An interview with legendary blues man B.B. King shows there's more to miss than his music.

Did you know B.B. King nearly died for his guitar?

He told the story to Joe Smith in a 1986 interview, which was animated for the episode of PBS's "Blank on Blank" above. It was in his early touring days. He'd just finished a set in an Arkansas club when a fight broke out, causing a fire. It wasn't until he reached safety that he realized he'd left his guitar behind, so he ran back in to retrieve it.


All GIFs via "Blank on Blank."

After his narrow escape, he learned that the conflict was between two men fighting over a woman whose name he adopted for his now iconic six-string, "Lucille."

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Why risk his life for a guitar? Well, his music wasn't just a hobby. It was who he was.

King came into this world in a place and time that wasn't easy for the black community. He was born in a small Mississippi town in 1925, when Jim Crow was the rule of the South, and the country had decades to go before the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Image via Heinrich Klaffs/Flickr.

But that experience made his — and other southern blues greats' — rise to fame possible. The distinct, emotive sound of southern blues was an evolution of music rooted in a legacy of racism and oppression. And blues music was an important cultural movement that helped break down racial barriers in the U.S. as it earned its place in the mainstream.

But blues music, according to King, isn't just for southern black folks.

"This is kind of how blues began — out of feeling misused, mistreated. Feeling like they had nobody to turn to. Blues don't necessarily have to be sung by a person that came from Mississippi, as I did, because there are people having problems all over the world." — B.B. King

King's goal at every show was to make his music a truly uniting force.

"When I go on the stage each night, I try my best to outguess my audience. And I like to feel in most cases like I'm a big guy with long rubber arms that I can reach around my audience and swing and sway with them, move them with me." — B.B. King

King moved and inspired people young and old (myself included) until the day he passed.

He became known as "King of the Blues." And while he was a master of his craft, it was his ethic and humility that drew people in and will do so for generations to come.

Image via 5gig/Flickr.

"I don't like to feel that I owe anything. I like to feel that I paid my own way. No free lunch. And when people give me all these great compliments, I thank them but still go back to my room to practice. ... I am not inventing anything that's going to stop cancer or muscular dystrophy. But I like to feel that my time and talent is always there for the people that need it." — B.B. King

There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

Keep Reading Show less
True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

Keep Reading Show less
via Seresto

A disturbing joint report by USA Today and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that tens of thousands of pets have been harmed by Seresto flea and tick collars. Seresto was developed by Bayer and is now sold by Elanco.

Since Seresto flea collars were introduced in 2012, the EPA has received incident reports of at least 1,698 pet deaths linked to the product. Through June 2020, the EPA has received over 75,000 incident reports relating to the collars with over 1,000 involving human harm.

The EPA has known the collars are harming humans and their pets but failed to tell the public about the dangers.

Keep Reading Show less