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Playlist: Juke in the Back

Compiled By: Roland Foster

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Juke In The Back With Matt The Cat (Series)

Produced by Matt "The Cat" Baldassarri

Most recent piece in this series:

Episode #437 - B.B. King

From Matt "The Cat" Baldassarri | Part of the Juke In The Back With Matt The Cat series | 59:01

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The "Juke In The Back" pays its respects to a true musical icon, B.B. King. Riley B. King was raised on plantations as his mother was a sharecropper. He wanted to play guitar and sing on the radio like his mother's cousin, Bukka White. He moved from Mississippi to Memphis in the mid-'40s to pursue his dream and finally in 1948, Riley got his big break, filling in for blues harpist Sonny Boy Williamson on his radio program. Soon, Riley became the "Beale Street Blues Boy" and later just "Blues Boy" or "B.B" and scored his own radio show on WDIA. Matt The Cat focuses on B.B.'s first records for Nashville's Bullet Records and LA's RPM label. His early sides were cut in Memphis with Sam Phillips at the controls. After a few years of non-charting records, B.B. hit the big time with a smokin' #1 R&B hit, "Three O'Clock Blues" at the beginning of 1952. From there, he would score 3 more #1s. "Juke In The Back" features all of B.B. King's great R&B hits from 1949-1955. Many of these you never get to hear these days. B.B. had a life of accomplishments as a great ambassador for the blues. We know how great he became and on this week's program, we'll see just where he started from.