The B.B. King Treasures: Photos, Mementos & Music from B. B. King’s Collection

B.B. King with Dick Waterman

In celebration of B.B. King’s 80th birthday last September comes yet another look at the world’s best-known bluesman. What makes this book of special interest are its many photos (out of the 116 here my favorite shows King wearing shorts at a 1951 gig), mementos and testimonials. Stuffed into a dozen pockets are such “removable artifacts” as reproductions of concert posters, record session data and tour stickers. Except for additional well-earned honors accorded to this gracious, genial person, there is little more to be added to his story. The winner of 14 Grammies, a Kennedy Center Honors Award (1995) and an honorary degree from Yale (among others), King is most proud of having been named “Mississippi’s Favorite Son” in the state Capitol last Feb. 15 on the occasion of said date being proclaimed “B.B. King Day.” This from, as Charles Evers points out, a state that “at one time was the most racist and bigoted … and is now honoring a black man.” A 60-minute CD is also included that contains interviews and a couple of unreleased songs.