Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Blues Room + BB King + NZ Music Month 2015

The Blues Room, 6 May 2015
Episode #484
Download link: right click and 'save as'

NZ Music Month 2015
Welcome to another fantastic night in the Blues Room on Free FM, community radio, with an Hour of Blues Power! It's now the middle of New Zealand Music Month 2015. Unfortunately, there are no New Zealand songs on the national charts... not to say there haven't been some amazing kiwi songs released in 2015! As they say, timing is everything.

This show begins with a song penned by the late Ben E. King. It has probably been sung by millions of buskers all over the world and it was one of my tunes busked on the streets of the Hamilton. Glenn Walters offers a superb rendition of the classic Stand By Me. As Glenn toured Aotearoa with Roger Fox, I decided to kick off the night with it. Everyone on tonight has a kiwi connection, with plenty of praise for Mr Fox.

However, the final track on the show is dedicated to the legendary Riley B. King. My rendition of Sweet Little Angel is from Blues 4 Dad, a tribute album I recorded in 2002 for my late father. On May 1st the following message was posted on B.B. King's official website:

“I am in home hospice care at my residence in Las Vegas.
Thanks to all for your well wishes and prayers.”
B.B. King

B.B. King
The name B.B. King is synonymous with the blues. Riley B. King was born a son of sharecroppers and great-grandson of a slave, (September 16, 1925) on a cotton plantation near the town of Itta Bena, Mississippi. Born the as a child Riley sang in the gospel choir at Elkhorn Baptist Church in Kilmichael. 

Jon Brewer, the producer of The Life of Riley, says "I had no idea this had been BB King's life. That he lived alone, in a shack out there, at nine years of age, working for four years to pay off his dead mother's and grandmother's debts. I never knew he was so alone, talking to rabbits, his only friends. And by the time he's telling me this, I'm in tears."

Buying his first guitar at the age of 12, the Beale Street Blues Boy began his recording career in 1949, with many of his early songs produced by Sam Phillips (who later founded Sun Records). B.B. King became one of the most important names in R&B music in the 1950s with hit after hit in the charts. B.B. King has defined the blues worldwide for over half a century and has played in excess of 15,000 performances.

Although I was once on the same bill as Mr King, the festival was cancelled after the second Christchurch earthquake. As a consolation, thanks to my manager Lesley, I did get to see him later in concert. I will never forget that night. God bless you Riley B. King.

1. Glenn Walters - Stand By Me
2. Supergroove - Gotta Know Remix
3. Sonia Bullot feat. Julia Deans - My Funny Valentine
4. The Flamin' Mudcats - Superman
5. Randy Crawford with the Roger Fox Big Band - One Day I'll Fly Away
6. Darcy Perry and Nate Taiapa - Blues Man
7. Them - The Story Of Them
8. John Mayall feat. Eric Clapton - Have You Heard
9. Midge Marsden & Roger Fow - Flip Flop Fly
10. Darcy Perry - Sweet Little Angel

So, there you have it. A suitcase full of blues, book ended by songs in honour of two Kings. I hope you tune in next week to hear more great blues music with Nate Taiapa on The Blues Room.

God bless you all and have a great week.

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