An Evening With B.B. King PBS-TV Show

Friday 10/24/2003

Arthur Rubloff Auditorium The Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This hour-long one-on-one interview program provides a rare and insightful look into the life of B.B. King, the King of the Blues. Taped in Chicago on October 24, 2003, in front of a live audience, King was interviewed by musician and entertainer Isaac Hayes. King has traveled the world spreading his brand of blues to fans around the world. An Evening With B.B. King shares the good times and the bad as experienced by this legendary blues guitarist.


From his childhood in Mississippi to his audience with the Pope to his battle with diabetes, B.B. King has led a rich life, and his music has influenced musicians for decades. With hits such as “The Thrill is Gone,” “Rock Me Baby” and “How Blue Can You Get?” King has remained one of the most spectacular live performers in the music industry.


An Evening With B.B. King covers the full scope of the blues legend’s life, using clips taken throughout his life and career with the use of video and a live performance by B.B. King and the Ko Ko Taylor Band.


An Evening With B.B. King was taped as a part of the fall fundraiser for The HistoryMakers, a 501(c)(3) Illinois, not-for-profit corporation. The HistoryMakers is committed to the development of a unique on-line archive of 5,000 first-person narratives of African American HistoryMakers, both well known and unsung. When completed, the archive will represent the largest single one of its kind in the world. 


The HistoryMakers staff has created a finding aid for this event. View/Download below: 

Finding Aid To An Evening With BB King.pdf



 B.B. King 

B.B. King was born Riley B. King in Itta Bena, Mississippi on September 16, 1925. After his mother's and grandmother's deaths left him on his own at the age of ten, King began playing on street corners for dimes. King hitchhiked to Memphis in the mid-1940s. His first big break came from WDIA radio in West Memphis, where he was given a weekly performance plugging the health tonic, Pepticon. In the early 1950s, King signed a contract with Modern Records and made his first recordings. In the years following, King moved from the chitlin circuit of the south to concert halls, amphitheaters, and resort hotels. With his 1966 signature hit, The Thrill is Gone, B.B. King, for the first time, achieved success on the popular charts. He began to play for white audiences, and in 1969, he made his first network TV appearance on the "Tonight Show," and in 1971 he performed live on the Ed Sullivan Show. B.B. King was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.  



Isaac Hayes 
Entertainer Isaac Hayes was born in Covington, Tennessee, on August 20, 1942. Following the death of his parents, he moved in with his grandparents in Memphis. Leaving school in the ninth grade, he began performing at various clubs in town. He returned to night school and recorded his first album in 1962. Hayes’ breakthrough album, Hot Buttered Soul, came in 1969, and in 1971 he wrote the soundtrack to the movie Shaft, which won him an Oscar. Continuing to record albums, Hayes also began to act, and had his first major role in 1974’s Truck Turner. Other file roles for Hayes included Dr. Doolittle and a remake of Shaft. Hayes served as the spokesman for the World Literacy Crusade and had a radio program on KISS-FM. He also established restaurants. In 2002, Hayes was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hayes passed away on August 10, 2008 at the age of 65. 

  Executive Director 

Julieanna L. Richardson


Assistant Producer

Andrea Ezell



Ron Weiner



Honorary Co-Chairs  

          Senate President Emil Jones
                   Lynn Whitfield 
                Gerhard E. Seibert



                  Sue & Tom Carey
             Patricia Andrews-Keenan
                  Gregory H. Rush


Benefit Committee  

Tracey Alston Dr. Sokoni Karanja
Kate'y Assem Hazel King
Norma Barnes Bernard & Shirley  Kinsey
Nancy Berman Aly Kurti
Cheryl Blackwell Bryson Barbara Lee Cohen
Jerry Blakemore Deborah Martin Chase
Dr. Kimberly Bolden Leonard E. & Rochelle L.  McGee
Jason Bonaparte Lester & Nancy  McKeever
Alfreda Bradley-Coar Ricardo Millett
Lonnie Bunch Johnita Mizelle
Antoinette Cook & Dwight  Bush Joe Moore
Elvin Charity Trudy Moore
Anthony Cole Cynthia & Ira  Moreland
Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon Sharon Morrow
Carmen Corbett Linda Murrain
Jacoby & Veranda  Dickens Kevin Newell
Jocelyn DiPasalegne Lisa Newman
Alma & Louis  Dodd Dr. Alice Palmer
Sharon Fairley Rogers Milo Phelps
William Flynn Sabrina & Anthony  Poole
Rebecca Ford Terry Ruth Ratny
Vicky Free Belkis M. Santos, Ph.D.
Dr. Celestine Fulchon Harold Shepard
Denise & Gary Gardner Chester Singleteary
Jeffrey Hammond Deborah Thomas
Malcolm & Gloria Hemphill Annetta Wilson
Murrell J.  Higgins Duster Antoinette Wright
Mary Hutchings Reed Wildman, Harold, Allen & Dixon
Theresa Jamison