Tuesday, September 15, 2015
bb king live at the regal
B.B. "Blues Boy" King
(September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)
Riley B. King was born the son of a sharecropper in Indianola, Mississippi and got his first guitar at the age of twelve. He got his start in 1941 playing on the radio while driving tractors and picking cotton. In 1949, he began his recording career. King would reflect: "Hard times don’t necessarily mean being poor all the time. I’ve known people that was a part of a family and always feel that the family likes everybody else but them. That hurts and that’s as deep a hurt as you can possibly get. I’ve known people that would have problems with their love life. This is kind of how blues began, out of feeling misused, mistreated, feeling like they had nobody to turn to. Blues don’t necessarily have to be sung by a person that came from Mississippi as I did because there are people having problems all over the world ... There's a sadness to all kinds of music if you want to hear it. There's also happiness to it if you want to hear it. Blues was started by the slaves and I think everybody thinks that it all should be sad ... even some of the slaves had fun with it."
He was already considered 'The King of the Blues' with thirty-seven singles (R&B number one "3 O'Clock Blues" in 1951; "Shake It Up and Go" and "Story from My Heart and Soul" in 1952; "Woke Up This Morning", R&B number one "Please Love Me", and "Please Hurry Home" in 1953; "The Woman I Love", "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer", and R&B number one "You Upset Me Baby" in 1954; "Sneaking Around", "Every Day I Have the Blues", and "Ten Long Years" in 1955; "Crying Won't Help You", "Sweet Little Angel", and "Bad Luck" in 1956; "I Want to Get Married", "Troubles, Troubles, Troubles", and "Be Careful with a Fool" in 1957; "Please Accept My Love" and "You've Been an Angel" in 1958; "Sugar Mama" in 1959; "Sweet Sixteen, Pt. I" and "Walking Dr. Bill" in 1960; "Someday" and "Peace of Mind" in 1961; "My Sometime Baby" in 1962; "The Road I Travel" in 1963; "How Blue Can You Get", "You're Gonna Miss Me", "Beautician Blues", "Help the Poor", "The Worst Thing in My Life", "Rock Me Baby", "Never Trust a Woman", and "Please Send Me Someone to Love" in 1964; and "I Need You" and "Blue Shadows" in 1965) and thirteen albums (Singin' the Blues in 1956, The Blues in 1958, B. B. King Wails and Sings Spirituals in 1959, The Great B. B. King and King of the Blues in 1960, My Kind of Blues and More B.B. King in 1961, Twist With B.B. King, Easy Listening Blues, and Blues in My Heart in 1962, and B.B. King and Mr. Blues in 1963) before he finally released his first live album, 'Live at the Regal' at a time when he played almost three hundred shows a year.
The album was recorded on November 21, 1964 at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois with B.B. King on guitar and vocals; Leo Lauchie on bass; Duke Jethro on piano; Sonny Freeman on drums; and Bobby Forte and Johnny Board on tenor saxophone. Johnny Pate produced the album. King would reveal: "The company I was with knew a lot of things they didn’t tell me, that I didn’t learn about until later. I don’t give them a hard time, like some of the guys, who say, ‘They cheated me!’ I think that as long as you do business, if you don’t know, they’re not going to tell you...Some of the songs I wrote, they added a name when I copyrighted it. Like ‘King and Ling’ or ‘King and Josea.’ There was no such thing as Ling, or Josea. No such thing. That way, the company could claim half of your song."
'Live at the Regal' became his biggest album yet, charting at number ninety-six in the UK, eighty-five in Germany, seventy-eight in the US, seventy-five in Australia, and seventy-four in Germany. King considered: "In the beginning, I was really confused about the way the politics ran in music. I always thought if you made a good record, it was a good record. ... Not black, not white, not red or yellow — but people would like it. Some people would like it. But I learned quickly after I got into the music business that there are so many categories and you can get lost. You're like a little fish in a big pond, and more so if you're a blues singer, a blues musician. So I was not really wanting to be a crossover [artist], actually. But I wanted all people to hear it and like it; I was hoping, rather, that they would like it...There used to be a saying that if a black performer — it was four theaters you had to play and be accepted before you would be accepted as a true entertainer. One of those theaters was the Howard Theatre in Washington, the Royal Theater in Baltimore and the master itself was the Apollo Theater in New York, in Harlem. ... The fourth theater was the Regal Theater in Chicago. My manager said, 'Do not go to New York trying to be Nat Cole or anybody else that's trying to be slick, because there are people that are sweeping the floors that are much better than you'll ever be. So the best thing for you to do is go there and be B.B. King. Sing '3 O'Clock Blues'; sing the songs that you sing the way you sing them. All these other people can do all of those other things, but they can't be you as you can be you.' That I've tried to keep from then until now."
"Sweet Little Angel"
'Live at the Regal'
1. "Every Day I Have the Blues" Memphis Slim 2:38
2. "Sweet Little Angel" Riley King, Jules Taub 4:12
3. "It's My Own Fault" John Lee Hooker 3:29
4. "How Blue Can You Get?" Leonard Feather 3:44
5. "Please Love Me" King, Taub 3:01
6. "You Upset Me Baby" King, Taub 2:22
7. "Worry, Worry" Maxwell Davis, Taub 6:24
8. "Woke Up This Morning (My Baby's Gone)" King, Taub 1:45
9. "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" Joe Josea, King 4:16
10. "Help the Poor" Charlie Singleton 2:58