Blues fans grieved a huge loss when famed blues singer, songwriter and guitarist B.B. King died earlier this year after facing health complications. Since his passing, fellow blues heavyweight Buddy Guy has taken on the task of keeping blues music going, he told HuffPost Live on Tuesday. Guy said it was "scary" to realize that he was one of the few old school blues players still around.
"After we lost the great B.B. King and all of the great ones that I got all of my lessons from ... I thought I owe all of them [the] respect of saying, 'Let me see, can I just try and keep it alive?'" Guy told host Marc Lamont Hill.
In fact, Guy revealed that this wasn't the first time he'd considered who would carry the torch once the other blues greats passed on.
"[B.B. King], myself, Muddy Waters, [Bryan] Lee, Junior Wells and all that, we used to discuss this -- about who would be left here and who would … do your best to keep the blues alive after someone's gone," he said.
Guy said King played a huge role in his love for the blues and inspired him to pick up his very first guitar. When Guy's parents, who were sharecroppers, saved up enough money for a record player, Guy said one particular musician they played caught his ear.
"We picked enough cotton to get a phonograph record to play the 78s. And then I would hear great Lightnin' Hopkins, Arthur Crudup and people like that. And then up pops B.B. King," he remembered.
As soon as Guy heard King's tunes, the young blues enthusiast said he headed to the store to pick up a cheap acoustic guitar "for about $3.95, or less than $6." While you wouldn't have had a problem finding cheap guitars before King entered the cultural zeitgeist, once the late blues guitarist made his mark, finding a cheap guitar was a bit trickier, Guy said.
"I told him that before he passed away, before he got ill, I said, 'Man [if] it wasn't for you, I could have had a real cheap guitar,'" Guy laughed.
Watch the full HuffPost Live interview with Buddy Guy here.
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