About “The Thrill is Gone”

6 Jul


Spring, 1970 I heard it the first time. It jumped from the car radio like a revelation: B. B.’s solo that kicks “The Thrill Is Gone” off. It told the unvarnished truth without wasting a note. I bought the 45 that day. I played it till my stereo needle destroyed the grooves. The tune matched my mood. The girl I loved had broke my heart.

b. b. kingI didn’t learn the song then, though. All the bands I was playing in did pretty much top forty. Playing something that soulful was unimaginable to me, I guess.

A decade later I was in Chicago working a regular gig with Aron Burton. Johnny Littlejohn, who I seem to recall was Aron’s brother-in-law at the time, recommended me to him. When Aron talked to me about doing the gig, I said that what I knew about blues came from The Allman Brothers and The Yardbirds…

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