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'American Masters' Series Focuses on Blues Legend BB King in Documentary Feb 12 PBS [REVIEW]

By Thomas Swan t.swan@classicalite.com on Feb 10, 2016 04:36 PM EST
BB King (Photo : (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Thirteen's American Masters series focuses on recently deceased blues legend B. B. King in their new 1 hour documentary airing on PBS Feburary. Their program is a part of the celebration of black history month and the man born Riley B. King is a perfect subject. The son of a sharecropper in Mississippi, King was born into a world with little money and rampant racism and segregation. B.B. King: The Life of Riley takes us into the world of B.B. KIng so we may get a measure of the man who, though he started out in meager surroundings was not a meager man.

What makes a man's life? His work or the world around him which he moves through? Are they inseparable? If you're a serious student of the history of the blues, B.B. King: The Life of Reilly might be considered a little light but B.B. King: The Life of Riley is more a portrait of a man in and of a time. It is an inspiring story and well worth the viewing. It is a story about honor and dignity and, in this election year, it is a refreshing change i to meet a true American of character, a humble man who doesn't assume he is anything more than just an average guitar player. He worked himself up from nothing by himself.

The line up of interviewees would suggest that Mr. King was more than just an average guitarist. From Bono, Eric Clapton, Aaron Neville and John Mayer to Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr and Bonnie Raitt, muaic royalty comes out to pay tribute to the humble sharecropper's son from Mississippi. While you won't get a larger sense of B.B. King in the overall picture of blues, this intimate little portrait will pull at the heart strings and will make you respect this man even more. He is more American than many of the politicians claim to be.

(Photo : (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images))

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TagsB.B. King, Blues, PBS, documentary, BB King: The Life of Reilly, Blues Legend, American Masters Series

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