Week 5: "Please Love Me"
Originally by B.B. King
(Riley B. King – September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015)
Walter Talks About the Song:
"What can I say about B.B. King? In my opinion, he is the greatest blues man of all time. Truly the king of the blues. His singing and guitar playing set the bar for everyone else. I met him when I was sixteen and he talked to me for over an hour. That meeting completely changed the trajectory of my life. I went home that night and told my mother: “I’m going to be a blues guitarist.” I have been on that path ever since.He was born on a cotton plantation in Berclair, Mississippi. In this youth, he worked on a cotton gin in Indianola, MS. He was originally attracted to music in church, and the story goes that he was given his first guitar by his cousin, blues singer Bukka White. In 1946, King followed Bukka White to Memphis, TN, where he landed a job at Memphis radio station WDIA. He worked there as a singer and disc jockey, and that is where he was given the nickname: Beale Street Blues Boy – later shortened to Blues Boy, and finally to B.B. He started recording in 1949, and many of his early recordings were produced by Sam Phillips, who later started Sun Records. He began touring and recording relentlessly. In 1956, he did 342 concerts and three recording sessions. I consider his album, Live at the Regal, recorded in 1964, to be one of the greatest live albums ever made. I could go on and on about his career and the incredible influence he had on every musician of my generation who ever picked up the guitar and attempted to play the blues, but suffice to say: he stands above us all.B.B. recorded this song in 1953 and I was drawn to the raw powerful quality of this early recording by Mr. King. Listen to how the guitar is pushing his amplifier to the point where it seems ready to explode, and the band is swinging like a locomotive, and young B.B.’s vocal spoke to me."