Brow Beat

B.B. King Explains Why He Named His Guitar Lucille in a Lovely Animated Interview

The amazing blues musician B.B. King died Thursday night at age 89. Earlier this year, Sharan Shetty wrote about a fascinating animated interview with King from 1986, in which the legend told the origin story of his guitar, Lucille. We’ve reprinted the post here.

Famous names always feature in PBS’s excellent Blank on Blank series, but its latest installment stars a true icon: B.B. King, legendary blues musician and perhaps the greatest guitarist alive. King is now 89 years old, but his music endures—and any die-hard fan associates that music with Lucille, the sleek, cream-lined black Gibson that King uses to channel his talents.  

In the above interview, recorded in 1986, King shares the wild, almost mythical story behind Lucille’s name. He also speaks at length and with typical eloquence about his early career, the difficulties of engaging live audiences, and the fiercely independent attitude that drove him to succeed. Enjoy.

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