Friday, May 15, 2015

EXTRA: King no more, but record lives

B.B. King isn’t amongst us any longer. He died late Thursday at age 89 at his home, and his daughter who lives near Chicago expressed dismay that she was unable to see him one last time before his passing.

Although for many of us, King is a voice on a record. Or perhaps on an old “Sanford and Son” episode where we’re told that Redd Foxx’s “Fred Sanford” character stole a woman away from the bluesman – although the woman turned out to be LaWanda Page’s “Aunt Esther” character.

A THOUGHT THAT once again nearly caused the Watts neighborhood junk dealer to have “the big one.”
B.B.'s dream woman?

For me, King’s passing reminded me of one of my favorite record albums – the reknowned “B.B. King at Cook County Jail.” A live recording of his 1970 concert at the jail located south of the Criminal Courts building at 26th and California.

Some people like to go on about Johnny Cash’s live concert recording at San Quentin prison in California. But the King recording just has such a freshness that makes it perpetually listenable. And not just because Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the 500 best rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time (although I’d dispute the “No. 499” ranking as a bit low).

I always crack up in laughter at the sound of all those inmates booing and heckling all those decades ago at the thought of “our own beloved Sheriff (Joseph) Woods” and “another dear friend, chief Justice of the Criminal Courts Joseph Palmer.”


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