Honor A Blues Legend at Tribute: B.B. King

Posted by Holly Whitfield | May 25th 2015 2720 0

This Wednesday, May 27, Memphis is having a musical tribute and memorial processional down Beale Street to honor late blues legend B.B. King, who passed away at age 89 on May 14, 2015.

BB King Music Note 
Photo by Ramona Rogers

On Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m, there will be video tributes on a screen set up in Handy Park. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there will be a musical tribute to B.B. King in W.C. Handy Park on Beale. Starting at 12:45 p.m., the processional will begin at Beale St. and 2nd St., turning right onto 3rd St. 

WDIA DJ Bev Johnson will host the program in Handy Park. Music lineup includes (in this order): Ghost Town Blues Band, John Nemeth, Will Tucker Band, B.B. King's Allstars with Ruby Wilson, and Keb Mo.

Mayor Wharton and a half dozen other dignitaries from various music organizations will speak in between acts. Once the procession gets to FedExForum, there will be a brief stop for a farewell video on a screen set up in the plaza. The public is invited to attend to observe the music and processional, and we're supposed to wear blue in honor of B.B.'s nickname, "Beale Street Blues Boy". 

This is all the information I've been given for now, but I'll update I find out anything else. You can read more about B.B. King's life, legacy, and passing in this article from the Commercial Appeal.

You've probably heard of B.B. King before, if you have any familiarity with Memphis or the blues. You might not know that he started out as a DJ and singer at Memphis' WDIA, the first radio station in America to feature all-black programming. Read more about WDIA here

B.B. released more than fifty albums during his lifetime, and is a part of the Blues, Rock and Rock, and Memphis Music Halls of Fame. He also won 15 Grammy Awards and a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award.

Another ongoing way to honor B.B. King and the blues in Memphis is to visit the newly opened Blues Hall of Fame, which you can read about here. 

BB King Signed Wall
Photo by Ramona Rogers

Go there: 

"Tribute: B.B. King" Memorial Procession
Wed., May 27, 2015

Music at 11 a.m. in W.C. Handy Park
Procession begins at 12:45 p.m. at 2nd and Beale

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Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

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