BB King was to just about everyone – The King of the Blues. Even in his last years he was still performing 100 concerts a year, doing what he loved to do with his famous guitar he named Lucille. In playing so many shows and continuing to release albums he introduced people to the music he loved and made people realize that the blues could make you happy, just as easily as they can make you sad.
King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, and is one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues", and is considered one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" (along with Albert King and Freddie King, none of whom are blood-related). King performed tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing on average at more than 200 concerts per year into his 70s. In 1956 alone, he appeared at 342 shows.
Lot 573 - OldJW August 2020 auction.
Gibson Memphis B.B. King's "Lucille" signature Electric Guitar replica, Ebony, The Blue's most famous Gibson, passive pickup's, double-cutaway, semi-hollow Maple body & Marshall Valvestate amp
In the winter of 1949, King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. The hall was heated by a barrel half-filled with burning kerosene set in the middle of the dance floor, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the barrel and sending the burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames and was evacuated.
Once outside, however, King realized that he had left his guitar inside so he went back into the burning building to retrieve his beloved $30 Gibson guitar. King learned the next day that the two men who started the fire had been fighting over a woman who worked at the hall named Lucille. King did not know Lucille but named that guitar, and every guitar he subsequently owned, Lucille, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over a woman.
B.B. King wrote a song called Lucille in which he talks about his guitar and how it got its name. The song was first released on the album Lucille and is included on the B. B. King Anthology 1962–1998 album. King also recorded a track called "My Lucille" (which also references his guitar). Written by Ira Newborn, it was released in 1985 and was part of the music for the film "Into the night" starring Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer.
As with most great things this lot is accompanied by another two Gibson guitars.
Lot 508 - OldJW August 2020 auction.
Gibson Les Paul Standard, Ebony, single cutaway, solid body, Mahogany body & neck, Rosewood Fret board
Lot 518 - OldJW August 2020 auction.
Gibson ES-137 Les Paul Custom Classic Electric Guitar, Blueburst, 2x Humbuckers pickups, single cut-away, semi hollow body, Maple body