From The Archives: B.B. King in Chattanooga

Chattanooga (WDEF) – We weren’t his home town.

But Chattanooga knew B. B. King well.

And the King of the Blues knew Chattanooga Tennessee.

Born near Indianola, Mississippi and adopted by Memphis, King was a neighbor who visited early and often in his career.

Here is a look at four of those shows.

1981: 5 Nights in Chattanooga

A precursor of sorts to the Riverbend Festival.  The Lyndhurst Foundation tried five concerts on an empty lot across from the Read House.  The shows were free and an experiment to see if they could get people from all demographics to come together downtown.  B. B. King was the first show.  Here is a fascinating look from YouTube of the setup (from envirosell), even thought they got the year wrong.

1989 Riverbend

The year of the great Riverbend Rumor.  B.B. King was returning to town with a new hit, When Love Came To Town, recorded with U2.

But would the band show up to sing it with him?

They didn’t, but there were plenty of believers.

Instead, The King of the Blues braved driving rain and river flooding to put on his show.

See our recap to the left.

1993 Memorial Auditorium

Another B-B swing through town.  But this time, he was collecting some hardware.

Before the show, he received a Key to the City and became an honorary citizen.

See the story to the left.

2012 Tivoli Theater

The final Chattanooga show.  This one was captured by plenty of audience members for YouTube.

It shows a much frailer King of the Blues.

By now, he was sitting, and his band carried much more of the show.

But you know that anyone who was there that night will be telling the story today.

Categories: Bonus Stories

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