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Why I Sing the Blues

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Album Review

MCA Special Products' Why I Sing the Blues collects ten highlights from B.B. King's late-'60s and early-'70s recordings for ABC, which were later acquired by MCA. Considering that this is a budget-priced compilation, and therefore limited in its scope, this isn't a bad sampler at all, containing the hit version of "The Thrill Is Gone," plus good takes of "Hummingbird," "How Blue Can You Get?," and "Sweet Sixteen," along with such oddities as "Chains and Things," which features Carole King on piano. Certainly, it's not enough to make it of interest to hardcore collectors, who will likely own all of this, nor is it a comprehensive collection by any means — but it's still a fun sampler considering its price.

Biography

Born: September 16, 1925 in Indianola, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Universally hailed as the king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King was without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half of the 20th century. His bent notes and staccato picking style influenced legions of contemporary bluesmen, while his gritty and confident voice — capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric — provided a worthy match for his passionate playing. Between 1951 and 1985, King notched an impressive 74 entries on Billboard's R&B charts,...
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