Lindsey Kuper (lindseykuper) wrote,
Lindsey Kuper

Wisdom from B.B. King and my dad

This is what my dad wrote to us yesterday:

When the "King" was a young man (sometime in the late Pleistocene) he got advice from a man who was going to let him play (no pay, of course) at his rundown Memphis bar. As BB tells it, he wasn't very good (though at the time he thought he was), but he loved music, he loved to play, he loved to sing and he was desperate for a foothold to escape the grinding poverty and labor of a sharecropper in the Jim Crow Delta.

Young BB (he was actually still "Riley" King, not even "Blues Boy" yet) asked the owner what he should play to impress patrons. Impress? It was a dingy bar, but it was a Memphis bar. The man told him that he had guys sweeping the floor who could play better than Riley King. But the man liked BB. He noticed that everybody else did, too. He saw a kernel of talent, too. The man told Riley there was one thing he could do better than anyone else in Memphis, or anywhere else for that matter: be Riley King. It was a turning point for a young bluesman wannabe. Riley took it to heart and from that moment infused his life and music with his own self. Everybody loves the "real deal" and the rest, as they say, is history.

There will always be better computer geeks, musicians and sound engineers than you guys. Don't sweat it. Nobody can hold a candle to you at being who you are. Everybody loves the real deal.


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