2005 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Jordan, Simmons, Gollott, Thomas, Jackson (11th), Butler, Frazier, Mettetal, Gordon, Hewes, Williamson, Carmichael, Davis, Kirby, Turner, Pickering, Harvey, Posey, Morgan, Michel, Chaney, Dawkins, Doxey, White, Wilemon, Tollison, King, Cuevas, Browning, Flowers, Hyde-Smith, Huggins, Horhn, Lee (47th), Walley, Dearing, Harden, Brown, Jackson (32nd), Little, Robertson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 534

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, the Blues' foremost artist, by anybody's standard, is Mississippi's favorite son, "B.B." King, and the guitar master has the licks and the hits to prove it; and

     WHEREAS, with dazzling perseverance, B.B. King again and again has broken new ground, remaining at the forefront as perhaps the Blues' greatest pioneer; and

     WHEREAS, from the 1940's to present day, there has only been one King of the Blues, Riley B King, affectionately known as B.B. King.  He has released over fifty albums, sold more than four million records, won thirteen Grammys, performed in more than ninety countries, been honored by presidents and kings alike - and he's not done yet; and

     WHEREAS, his career is hotter than ever as he approaches his 80th birthday in 2005, performing more often than many artists half his age; and

     WHEREAS, he was born on a cotton plantation in Berclair outside Itta Bena, Mississippi, and is known for his humility, work ethic, perseverance and heart.  He is envied by musicians internationally.  Beatle John Lennon once said "I wish I could play the guitar like B.B. King"; and

     WHEREAS, he acquired the name "B.B." while performing in Memphis.  It stood for Beale Street Blues Boy or just Blues Boy, which everyone shortened to B.B.; and

     WHEREAS, King's total dedication to his music, a rich recording history and tireless touring lasting more than half a century have made him one of the most prominent figures within the Blues.  Through his achievements in spreading the Blues throughout the world, he has, as a leading proponent of his music, proved of fundamental importance to the development of modern popular music; and

     WHEREAS, B.B. King is known as the "King of the Blues" and for half a century has been one of the absolute foremost figures in his music genre.  King has lifted the Blues from the confines of the American South and brought it to a huge audience the world over.  But, no matter where he appears in the world, B.B. King is a proud ambassador of his home state, and Mississippi is even prouder of this native son; and

     WHEREAS, B.B.'s achievements are as follows:  Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; Presidential Medal of the Arts; Kennedy Center Honors; National Heritage Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts; honorary doctorate degrees:  Yale, Berklee College of Music, Rhodes College, Tougaloo College and Mississippi Valley State University; Hollywood Walk of Fame; Amsterdam (Holland) Walk of Fame; 13 Grammys, including two in 2003 and still counting; Songwriters' Hall of Fame, Lifetime Achievement Award; influenced the work of countless international artists:  Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughan, among many others; performed for fans in 90 countries, and the list grows every year; sold over 40 million records worldwide and still counting; and the 2004 recipient of the Polar Music Prize, the musical equivalent of the Nobel Prize, presented by King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden; and

     WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize this Blues legend who has served with distinction as an ambassador for the State of Mississippi, bringing honor to his home community, region and state:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the career of the "King of the Blues," Mississippi's B.B. King, declaring Tuesday, February 15, 2005, as "B.B. King Day" in the Legislature, and extend to him the best wishes of the Legislature as he nears his 80th birthday.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to B.B. King at ceremonies at the New Capitol and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.