B.B. King Gets Animated in PBS’ Blank On Blank Series

“I don’t like to feel that I owe anything. I like to feel that I pay my own way, no free lunch.”
– B.B. King on September 5, 1986, as told to Joe Smith

Mr. B.B. King. The blues legend says he played 300 nights a year for four-plus decades. That’s just ridiculous. We’re talking about nearly 15,000 shows. King turns 90 this year and you still just might be able to see him on stage. So what’s his secret? We heard some keys to living life to its fullest in a 1986 interview that had been unheard until now.

In this animated film created from B.B. King’s interview with legendary music executive, Joe Smith, the musician explains how he approaches an audience, how a fire at a juke joint led to his naming his guitar “Lucille”, why the blues isn’t just being down on your luck, and why compliments don’t mean it’s time to stop practicing or perfecting your craft.

The Thrill Is Gone. 1971.

The Birth of a Name

B.B. is short for “Blues Boy”, part of the name King used as a disc jockey on Memphis radio in the late 40s.