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Thousands of people took to streets of Memphis, Tennessee, on May 27 to pay tribute to B.B. King, who died earlier this month.

A Dixieland jazz band walked ahead of a black hearse down Beale Street – a street synonymous with American blues music.

The place is where the young King was nicknamed the Beale Street Blues Boy – a moniker later shortened to B.B.

B.B. King died on 14 May. US authorities are investigating claims the blues legend was poisoned after his daughters have alleged he was given “foreign substances to induce his premature death” by his business manager Laverne Toney and personal assistant Myron Johnson.

Photo Commercial Appeal

Photo Commercial Appeal

Lawyers for B.B. King’s estate have said the claims are unfounded and disrespectful.

The coroner initially said B.B. King had died of a series of small strokes connected to his Type 2 diabetes, although a further autopsy has now been carried out, with results expected in eight weeks.

At the street procession honoring B.B. King’s memory, the Memphis-based Mighty Souls Brass Band played the song When the Saints Go Marching In.

Drummer Rodd Bland – the son of the late blues singer Bobby “Blue” Bland – carried one of B.B. King’s signature Lucille guitars.

Artists including singer Ruby Wilson, Bobby Rush and the Ghost Town Blues Band all performed tributes on stage.

B.B. King’s body is being taken to Indianola, Mississippi, which the blues legend considered his hometown, for his funeral on Saturday, May 30.


Elvis Presley’s first recording is to be sold at an auction in Memphis.

In June 1953, an 18-year-old Elvis Presley went to the Memphis Recording Service to record My Happiness and That’s When Your Heartaches Begin onto acetate.

He wanted to find out what his voice sounded like on record and paid $4 for the session.

Elvis Presley returned to record sessions for Sun Records the following year and went on to become the “king of rock ‘n’ roll”. The auction will take place in January.

Elvis Presley’s first recording is to be sold at an auction in Memphis

Elvis Presley’s first recording is to be sold at an auction in Memphis

It will be one of 68 rare artifacts to be auctioned at his former home of Graceland in Memphis.

The announcement from Graceland described the record as “part of the <<Holy Grail>> of artifacts in rock ‘n’ roll history”.

Elvis Presley was said to have made the recording partly as a present for his mother.

But the family did not have a record player, so he took it to a friend’s house to listen to the results of the session and left it there.

This will be the first time it has come up for public sale.

The other items in the auction will include Elvis’ driving license, issued in 1952, a 1955 contract to perform on the Louisiana Hayride radio and TV programs and a jacket worn in the film Viva Las Vegas.

The auction will take place on January 8, what would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. The items have not been given estimated values.

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