YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Riley Benjamin King, born September 16, 1925, died May 14, 2015.
Known as B.B. King, he was a blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter and record producer. And, he had a name for his guitar.
Let’s take you back to the winter of 1949 — King is playing in a dance hall in the town of Twist, Arkansas. A barrel half full of kerosene is burning in the corner, a common and dangerous way to heat a building at the time.
Two men get into a fight, tip over the barrel and a fire spreads across the floor.
Everyone rushes outside, including King, but then he dashes back inside to save his $30 Gibson guitar. He makes it out OK, but then realizes he had done a very foolish thing.
King decides he needs a reminder to stay smart, and he names his guitar and all the guitars that follow after a woman. The woman those two men were fighting over: a gal named Lucille.
He later wrote a song called “Lucille,” and the last stanzas explain the whole story of that cold night long ago in Arkansas.
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