Good Morning Campers,
Okay, so last week was rough. How many of you caught the fact that in last week’s issue, the word “Header” was at the top (my place holder) without an actual header being there? Well, as you can probably figure out, I was one of those who didn’t catch it.
Yes, it was a rough week…but on a positive note, I didn’t need any bail money, which I’m sure Lethal is thankful for and I didn’t have to hide any bodies. Although that last point came really close to not being true.
I’d like to point out that Lethal, my friend and buddy, the one who has my back when all others have run, has contributed and helped out quite a bit with this issue while I’ve been working my butt of for uncle Sam. I have about 2 more bad weeks at work and then I’ll have a little more time.
There’s a new section today, splitting out our little stories from the rest of the issue. Tell me what you think.
Today is Mother’s Day. And I’m starting this week’s issue a bit early so that I don’t run out of time. Normally, Sunday is my day off from all things Dragon Laffs. But, right now my lovely wife and Izzy dragon’s mom, is sound asleep, being allowed to sleep in.
Breakfast is waiting to be cooked and all things are ready to go, so here I am starting Dragon Laffs while I wait.
I just wanted to mention, before we get too deeply engrossed in today’s issue, that back on Tuesday, I posted a bunch of stuff telepathically, so if you thought of something funny on Tuesday, that was me!
Parenting Hack #25:
When your children have been bad, don’t take their electronic devices away from them, take their chargers instead. Then sit back and watch the fun as they slowly drive themselves crazy trying to conserve the last of their battery power in their phones, tablets, laptops and other devices. It not only teaches them not to misbehave, but it is also very entertaining.
Not sure which of our female readers and/or employees (Cast Members?) sent this to me and I will be dammed if I would reveal the name even if I knew it, I value my life way too much for that.
that his daughter got married that morning, and that he drank champagne
and a few bottles of wine at the reception, and many single malts scotches thereafter.
“No sir, I do not! But while we’re asking questions, do you realize that this is a British car
Having driven a left hand drive car on and off for several years, I can tell you how confusing it is. For one particular trip, I drove my left hand drive car on the left hand side of the road, to get to work, (which was on an Air Force Base in England), then I got in a right hand drive truck, but drove it on the left side of the road at work. And we would take our left hand drive car, drive to the port on the left side of the road, take the ferry to the mainland, and then drive our left hand drive car on the right side of the road. It’s a wonder any of the military guys survive without crashing on a daily basis.
This is one of the portraits that’s hanging in my front hall. This is my great-great-great-(not really sure how many)-great grand sire dragon. He is one of the supposed original dragons to enter this realm back when it was nothing but a ball of dust. Back when the five original dragons created what the gods then used to mold. My sire brought fire to the emptiness; the blues (of whom I am also descended) brought water; the whites (stuck up lizards!) brought air; the very solid browns brought the earth and the solidness that all the others were built on. Ah, but that’s only 4, I can hear you saying now. And yes, it has been only four I’ve told you about. Let’s just say that the fifth dragon brought magic to the dust mote and we’ve been blessed ever since.
Here’s a brand new app! You’ve got to check this out! I want one.
When last you left me, I was turning and burning, or as Lethal insists, flapping and flopping about the skies following a little blinking strobe light attached to a drone much to the dismay of several Ninja cats whom had decided to board Dragon Airlines at the last possible moment. We seemed to be headed to the far side of the property and taking as many precautions as possible: terrain following, low level flying, sudden sharp course changes and direction reversals, when suddenly the drone dipped into a small valley which I was pretty sure was just a box canyon. I followed anyway figuring it might be our destination as we never made use of the area because of the valley walls propensity for avalanches in winter and serious rock slides in summer.
Suddenly the rock walls on both side of the valley started exploding like giant popcorn kernels from hell! I was under fire! SC popped her head out of her pouch between my wing roots long enough to whack me on the back of the head causing me to glance over my shoulder and spot her looking backwards concernedly. Seems I had acquired some unfriendlies that wanted to play! A-10s firing 30 mm cannon shells at a rate of up to 4200 round a minute with an effective (pronounce that dead dragon) range of over a mile. Since the rounds were moving at over 3500 feet per second I’d have maybe about a second and a quarter to avoid any burst I saw. Problem was I couldn’t keep flying with my head over my shoulder in such tight terrain and by the time I heard the round that got me it would likely be the last thing I heard, having already been hit by the burst.
They were trying to drive me deeper into the box canyon which was a large keyhole shaped one. I surmised their intent was to involve me in a game of dragon in the middle once we got there and with serious malice aforethought on their part. In other words, I was in the deep end of that creek sans paddle and rapidly approaching the rapids.
I was confused by this tactic however, in such a tight area, while they were practically assured hits on me, those A-10s would surely wind up either hitting each other as collateral damage or wind up flying into each other or me. Those sort of things are usually high on a pilots list of things to avoid at all costs and I’m sure they must realize if they ejected they’d hit the ground flame broiled- either by me or by the wreckage of their own aircraft.
With my time running out I snout shoveled SC, who had been my foreword looking eyes the last 10 seconds, back into her pouch and slid my jaw across the Velcro. Last thing I needed was to face Lethal or the rest of the Ninja Cat Clan and tell them I had lost their beloved Clan Matriarch. Not that losing Chai or Bruce would be much better, though the way my newly Bruce the Brutal pierced ear throbbed; I was seriously considering dropping Bruce into the cockpit of one of those Warthogs as a distraction.
No I liked my chances with these A-10s way better. See I had realized, driving me into the canyon and coming into it with me was tantamount to a death wish. That meant only one possibility. Those weren’t live pilots, they were likely drone aircraft or flown by robots or remotely controlled. This would give me the edge I needed to get out of this with (most of anyway) my skin intact as well as the extremely fluffy fur of my 3 passengers.
I momentarily caught a break in having to dodge their constant bursts at me by speeding up and pulling ahead of them beyond their cannons effective range. I entered the keyhole of the canyon banked left and flew as fast and close to the canyon walls as I could, buffeting them with my wings as much as I safely could, stirring up a giant dust cloud of rock particles and tree parts. As I completed the 360 grand tour of the canyon, I reversed my bank and headed back down the narrow portion flying right over the A-10s now burning flat out to catch me. As they soon found out I had a sizable wake of rocks and stones literally right on my tail which they flew into. Jet engines plus rocks generally tend to equal somebody pulling the ejection curtain over their face. Speaking of my tail, I used it to swat the canopy of one of the middle 2 A-10s in the formation while ripping the other middle aircraft’s canopy off with my feet and shoving it down an engine for him so he’d know where to find it.
There seems to be a lot of loud noises and commotion going on behind me but I really couldn’t spare a look because I was worried my playmates might have had friends in the event I got away. That was, I couldn’t spare a look until I felt about 20 searing points of pain on my chest and heard Bruce literally caterwaul ‘NOOO! REH! MENOW! Sparing a fast glace over my shoulder I saw a burning A-10 with cannon blazing and canopy missing rapidly gaining on us. If I didn’t figure out something fast and by fast I meant RIGHT NOW, I was going to get a flying firing flaming A-10 enema in about 2 seconds. I didn’t think it was an experience I should be having or would be surviving.
So I did what I always do in these situations, review all the really cool moves I’ve seen in flying movies in my head. Then it hit me! Time to pull a Maverick! I called under me “Hang on tight Bruce; I’m going to let him get closer, then hit the brakes and he’ll fly right by us!” Bruce’s eyes looked like they encompassed his entre face (ok so that might have been the vintage leather flying cap and goggles he’d apparently found in his pocket and donned). If at all possible in the brief second I saw him after saying that I think he got even fluffier before responding “Reh??? MEH?? NOOOO!!!’ and disappearing into his pocket and very deftly pulling the Velcro flap closed over his head with his paw.
I glided a couple heart beat (ok, so like about 3 dozen because my pulse was really ripping away like a chain saw), then I pulled up sharply and unfurled my wings to act as speed breaks. This caused me to stop on a dime with a nickel’s change, the A-10 to shoot by under me and my tail (as planned) to swing down rapidly to counterbalance my nose high position meaning it caught the A-10 right under the tail section causing him to cartwheel ass over nose right into his remain 2 pals, who were coming down the canyon side by side and had opened fire on me just as I pulled up, hitting the chase A-10 full in the cockpit as it emerged from under me. I got a quick look at the cockpit and I had been right, they appeared to be remotely piloted drones with the pilots having only enough humanoid form to fly the aircraft.
I looked around a moment wondering what became of the Quad rotor I had been following before finding it sitting on a small ledge at the mouth of the canyon. When it saw me it immediately took to the air flew once around me and under me narrowly avoiding an angry and large paw swipe from a reappearing Bruce before rocking in front of my face a second in a follow me gesture. As we once again started out I called out to my passengers-
“Ninja Kitties! Sing out like its Karaoke night in the alley so I know you’re all ok”
I felt stirrings in 3 pouches, received 3 slaps..sans claws which I was going to mark down on my calendar to remember and three distinct “Maows” though none of the three were what I would call overly enthusiastic.
“Ok guys I’m going the need some help here I have to keep my attention focused on that damned quad rotor drone. It’s hard to see and moves like a flying cat. That means you guys have to be my radar. SC you got forward, that’s 180 from wing root to wing root, Chai- same deal but tail watch. Bruce- I wouldn’t put it past our friends down there having something nasty on the ground, so keep watch in all directions as best you can. If you see something I need to know from what side the threat is coming so in addition to caterwauling (I can’t believe I’m going to say this) a sharp swat on the threat side would be appreciated and one swat for every threat if there are more than one. I doubt that quad rotor has a lot of battery left so we shouldn’t be aloft much longer. I’d really like to land without any further damage or excitement how about you guys?”
This time I receive 3 decidedly more enthusiastic ‘MEOWs!’ in response.
I was right; our little game of follow the drone didn’t last much longer. It was a good thing too because I got whacked for false alarms from my feline spotter about 8 times in the 5 minutes our post excitement flight lasted. Following nap of the earth for a short distance, we came up on another small canyon cut into the ground. The drone came to a stop, with me and three Ninja Kitties hovering beside it. The little copter gave me a wiggle waggle telling me to stay put and did a fast shoot straight up. I could barely make out the fact that it was doing a fast 360 degree check in all directions before it came rocketing back down beside me and disappeared into a cliff face crevasse and I set down on the ledge just below it I understood what all the frantic whacking was about. Dragon-Vest-Pocket-Airlines apparently doesn’t have any cat suitable facilities. My 3 passengers didn’t even wait for their plane to come to a complete stop or for the pilot’s final thank you for flying Dragon Airlines message before disembarking at high speed looking for the nearest bit of privacy.
Judging from the onslaught of eye watering ‘fragrances of nature’ my olfactory nerves were forced to endure until the breeze picked up, my passengers had been well and truly scared for their (9?) lives. Moments after giving thought to this I found a suitable boulder and joined them in a little bladder relief. The severity of the ‘pucker factor’ of the situation, combined with the additional pucker factor of the near miss with the flaming A-10 suppository, meant it was going to be a good while before I unclenched enough to water anyone’s eyes myself.
When I returned to the landing area, I was assaulted by several apparently approving and grateful Ninja cats who purred and rubbed their approval all over me in an epic demonstration of their shedding capability. By the time I got them back aboard and took off to circle back up to the ledge where the drone had gone we left a small ‘fur devil’ in our wake.
I examined the crevice where the drone disappeared, but it appeared to be just a crack in the rock, no way was I going to fit into it. Then I got an inspiration.
“Yo! Short and Surly with the Sharps! Get up here.”
Bruce’s head popped out of his pocket. “Maow?”
“Yeah you. Let’s go you’re up! It’s a short crack and you drew the short straw get it shorty?”
Bruce furled his brow and I saw his claws start to unsheathe. “Merrrrow?!”
“Ok! OK! I’ll rephrase already! Sheeesh! Its tight quarters from all appearances and you’re the smallest so how about having a look around while we look out here, please? Better?”
After a moments glare and a glance to my left shoulder where Chai was now looking down at Bruce whiskers twitching and tail furiously lashing but saying nothing I received what I took to be an affirmative “Meh!”.
Bruce scampered up my vest, up my shoulder and neck, and then made his way cautiously down my nose pausing to stare me in the eyes a moment.
“Don’t worry, it might feel like it’s your neck being put out there but it’s also my nose and I like it where and as it is. Word of advice though, you feel me inhale and then the wind is suddenly in your face, the safest place for you is between my ears. Comprendo mi pequeño amigo? It’s going to get muy caliente!”
“REH! MAOW!” Bruce turns about and inches forward on his belly to the end of my nose, his tail thrashing like a windshield wiper across my vision. He taps my nose and then slides his paw forward several times indicating he wants me to move him closer. I don’t understand why humans insist cats don’t communicate, all you have to do is pay attention to them and they will make themselves (occasionally painfully) clear. I pushed into within about a foot of the crevasse. Just about the time I realized I didn’t smell rock as strongly as I should have, for being that close to it, Bruce bunched himself and leapt from my nose intent on perching on the lip of the crevasse. I say intent on, because what he actually did was pass completely through the rock face and disappear, trailing a loud and long “Nooooooo!! behind him
Before I could even blink or think, I had the weight of the other two ninja cats on my nose, frantically hollering for me to put them up to the crevasse as well.
I took a chance and believed what I saw and what I smelled, or more correctly what I didn’t smell, and with cats perched on my nose took, 2 steps forward right at the rock wall. There was a curious tingling sensation, like a static electricity waterfall and then…LED foot lights?
In one of the foot lights was the tiny form of Bruce, who was currently looking and acting like he might be a few kibbles short of a full bowl. I got slapped in the nose with a pair of insistent tails and immediately lowered my, growing more demanding passengers, to the floor to access their companion. SC immediately took to mothering Bruce sniffing and cleaning him. Chai, meantime, took up a stance over them, gave me a pointed look and indicated ahead of them in the tunnel with a jut of her jaw and a “merrNOW!”.
“NO Chai, I have a better idea and you 3 are tagging along on MY mission so you had better get used to doing things MY way.” I scooted carefully up close to them corralled them with my tail then gently unfurled enough wing to surround them in a dragon teepee of protection. I felt someone climbing my vest and was preparing to have a Dragon to Cat argument as ludicrous as that sounds when I felt slaps on one of the vest pockets.
“What? There something in there you need? Ok! OK! I’m opening it. Hey light sticks! Must have come prepacked with the vest!” I break one shake it and hand it to Chai who grabs it and lets herself back down my vest placing it near where they work on Bruce who is at least now sitting more or less upright and apparently happily enduring cleaning and massaging from both female cats.
Both SC & Chai’s heads suddenly shoot up, facing front and peering over my tail, their ears act as mini radar dishes scanning for something, sensitive whiskers twitching. Chai looks at me and points down the tunnel before leaping over my tail and disappearing into the shadows. I use my dragon infravision to track her progress as she expertly, swiftly and silently evades all the pools of light from the footlights, only to stop about a hundred feet down the tunnel . She suddenly sit up very straight, her ears again working furiously.
Do cats have ball bearings installed or something, to get their ears to rotate like that? My pondering this is suddenly interrupted by the sight of a light, moving speedily at the far end of the tunnel in our direction, and Chai’s abrupt 180 and stealthily high speed retreat, back to behind my tail.
I again, wing encircle the cats and I caution them “Noses inside until I open my Wings unless you want the Dragon equivalent of a Brazilian Wax for your noses and whiskers.” Six slightly (in my vision) glowing eyes blink their apparent understanding. I begin a slow measure inhale; I don’t want a flash back just a nice 50 foot narrow lance of metal burning fire, probably with a nostril’s worth of snot-napalm afterwards, just for good measure.
Just as I’m about to let fly, several overhead lights blink on right about where Chai had stopped. My target passes into the light beams and I see…a Radio Flyer Little Red Wagon, with Wooden Stake sides, sporting a head lamp? Chai shakes me out of my shock by asking “Merrrffff menow?”
“I don’t think I need to Chai, get a load of this.”
As it approaches, it always remains lit by 3 lights: one where it was, one where it is, and one where it will be. The moving lights along with the lack of anyone pulling it, is, admittedly, a little eerie and I guess more than enough provocation for the return of the uber fluff to my 3 companions which I notice when I look back down. The wagon executes a neat little 3-point turn and backs up to within a foot or two of my tail and stops. The rear wooden stake section tilts out and drops down silently, like a lift gate on a truck, and I see a tablet attached to the wagons handle suddenly flare to life. Apparently this is some evolution of the iLethals which are running all over DL/LL HQ. The same face and the same voice says “Assist the injured cat onto the lift and into the wagon then follow me please.”
With a little help from SC & Chai, Bruce makes it onto the lift gate and expresses his dismay at leaving the group in a surprisingly strong and loud voice. SC leaps over Bruce on his travel up to the wagon in the lift gate to check out the inside. Chai chooses to demonstrate she’s a threat to the wagon by using her claws to climb the wooden stake side and pull herself in. When I lean over I see the inside has been prepared with a very large kitty bed and some (sniffing) salmon jerky. Bruce walks/limps/slides down the now nearly erect lift gate and immediately plunks himself down between the girls to investigate a salmon jerky tidbit, before glancing at me with some apparently worry.
“It’s ok Bruce. I’m pretty sure I know who the man behind the curtain is. We’re not off to see the Wizard, but rather the Leprechaun … er, Mr. Green, I mean, and when we get there, he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do!”
None of his classmates liked him because of his stupidity and clumsiness, especially his teacher, who was always yelling at him, “You’re driving me mad, Billy Bob”
One day Billy Bob’s mom came to school to check on how he was doing.
The teacher told his mom honestly, that her son was simply a disaster, getting very low marks, and that she had never had she seen such a stupid boy in her entire teaching career.
The mom was shocked at the feedback and withdrew her son from school and moved out of Detroit, relocating to Cleveland.
25 years later, the teacher was diagnosed with an almost incurable cardiac disease. All the doctors strongly advised her to have heart surgery, which only one surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic could perform. Left with no other options, the teacher decided to have the operation, which was successful.
When she opened her eyes after the surgery she saw a handsome young doctor smiling down at her. She wanted to thank him, but could not talk. Her face started to turn blue, she raised her hand, trying to tell him something but quickly died .
The doctor was shocked, wondering what went wrong so suddenly. Then he turned around and saw our friend Billy Bob , a janitor in the Clinic, who had unplugged the life-support equipment in order to connect his vacuum cleaner.
Don’t tell me you didn’t think that Billy Bob was the heart-surgeon.
This is our private golf club’s golf pro. It’s really not as bad as it looks. The person she is in the middle of instructing just refuses to keep his head down.
*Nothing improves with age.
*No matter how many times you’ve had it, if it’s offered take it, because it’ll never be quite the same again.
*Sex has no calories.
*Sex takes up the least amount of time and causes the most amount of trouble.
*There is no remedy for sex but more sex.
*Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got and 50% what people think you’ve got.
*No sex with anyone in the same office.
*Sex is like snow; you never know how many inches you are going to get or how long it is going to last.
*Virginity can be cured.
*Never sleep with anyone crazier than yourself.
*The qualities that most attract a woman to a man are usually the same ones she can’t stand years later.
*Sex is dirty only if it’s done right.
*When the lights are out, all women are beautiful.
*Sex is hereditary. If your parents never had it, chances are you won’t either.
*Sex discriminates against the shy and the ugly.
*Before you find your handsome prince, you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs.
*Love your neighbor, but don’t get caught.
*If the effort that went in research on the female bosom had gone into our space program, we would now be running hot-dog stands on the moon.
*Love is a matter of chemistry. Sex is a matter of physics.
*Sex is a three-letter word which needs some old-fashioned four-letter words to convey its full meaning.
*You cannot produce a baby in one month by impregnating nine women.
*Thou shall not commit adultery…..unless in the mood.
*A woman never forgets the men she could have had. A man, the women he couldn’t.
*What matters is not the length of the wand, but the magic in the stick.
*Love comes in spurts.
*Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant.
*Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.
*Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another
It’s not my fault! Blame Lethal!!
Wow! He looks like I feel most mornings! Actually, he looks better than I feel on Mondays!
This would be exactly how my day would begin.
Lethal!!!! The kitties are driving the car again!!!
Well, yeah, they can bring home donuts.
Yup! Been there.
I don’t think this one is Lethal’s. I haven’t known any of them to get caught.
And the really bad part is that there isn’t a one of you, out there, reading this who are surprised…
Lethal’s idea of trying to teach me self control
The great and powerful Harry Dresden. If you don’t know who Harry is…well, two things actually,
#1 – You’ve led a very sheltered life
#2 – I envy the hell out of you because you get to read all those books from scratch with them being brand new to you!!
and yes…that’s all the hints I’m giving you!
Aahhh! Time for one of my favorite parts of the ezine…
Wave to me Easter Bunny! And use both hands!
There is someone for everyone…even nerds.
Why don’t debutantes go to orgies?
There’d be too many thank you notes to write.
How is a woman like a condom?
Both spend more time in your wallet than on your pecker.
What should you do if you girlfriend starts smoking?
Slow down and use a lubricant.
Define “Egghead ”
What Mrs. Dumpty gives to Humpty.
The older you get, the more friends, loved ones and others whom you consider friends because of the impression they’ve made on your life, pass on. Thanks very much to Lethal who put this together for me at the last minute. Mr. King, you will be missed.
B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89.
His attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT. He said funeral arrangements were underway.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg confirmed the death
King’s eldest surviving daughter Shirley King of the Chicago area said she was upset that she didn’t have a chance to see her father before he died.
Although he had continued to perform well into his 80s, the 15-time Grammy winner suffered from diabetes and had been in declining health during the past year. He collapsed during a concert in Chicago last October, later blaming dehydration and exhaustion. He had been in hospice care at his Las Vegas home.
For most of a career spanning nearly 70 years, Riley B. King was not only the undisputed king of the blues but a mentor to scores of guitarists, who included Eric Clapton, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Keith Richards. He recorded more than 50 albums and toured the world well into his 80s, often performing 250 or more concerts a year.
King played a Gibson guitar he affectionately called Lucille with a style that included beautifully crafted single-string runs punctuated by loud chords, subtle vibratos and bent notes.
The result could bring chills to an audience, no more so than when King used it to full effect on his signature song, “The Thrill is Gone.” He would make his guitar shout and cry in anguish as he told the tale of forsaken love, then end with a guttural shouting of the final lines: “Now that it’s all over, all I can do is wish you well.”
His style was unusual. King didn’t like to sing and play at the same time, so he developed a call-and-response between him and Lucille.
“Sometimes I just think that there are more things to be said, to make the audience understand what I’m trying to do more,” King told The Associated Press in 2006. “When I’m singing, I don’t want you to just hear the melody. I want you to relive the story, because most of the songs have pretty good storytelling.”
A preacher uncle taught him to play, and he honed his technique in abject poverty in the Mississippi Delta, the birthplace of the blues.
“I’ve always tried to defend the idea that the blues doesn’t have to be sung by a person who comes from Mississippi, as I did,” he said in the 1988 book “Off the Record: An Oral History of Popular Music.”
“People all over the world have problems,” he said. “And as long as people have problems, the blues can never die.”
Fellow travelers who took King up on that theory included Clapton, the British-born blues-rocker who collaborated with him on “Riding With the King,” a best-seller that won a Grammy in 2000 for best traditional blues album.
Still, the Delta’s influence was undeniable. King began picking cotton on tenant farms around Indianola, Mississippi, before he was a teenager, being paid as little as 35 cents for every 100 pounds, and was still working off sharecropping debts after he got out of the Army during World War Two.
“He goes back far enough to remember the sound of field hollers and the cornerstone blues figures, like Charley Patton and Robert Johnson,” ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons once told Rolling Stone magazine.
King got his start in radio with a gospel quartet in Mississippi, but soon moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where a job as a disc jockey at WDIA gave him access to a wide range of recordings. He studied the great blues and jazz guitarists, including Django Reinhardt and T-Bone Walker, and played live music a few minutes each day as the “Beale Street Blues Boy,” later shortened to B.B.
Through his broadcasts and live performances, he quickly built up a following in the black community, and recorded his first R&B hit, “Three O’Clock Blues,” in 1951.
He began to break through to white audiences, particularly young rock fans, in the 1960s with albums like “Live at the Regal,” which would later be declared a historic sound recording worthy of preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
He further expanded his audience with a 1968 appearance at the Newport Folk Festival and when he opened shows for the Rolling Stones in 1969.
King was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and received the Songwriters Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, gave a guitar to Pope John Paul II and had President Barack Obama sing along to his “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Other Grammys included best male rhythm `n’ blues performance in 1971 for “The Thrill Is Gone,” best ethnic or traditional recording in 1982 for “There Must Be a Better World Somewhere” and best traditional blues recording or album several times. His final Grammy came in 2009 for best blues album for “One Kind Favor.”
Through it all, King modestly insisted he was simply maintaining a tradition.
“I’m just one who carried the baton because it was started long before me,” he told the AP in 2008.
Born Riley B. King on Sept. 16, 1925, on a tenant farm near Itta Bena, Mississippi, King was raised by his grandmother after his parents separated and his mother died. He worked as a sharecropper for five years in Kilmichael, an even smaller town, until his father found him and took him back to Indianola.
“I was a regular hand when I was 7. I picked cotton. I drove tractors. Children grew up not thinking that this is what they must do. We thought this was the thing to do to help your family,” he said.
When the weather was bad and he couldn’t work in the cotton fields, he walked 10 miles to a one-room school before dropping out in the 10th grade.
After he broke through as a musician, it appeared King might never stop performing. When he wasn’t recording, he toured the world relentlessly, playing 342 one-nighters in 1956. In 1989, he spent 300 days on the road. After he turned 80, he vowed he would cut back, and he did, somewhat, to about 100 shows a year.
He had 15 biological and adopted children. Family members say 11 survive.
Here are some comments from people who knew and admired him:
“The world has physically lost not only one of the greatest musical people ever but one of the greatest people ever. Enjoy your eternity,” Smokey Robinson.
“I just wanted to express my sadness and to say thank you to my dear friend BB King. I wanted to thank him for all the inspiration and encouragement he gave me as a player over the years and for the friendship that we enjoyed. There’s not a lot left to say because this music is almost a thing of the past now, and there are not many left to play it in the pure way that BB did. He was a beacon for all of us who love this kind of music, and I thank him from the bottom of my heart,” Eric Clapton, in a video posted on Facebook.
“His fusion of jump, jazz and blues styles became the template for blues and rock guitarists the world over. Without BB, there would be no Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, and without Jimi and Eric, no heavy rock — but we shouldn’t hold that against him! A true great,” Producer Joe Boyd, who worked with Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention and many others.
“Mississippi is known the world over as the birthplace of America’s music, and BB King is one of its founding legends and one of our state’s most treasured gifts to the music world. For decades, our souls have been stirred by his talents. From juke joints to concert halls, there is no place his influence hasn’t reached. Mississippi has lost a legend. He is the king. The thrill is gone,” Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.
“The Blues lost its best friend with the loss of BB King, and the music world lost a giant. I was privileged to have worked with BB many times over the years, and he was not just a remarkable artist, he was one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met. He united multiple generations with a love for the blues, and I will always recall the joy he would bring to audiences and fellow musicians alike when they were lucky enough to be in his presence. When he said, `I’ll play the Blues for You,’ he meant it. He enriched the lives and the music of every artist he came into contact with, and it’s through his influence and his inspiration that his music will continue to be heard,” Longtime Grammys Executive Producer Ken Ehrlich.