I don't know if is it my age or the province of the times we live in, but I find myself saying "I love you" more often to more folks lately. Of course that is influenced by the frequency of people passing who made a huge impact on the culture. And so we said goodbye to BB King last week. His impact on American Music; The Blues, and Rock & Roll is incalculable.
The first time I saw BB King was at The Fillmore East in New York eons ago, and I cherish that I was later able to spend time in the Delta, and to visit his hometown of Indianola. The Mississippi Delta flattens you with its insistent sunshine and relentless expanse. Driving Highway 61 even today makes you understand just how good and just how determined you had to be to rise above it. BB did just that, and then sustained his success with grace for decades.
During our tenure at XM Radio, Music Fogger Jim McBean got to spend hours at BB's house to record him for the Bluesville Channel. Here is BB talking about an experience that informed his behavior for life.
Of course BB made his way from Mississippi to Memphis in 1947. I want to remind you about the book The Mojo Triangle, which frames American music through the geography of the area from Nashville to Memphis to New Orleans.
The seeds were being sown for Rock and Roll. Memphis’ Johnny and Dorsey Burnette would emerge with Paul Burlison as the Rock & Roll Trio, and Dorsey’s son Billy Burnette would carry on the tradition. Music Fog caught up with Billy, accompanied by Kenny Vaughan, Dave Roe, and Jimmy Lester at AmericanaFest 2011 from the studios of Marathon Recorders. I love this song. It is a co-write with Shawn Camp, and appears on two of Billy’s albums, Rock & Roll With It, and Memphis in Manhattan. Here is the Music Fog version of “My Love Will Not Change.”
- Jessie Scott