BB King Has Earned His Crown

2009 BB King & Buddy Guy Ticket

2009 BB King & Buddy Guy Ticket

It was back on April 2, 1992, when I first had the great pleasure to see BB King perform live, as well as meet the great blues legend.  Looking back, I should have attended his concerts much sooner than I did. Subsequently, I made it a point to never miss a show when he toured in the South Florida area. I have seen him perform approximately 10-12 times.  However, I will never forget that first show and the impression he made on me.

BB King

BB King

After the first performance, I waited until the crowd dissipated and went to the stage to talk with a member of his stage crew.  I asked if I could get BB to autograph my program. Prior to this concert, I never thought of getting an autograph from a celebrity.  The crew member suggested I go around to the side of the building where BB King’s bus was located. Maybe I would finally have the chance to meet him.  My date and I rushed to the side of the building and greeted BB’s lead trumpet player.  He happily signed the program.  While that was generous, it would be difficult to go home without BB King’s autograph at this point.  So, we were advised to try again after the 2nd show.

The 2nd show ended approximately at 1:00 am.  We had returned to the bus and waited in the drizzling rain for a chance to meet this great blues legend.  There were about 30 die hard BB King fans anxiously waiting to meet him as well.  Despite giving over 300 performances a year and having endured two shows in one night, BB King did, in fact, meet everyone lined up to see him.  For me, it was a thrill and an honor to say hello and shake his hand.  His kind act, demonstrated how BB King has never forgotten his true roots or his fans.

This past year, at the latest show in West Palm Beach in which Buddy Guy also performed, I heard some people say that BB King talked a little too much and didn’t play enough.  My response would be that BB King has paid his dues and earned the right to share with his audience, the stories of what made him the player and person he is today  I look forward to going to his concert and listening to his stories.  After all, I can hear all the songs on his CDs at home.  At age 84, BB king has also earned his crown.  If you never have seen him perform live, you should.

Author’s note:  If anyone can relate other personal stories about meeting or seeing BB King, I would welcome seeing your comments to this post.  Also, If you would like to learn a little more about BB King and other great blues guitarists, you can take my history tour at


About fretmentor

Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history. His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin. For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced eight instructional books on CD as well as numerous instrumental arrangements. David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and has published an article in Issue #37 of the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)
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10 Responses to BB King Has Earned His Crown

  1. avatar axelhead says:

    I saw BB King at Fenway park in Boston in 1968 for the “McCarthy at Fenway” political rally. I had my new copy of the “Blues in King” live album which I still have. Its on vinyl and it still plays. Some people say its his best album ever.

  2. avatar buzzart410 says:

    BB King is simply a great inspiration! .. Really encourages one to follow their passions. … even as the years go by…I have only seen him on Austin City Limits and the like, but the comfort and grace he exhibits with his music shines!! Reminds me of Winton Marsallis.

  3. avatar Tigerpaws says:

    My introduction to B B King was on a television commercial. He truly made the guitar “talk”…I’ve forgotten what the commercial was about…maybe Burger King, or Pepsi….but I remember his playing…..Guess that’s what it’s all about!

  4. avatar music5355 says:

    I met BB King in ct. about five years ago and i got autograph,
    what a great guy.

  5. avatar John Kino says:

    That is a very good article on BBKing, it was very interesting in reading it. No question about it, he sure did earn his own crown and truthfully deserves it.

  6. avatar oscar says:

    Saw BBking for the first time this year. Enjoyed the show very much. It was great to hear about his world experiences and values about life.

  7. avatar Screendude says:

    I saw BB back in Seventy something, 3 or 4 or so with his cousins, Freddy and Albert, in a tiny venue in New Haven, CT. Awsome show. Who would believe it. I was able to sneak back stage and get all their autographs on the hat I was wearing. Unfortunatly the hat is long gone, but the memories are not. Thanks for the oppertunity to participate.

  8. avatar espian says:

    Well I have to say that I was one of those who said that I wished BB would have played more. It was the fisrt time to see him in concert so maybe that jaded my view a bit. Having had time to reflect I must say that I feel very fortunate just to have had the opportunity to be in the same room let alone hear him play. I hope I get to see him again.

  9. avatar george parham says:

    BB King the great. Ah… i saw him in Blowing Rock NC back in ’81 i think in an indoor theatre setting ( a geodesic dome called PB Scotts). He was very comfortable there and the crowd was 1 with him. He did talk about the songs before he played them and i remember thinking “keep playing!” but, i am truly blessed to have been there, listening to his stories.

  10. avatar Ed S. (edbird) says:

    Hi, first post, new member of your website. I agree with what you wrote above.

    I was at the West Palm Kravis show with Buddy Guy, too. I bought the last ticket at the door that night. He did talk a lot and play less. However, at 84 I think he’s entitled to take it easy, we all should be so lucky- hell, with all his physical problems and age, he’s STILL TOURING! That alone is amazing enough, I think only Pinetop Perkins has him beat! I thought he was great, charming, etc and I was thrilled to see and hear him play, even for a relatively short time. Buddy Guy is no slouch either, it was a great night. If you want to see someone shred for two hours, there are better choices. He’s an ENTERTAINER in addition to being a musician.

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