I decided last year that I wanted to induct qualified members of the League of Themselves as soon as I've heard of their deaths. The first example of that this year was David Bowie just a few weeks ago. But there was somebody who died last year whom I could have added to all the tributary inductions like those for Leonard Nimoy, Dick Van Patten, Frank Gifford, and Yogi Berra. However I held off so that I could honor him during February, the month dedicated to Black History.
I'm hoping to continue this tradition for as long as I can, but qualified characters of color (I love alliteration!) are not that plentiful. And many of them are in the League of Themselves. So it's not like I'm trying to prevent them from their special honor; it's just that I want them to get their special showcase and keep this Black History Month tradition alive. In fact there's another celebrity who recently passed away who made enough appearances in different shows to be so honored, but he'll have to wait until next February.
In the meantime......
Ladies and gentlemen, may I present
Riley B. "B.B." King (September 16, 1925 – May 14, 2015) was an American blues singer, guitarist, songwriter, and record producer.
Rolling Stone ranked King at No. 6 on its 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time. King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that influenced many later electric blues guitarists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and is considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of the Blues", and one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar" along with Albert and Freddie. King was known for performing tirelessly throughout his musical career, appearing at more than 200 concerts per year on average into his 70s. In 1956, he reportedly appeared at 342 shows.
King died at the age of 89 in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 14, 2015 from complications of Alzheimer's disease along with congestive heart failure and diabetic complications.
- Episode #1.130 (1970)
From the Muppet Wikia:
King made several appearances on Sesame Street, the first being in Episode 0130 where he recites the alphabet. He appeared again thirty years later, in Season 32, performing a song about the letter B with Bert, Benny Rabbit, Big Bird and Baby Bear.
He also appeared in "Yakety Yak - Take It Back", a recycling PSA that eventually aired on 'Sesame Street'.
Sanford and Son
- Fred Sings the Blues (1977)
From the IMDb:
Aspiring songwriter Fred invites B.B. King to dinner, but panics upon reading in the blues legend's biography that the singer has sworn to get even with the man who long ago stole his St. Louis sweetheart "E.W.", a woman matching Elizabeth's description.
- The Thrill Is Gone (1993)
From the IMDb:
Blossom writes to her mother about the aftermath of her breakup with Vinnie. Nick flies out to Paris with the possibility of reconciling with Blossom's mother.
New York Undercover
- Buster and Claudia (1995)
A string of robberies leads to an ex-con and his girlfriend. Torres tries to settle a dispute between his father and a mobster.
- Blues Boy (1995)
From the IMDb:
A young boy, named Lyle Logan, asks Mitch and Garner for help thinking that he's in danger when his Uncle Willie's partners leave prison and hunt for him, thinking he knows where his uncle stashed money that he stole from the murdered boy's father seven years ago, and Lyle witnessed the murder.
Touched by an Angel
- Indigo Angel (1996)
An elderly man in ill health manages a blues club which he refuses to close for business even though it no longer makes money. He is waiting for a sign that he is supposed to close the club.
The Young and the Restless
- Episode #1.7107 (2001)
He had a cameo on "The Young and the Restless" in 2001 when he performed at the Crow’s Nest in an episode featuring Jill (Jess Walton).
He also had a guest spot on "General Hospital" in 2008 when he played at Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Brenda’s (Vanessa Marcil) wedding.
The thrill is gone. And sadly, so is the King. Good night and may God bless.....