By Monica Land
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mississippi’s native son, the legendary B.B. King and his beloved guitar, “Lucille,” will fill the chambers of the “People’s House” at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with the blues.
King is scheduled to perform tonight, Feb. 21, at the White House alongside Mick Jagger, Buddy Guy and other A-list artists who were invited to celebrate blues music in recognition of Black History Month.
The program, called “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues,” will be live streamed on the White House Web site, www.whitehouse.gov/live .
Directed by Booker T. Jones of Booker T and the MGs, Tuesday’s program will be taped and broadcast by PBS on Feb. 27.
President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at the event.
Tuesday’s program is the ninth in a series of evenings celebrating the music that tells the story of America. Since 2009, the President and First Lady have hosted musical tributes that have showcased Jazz, Country, Classical, Hispanic and the music of the Civil Rights Movement.
Last year’s event was a celebration of “Motown Sound.”
B.B. King, who turns 87 this year, was born in Itta Bena, Miss. and lived with his grandmother in Kilmichael after his mother remarried and her eventual death. It was in Kilmichael that King attended Elk Horn School and built his first guitar using bricks and haywire while still a child.
King later moved to Indianola and eventually to Memphis, Tenn., where he would soon make an indelible mark on the music industry.
Known for his humble and modest nature, King continues to perform at sold out venues across the country.
In his honor, The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened in Indianola in September 2008 and a historical marker in Kilmichael and a blues marker in Indianola recognize his contributions.
A blues marker is scheduled to be placed in Kilmichael this year.