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B.B. King quotes Showing 1-23 of 23

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”
B.B. King
“You only live but once, and when your died your done, so let the good times roll.”
B.B. King
“We all have idols. Play like anyone you care about but try to be yourself while you're doing so.”
B.B. King
“The Blues? It's the mother of American music. That's what is is - the source.”
B.B. King
“I struggle with words. Never could express myself the way I wanted. My mind fights my mouth, and thoughts get stuck in my throat. Sometimes they stay stuck for seconds or even minutes. Some thoughts stay for years; some have stayed hidden all my life. As a child, I stuttered. What was inside couldn't get out. I'm still not real fluent. I don't know a lot of good words. If I were wrongfully accused of a crime, I'd have a tough time explaining my innocence. I'd stammer and stumble and choke up until the judge would throw me in jail. Words aren't my friends. Music is. Sounds, notes, rhythms. I talk through music. Maybe that's why I became a loner, someone who loves privacy and doesn't reveal himself too easily.

My friendliness might fool you. Come into my dressing room and I'll shake your hand, pose for a picture, make polite small talk. I'll be as nice as I can, hoping you'll be nice to me. I'm genuinely happy to meet you and exchange a little warmth. I have pleasant acquaintances with thousands of people the world over. But few, if any, really know me. And that includes my own family. It's not that they don't want to; it's because I keep my feelings to myself. If you hurt me, chances are I won't tell you. I'll just move on. Moving on is my method of healing my hurt and, man, I've been moving on all my life.

Now it's time to stop. This book is a place for me to pause and look back at who I was and what I became. As I write, I'm seventy hears old, and all the joy and hurts, small and large, that I've stored up inside me...well, I want to pull 'em out and put 'em on the page. When I've been described on other people's pages, I don't recognize myself. In my mind, no one has painted the real me. Writers have done their best, but writers have missed the nitty-gritty. Maybe because I've hidden myself, maybe because I'm not an easy guy to understand. Either way, I want to open up and leave a true account of who I am.

When it comes to my own life, others may know the cold facts better than me. Scholars have told me to my face that I'm mixed up. I smile but don't argue. Truth is, cold facts don't tell the whole story. Reading this, some may accuse me of remembering wrong. That's okay, because I'm not writing a cold-blooded history. I'm writing a memory of my heart. That's the truth I'm after - following my feelings, no matter where they lead. I want to try to understand myself, hoping that you - my family, my friends, my fans - will understand me as well.

This is a blues story. The blues are a simple music, and I'm a simple man. But the blues aren't a science; the blues can't be broken down like mathematics. The blues are a mystery, and mysteries are never as simple as they look.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“The blues was bleeding the same blood as me.”
B.B. King
“I learned another thing from the hurt my cousin gave me - never to give that kind of hurt to anyone else. My revenge was to change a bad feeling into a good one. If I'm working with you and I sense you're feeling a little insecure, I try to make you feel great. That's how I get rid of my old hurt. If I don't do that, my hurt grows and makes me mean and vengeful. But if hurt can change to kindness - that's something Mama showed me - the world becomes a little less cruel.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“To me, singing is like talking. If it ain't natural, it ain't right.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I wasn't taught to hate white people. That dead body hanging from the platform broke the heart and wounded the spirit of every black man and woman who passed by. But I suspected that it also hurt right-thinking white people. Both parents had spoken well of fair-minded white people - my namesake, Jim O'Reilly, and Flake Cartledge - so I knew better than to blame a whole race for the rotten deeds of a few. When some blacks talked about whites as devils, I could see the source of their wrath. I could still see the dead man outside the courthouse on the square. But I couldn't turn the fury into hatred. Blind hatred, my mother had taught me, poisons the soul. I kept hearing her say, 'If you're kind to people, they'll be kind to you.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I could see the blues was about survival.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“For all the hard times and tough challenges I faced during different periods of my life, I think I was lucky or blessed or both. When things looked bleak, a good guide would appear to set me straight. Someone once asked me about the villains who got in my way, the bad guys who wanted to trip me up or take me out. I don't remember any. Maybe it's my nature to remember the good and forget the bad, or maybe it's my destiny to lock onto the righteous for help.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“As a little kid, blues meant hope, excitement, pure emotion. Blues were about feelings. They seem to bring out the feelings of the artist and they brought out my feelings as a kid. They made me wanna move, or sing, or pick up Reverend's guitar and figure out how to make those wonderful sounds.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“The Thrill Is Gone"

The thrill is gone
The thrill is gone away
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away
You know you done me wrong baby
And you'll be sorry someday

The thrill is gone
It's gone away from me
The thrill is gone baby
The thrill is gone away from me
Although, I'll still live on
But so lonely I'll be

The thrill is gone
It's gone away for good
The thrill is gone baby
It's gone away for good
Someday I know I'll be open armed baby
Just like I know a good man should

You know I'm free, free now baby
I'm free from your spell
Oh I'm free, free, free now
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's all over
All I can do is wish you well”
B.B. King
“The blues was bleeding the same blood as me. The blues didn't have to explain the mystery of pain that I felt; it was there in the songs and voices of singers like Lonnie Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson, in the cries of their guitars.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I could see that Bukka was born to be a bluesman, and I wondered if the same was true of me. I worried that I didn't have his talent - or the talent of someone like Blind Lemon or T-Bone. I felt something beautiful inside Bukka's soul. Even if I didn't follow his style, I was moved by his sincerity. He loved telling stories, and used his blues to tell them. His blues was the book of his life. He sang about his rough times and fast time and loving times and angry times. He'd entertain at a party for two hundred people with the same enthusiasm as a party for twenty. Bukka gave it his all. His music had a consistency I admired. Like all the great bluesmen, he said, I am what I am. I wondered if I could be that steady and strong.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“The great jazz instrumentalists taught me how to sing and interpret a song. they showed me how a horn can have as much personality as an actor.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I wanted to sustain a note like a singer. I wanted to phrase a note like a saxist. By bending the strings, by trilling my hand - and I have big fat hands - I could achieve something that approximated a vocal vibrato. I could sustain a note. I wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions. By fooling with the feedback between my amplifier and instrument, I started experimenting with sounds that expressed my feelings, whether happy or sad, bouncy or bluesy. I was looking for ways to let my guitar sing.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I'd solo on my guitar; then sing; then solo; then sing some more. one stopped when the other started. That way I felt a continuity, not a conflict, like a wheel that keeps turning. Both sounds - guitar and voice - were coming out of me, but they issued from different parts of my soul.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“Nobody loves me but mama, and she may be jivin too.”
B.B. King
“i don't want to give the impression that I fault my father. I don't. The truth is that he's one of my heroes. He's monumental to me. I believed - and still do - that a man must stand in the door of his home and let the wolf get him before the wolf gets his family. The wolf never got my father or his family, and I admire Daddy's guts. He never slacked off work or lied to me or shrugged his responsibilities. He dealt with his family from a distance, but was available, when needed. Eventually I'd do the same. I don't know whether I was copying him or whether, by coincidence, my work, like Daddy's, simply kept me away. All I know is that in many ways, big and small, I've followed my father.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I'm a fan first. I believed Duke Ellington when he said there's no bad music, just some of it is presented badly. As a kid, hanging around Church Street, the presentation of music was so powerful, I couldn't help but jump for joy. I had discovered art, or truth, or whatever you want to call it; I had seen a light I'd follow forever.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King
“I've said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.”
BB King
“It angers me how scholars associate the blues strictly with tragedy.”
B.B. King, Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King


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Blues All Around Me: The Autobiography of B.B. King Blues All Around Me
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