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B.B. King: Greatest Hits [MCA]

Album Notes

Personnel includes: B.B. King, Robert Cray (vocals, guitar); Bono (vocals); The Edge (guitar, keyboards); Joe Walsh, Hugh McCracken, Dean Parks (guitar); Lawrence Burdine, Hank Crawford (alto saxophone); Wilton Felder (tenor saxophone, bass); David "Fathead" Newman, Vernon Slater, Johnny Board, Bobby Forte (tenor saxophone); Jerome Richardson, Ronald Cuber (baritone saxophone); Kenneth Sands, Carl Adams (trumpet); Duke Jethro (piano, organ); Leon Russell, Paul Harris, Charles Brooks (piano); Carole King (electric piano); Dr. John, Stevie Wonder, Joe Sample, Jim Pugh (keyboards); Leo Lauche, Gerald Jemott (bass); Sonny Freeman, Herbie Lovelle, Russ Kunkel, Bernard Purdie (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion).

Includes liner notes by David Ritz.

Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (MCA Media Studios, North Hollywood, California).

Mississippi born Riley B. King began playing music on the streets of his native Indianola in the '40s, eventually moving to Memphis to pursue a career as a bluesman. He found a home as a DJ on legendary Memphis radio Station WDIA in the early '50s, a position he used to further his budding reputation as a guitarist/singer to be reckoned with. His on-air moniker, "the Beale Street Blues Boy" ultimately metamorphosed into his stage name. He spent the '50s cementing his legend as an energetic performer, playing with Johnny Ace and Bobby "Blue" Bland and on his own. His very modern, urban style was influenced not only by T-Bone Walker, but by jazz guitarist Charlie Christian. King's gestalt was miles away from the blues' rural beginnings, relying on witty, sophisticated lyrics and almost jazzy rhythms. His signature guitar style, as played on his trademark Gibson hollow-body "Lucille," combined quick vibrato with cutting, single-note lines and aggressively bent notes. His boisterous vocals, entertainment-value showmanship and gregarious personality made him beloved not just to blues aficionados, but to the larger pop audience.


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