B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Directed by Jon Brewer

B.B. King’s life story is nothing short of extraordinary, and The Life of Riley lays it out perfectly. Riley B. King was born in 1925 in the cotton fields of Mississippi, during the height of slavery. Although his early years were fraught with tragedy, he fondly recounts his introduction to music (via his snuff-dipping aunt’s gramophone) and the electric guitar (played by the reverend of his church). King provides a deeply personal account of his life, and explains how he evolved his distinctive guitar style, why he calls his guitars Lucille, how he got the nickname “B.B.” and the influences and advice he’s picked up along the way. Testimonials from a healthy sample of music hall of famers and esteemed guitarists only confirm what is already known—B.B. King is a legend. This movie is a must see for any music-lover; look for it on DVD and iTunes in the fall.


 -Michelle McChristie