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Word Count: 435
BB King was a blues singer and guitarist His full name is Riley B King He was born September 16 1925 near Indianola Mississippi An important aspect in Kings life was of course when he was first exposed to the blues I guess the earliest sound of the blues that I can rremember was in the fields while people would be pickin cotton or choppin or somethin he told Living Blues When I sing and play now I can hear those same sounds that I used to hear then as a kid BB Kings first musical influence came through religion He was a member of the Church of God In Christ He was forbidden to play blues at home He sang in spiritual groups like the Elkhorn Singers and the Saint Johns Gospel Singers A relative who was a guitarist and a preacher showed King his first chords on the instrument As a teenager he began playing streetcorners for coins combining gospel songs with the blues When he started making more money playing in one night then he would in a week on the farm he decided to head to Memphis After a few years King went back to Indianola to work and repay some debts eventually returning to Memphis to stay Kings trademark is the trilling vibrato he developed in an attempt to duplicate the stinging sound of the steel slide With the help of the late Sonny Boy William- son he began singing radio commercials and became a disc jockey Later he played in small clubs and then in larger venues in the mid-1960s He has toured extensively through- out the United States and around the world appearing in concerts at blues festivals on television and in films How did Riley B King receive the nickname BB King Well he was known as the blues boy from Beale Street later shortened to BB Riley B King is
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