The thrill is far from gone. B. B. King, legendary Blues singer, electric guitarist, songwriter, and record producer, left a lasting legacy that reverberates through his influence on many later electric blues guitarists. Daughter Shirley, his only child raised by the King family, was there through his rise from rags to riches and on to his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
From a cotton plantation to unforgotten ovations, B. B. and Shirley were known for performing tirelessly for appreciative audiences worldwide. B. B. never wanted Shirley to ride on his coattails. He challenged her to earn the King name while he was still alive. Her legendary father helped open a few doors along her rocky road from student to star, but Shirley’s magnetism and flair sparked her first success as an exotic dancer known as “Shirley King the Body Queen,” and eventually earned her the later crown, “Shirley King, Daughter of the Blues.”
Remember a time when B. B. King’s voice graced daily radio airwaves? You recall such recordings as “Sweet Sixteen” (1960), “Rock Me Baby” (1964), “They’ll Come a Time” (1969), “The Thrill is Gone” (1970), “Let’s Stay Together” (1972), “Guess Who?” (1973), “Dolemite” (1975), and “The Human Tornado” and “Let the Good Times Roll” (1976). Those songs provide the undulating backdrop for an absorbing story that includes their behind-the-scenes brushes with Marcia Ball, George Benson, Billy Branch, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Sam Cooke, Robert Cray, Shirley Dixon, The Drifters, Redd Foxx, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Buddy Guy, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, The Jackson 5, Etta James, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Bonnie Raitt, Jackie Wilson, and Stevie Wonder.
Discover B. B. King’s heartbreaking journey, the backstories and backstreets, and Shirley’s determination to rise above pain, an absentee father, B. B.’s controlling management team, and her lost loves to preserve B. B. King’s name and to keep their music eternally alive.
After all, it was in her blood.
About Shirley King: the daughter of B. B. King, she lives in Chicago, performs around the country, and regularly travels to Portugal, German, and Brazil, where she headlines Blues festivals and pays tribute to her father. This is her first book.
About Dave Smitherman: a professional writer and editor, his previous works include Shirley, I Jest by Cindy Williams; The Presidency in Black and White by April Ryan; At Mama’s Knee by April Ryan; Run, Holly, Run! by Kathy Coleman; Twice As Strong by Paul and JP Norden; Two Versions by Bill Hudson. He lives in the Washington, DC area.