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B. B. King Plays Bigtime Blues

He's called the King of the Blues. Eric Clapton dubbed him a "global musician" and luckily, Fairfield Theatre Company has lined up this all-star, B.B. King, for an 8 p.m. performance on January 5. In more than 15,000 shows over 52 years, King, now 85, has shown a generation or two what guitar genius looks like.

Born near Indianola, Mississippi, King's been performing since he was a tyke. According to his website , his first stage was on street corners where he'd play music for dimes. Later, he'd hustle to local gigs in as many as four towns a night. Once in Memphis, his cousin, Bukka White, a well-known blues performer, helped King raise his game even more. From White, he also received a prized guitar, soon to be named Lucille, and audiences began to catch on to this talented newcomer. Born Riley B. King, he felt his name needed to tell its own story. Professionally, he used the handle Beale Street Blues Boy and then Blues Boy King, before settling on B.B. King.

Among the classic songs King has written are "The Thrill is Gone," "Georgia," "When Love Comes to Town" and "Woke Up This Morning?"  As a writer and performer, King rules so be sure to get a ticket to his Jan. 5 Klein performance when the king holds court. Tickets are $60-$110. For more information, visit the Klein's website . Do you know B. B. King's music? What's your favorite? Let us know by posting below.

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