B.B. King, the 89-year-old legend of the blues, has died.
The 89-year-old guitarist had been in hospice care since May 1, having reportedly been in poor health for many months previously.
And though his natural touch on the fretboard of "Lucille" has left this Earth, there's one B.B. King moment that'll live forever.
Cue the 1964 recording of Live at the Regal, perhaps the greatest live blues album ever made. B.B. King, in top form, launches into the track "How Blue Can You Get?" -- and brings the house down mid-song, at around 2:35.
"I gave you a brand new Ford," King sings, "but you said 'I want a Cadillac' / I bought you a ten-dollar dinner, and you said 'Thanks for the snack' / I let you live in my penthouse, you said it was just a shack."
And then the almighty kicker: "I gave you seven children, and now you wanna give 'em back!"
On the recording, the crowd goes utterly wild. And no wonder -- who else was addressing such wreckage of love in popular song at the time? (Certainly not the early Beatles, whose fluffy "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was the No. 1 hit song of 1964.)
"How Blue Can You Get?" enjoyed a mild revival in the 1990s, as a sample in the Primitive Radio Gods' one-hit-wonder "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand" -- but to B.B. King fans, it remains his crowning moment in a live setting.
B.B. King, whose contributions to the blues can hardly be overstated, leaves behind not seven children, as stated in the song, but a total of 15 children -- by no less than 15 different women, according to the New York Times. (No wonder, then, that the alimony- and child support-beholden artist routinely played 200-300 shows each year.)