a club on Beale Street and should be featured prominently in the redesigned Beale Street Corridor with a statue. We will see though. 

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Too bad these legendary bluesmen are not appreciated more by the younger generation of black kids. They don't seem to be in sync with the blues tempo whereas, in the other neglected black music genre, they don't seem attuned to the fast tempo of instrumental jazz. Who will carry on this heritage???  Yeah, black lives matter. But so does the black music that black people originated.

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They aren't appreciated enough I agree, but things are changing. The jazz heritage is alive and kicking and growing stronger every day. When you consider in the last few years Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper and Gregory Porter along with Jose James are all selling a ton of records, you could say there is a revival taking place. As a matter of fact this resurgence is saving Blue Note.  I recently helped a Bass Player develop his website www.brandonmeeksmusic.com and he's a young guy who is actually working with a jazz trio of young guys.

 

With the Blues, there is a kid named Chris Kingfish (15 years old) from down the road in Clarksdale who is picking up the torch really well, but it is definitely a dying art in the Black community. My son at 13 is an incredible guitar player, but his teachers are white and he knows more rock music than blues and r&b, which is okay since he is really good and can learn anything.

 

As with all things in our community we have to rely on White folks to keep our stuff alive. The Black Keys actually did a short album of Junior Kimbrough tunes (he was from Holly Springs wihc is also down the road from Memphis) and I could probably guarantee that not a single kid or adult in Memphis knows who Junior Kimbrough was. We have Stax Academy here which is located where the old Stax Records was and the kids sing all of the oldies, but they rarely sing Blues and this is supposed to be a Blues city. Memphis is doing a very poor job of capturing and growing this market. 

 

The reason is simple though, we have over 200 churches and Blues is still considered the devil's music by some folks here and is meant to only be played in juke joints and in private...

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