The biography of BB King, pseudonym of Riley B. King, starts with his birth on September 16, 1925, in Itta Bena, Mississippi. A blues guitarist but also a historic singer from the 1950s onward: with 41 studio albums, 19 live albums, 10 collections and 14 Grammys, B.B. King is a true blues legend, a reference point for bluesmen everywhere. Madly in love with Lucille, his guitar, BB King is the sixth best guitarist of all time, according to the famous Rolling Stone magazine.



The story of BB King ‘s Lucille guitar begins in a cold Arkansas winter: it was 1949 and BB King was performing at a club. Modern heating systems did not exist at the time, and so the owner of the restaurant thought of lighting kerosene inside a barrel, a dangerous but popular practice at the time.

At one point, two men, probably drunk and on a high, start playing grab-ass with each other over a woman named Lucille. During the scuffle, the two drop the barrel, spraying the floor with kerosene. Local destroyed and everyone fleeing, but in the general commotion, 24-year-old BB King, who has just left, notices that he has left his guitar inside the club. On impulse, without a second thought, he returned to the burning building and rescued her.

With a cool mind, BB King thinks back to how crazy that act had been that had endangered his life, but at the same time he sensed that that episode would be the beginning of a long love affair with that guitar. At this point it was just a matter of finding a name for the guitar, and the choice fell on Lucille, the name of the woman who was the reason for the discussion.

Lucille is not only the name of the guitar but also of a 1968 BB King album containing 9 tracks, the first song being of course entitled Lucille, BB King‘s historic song.



The Gibson Memphis workshop honors the 65th anniversary of that event with a celebratory model 100% made in the USA. The guitar is similar to an ES-335 adapted to meet the tastes of the king of the blues: no effe holes to reduce feedback and an internal wood block to improve the sound, 490R pickups at the neck and 490T at the bridge for a warm sound, black finish with gold binding and hardware, mother-of-pearl block markers, TP6 bridge for precise tuning, traditional sound controls with the addition of six-position Varitone and stereo output, headstock with “Lucille” lettering and commemorative gold neck cover. Just pull it out of the case to feel like B.B. King.

Full details on the official page: GIBSON LUCILLE