Lost or Forgotten Oldie of the Day 08/20/2019

Let’s take a quick trip in the Wayback machine: Roy Hawkins co-write The Thrill Is Gone and sang on the recording in 1951. Maxwell Davis played the saxophone that drives the single with Johnny Moore on guitar and Willard McDaniel on piano for backup. The record sold well and got to #6 on the R&B charts in 1951.

B.B. King began playing and singing professionally as early as the mid-forties. He began recording for Modern Records (the same label as Roy Hawkins) in 1949. Sam Phillips, who later signed Elvis to Sun Records, produced many of King’s early recordings. His early records rarely even got into the top forty pop charts. His highest-charting record in the fifties and sixties was a Christmas song that is now mostly forgotten.

B.B. King covered several of Roy Hawkin’s recordings during his career, and his biggest hit came in 1970 when he recorded The Thrill Is Gone. He replaced the saxophone lead from the original record with his own blues guitar-playing and not only got up to #3 on the R&B charts but hit #15 on the Hot 100. This recording is considered one of the most important blues recordings of all time. King’s singing on the record won the Best Male R&B Vocal Performance in 1970 and the record was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame award in 1998. In 1987 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as well.

There are numerous videos of B.B. King performing live, but one of the best is one where he swaps leads with Stevie Wonder.


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