1997 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Turner, Burton, Simmons, Smith

Senate Resolution 17

(As Adopted by Senate)


WHEREAS, in all the decades since the 50's, there has been only one King of the Blues: Riley B. King, affectionately known as B.B. King; and

WHEREAS, since Mr. King started recording in the late 1940's, he has released over 50 albums, many of them considered blues classics; and

WHEREAS, he has had a number of hits, including "Three O'Clock Blues", "You Don't Know Me", "Please Love Me", "You Upset Me, Baby", "Sweet Sixteen, Part I" and "Don't Answer the Door, Part I", and his most popular crossover hit, 1970's "The Thrill is Gone" went to #15 on the pop charts; and

WHEREAS, his classic songs such as "Payin' the Cost To Be the Boss", "Caldonia", "How Blue Can You Get?", "Everyday I have the Blues" and "Why I Sing the Blues" are concert staples; and

WHEREAS, Riley B. King was born on September 16, 1925, on a cotton plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, began playing on the corner of Church and Second Streets for dimes, and would later sometimes play in as many as four towns on a Saturday night; and

WHEREAS, Mr. King went north to Memphis in 1947 to pursue his musical career, and his first big break came in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program on KWEM out of West Memphis, and the "Beale Street Blues Boy" became known as the "Blues Boy" King which was ultimately shortened to B.B. King, whereupon musical history was born; and

WHEREAS, B.B. King, with his guitar, "Lucille", has never stopped performing an average of 275 concerts a year, playing small town cafes, ghetto theaters, country dance halls, jazz clubs, rock palaces, symphony concert halls, college concerts, resort hotels and prestigious concert halls nationally and internationally, whereby B.B. King has become the most renowned blues musician of the past 40 years; and

WHEREAS, Mr. King is famous for his complex technique which features delicate filigrees of single string runs punctuated by loud chords, subtle vibratos and "bent" notes; it is one of the world's most readily identified guitar styles and was the forerunner to rock guitar musicianship; and

WHEREAS, B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound, with singing that is richly melodic, both vocally and in the "singing" that comes from his guitar; and

WHEREAS, B.B. King has been not only the American Ambassador of blues music to the world, but an ambassador for peace and understanding, saying "I'm trying to get people to see that we are our brother's keeper"; and

WHEREAS, Mr. King has given numerous prestigious performances, and countless awards and honors have been bestowed upon him; and

WHEREAS, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Inc. is holding its Thirteenth Annual NABOB Communications Awards Dinner on Thursday, March 27, 1997, at the Sheraton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C.; and

WHEREAS, one of the honorees at this distinguished function will be Mr. B.B. King, recipient of the NABOB "Pioneer in Music" Award; and

WHEREAS, there will be a special performance by Mr. King at this event; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of this Senate to commend one of the native sons of the State of Mississippi, Mr. B.B. King, whose long and distinguished career has brought honor both to him and to a state proud to claim him as one of her own:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate Mr. B.B. King, as he is honored by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, Inc., with the NABOB "Pioneer in Music" Award.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a copy of this resolution be presented to Mr. King.