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WELCOME TO THE B.B. KING MUSEUM

The B.B. King Museum may be the most inspiring stop you’ll ever make. There’s nothing else like it in Mississippi. The Museum opened in 2008 to rave reviews and delivers an unparalleled experience. The exhibits include thousands of rare artifacts, award-winning films, computer interactives, and a story that will give your emotions a workout.

Our services for tour operators include group rates, reservation assistance, suggested itineraries, photographs, step on guides, FAM tours, and welcome bags.

 

The mission of the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, a 501)c) (3) non-profit organization, is to empower, unite and heal through music, art and education and share with the world the rich cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta. 

Exhibits

The Theatre

The Theatre

Start your journey through the Mississippi Delta and the life of B.B. King in a theater featuring the very latest in high-definition projection and audio technology.

The Delta, 1930s

The Delta, 1930s

Here you will encounter some of the challenges Social history of the time and a firsthand account of Riley B. King’s life on the farm as a sharecropper and tractor driver.

Memphis, 1950s

Memphis, 1950s

This gallery takes visitors on an adventure as Riley B. King finds his way to the airwaves of WDIA where you can hear firsthand accounts of Riley’s conversion to the Beale Street Boy.

Artist To Icon, 1960s

Artist To Icon, 1960s

This gallery chronicles B.B. King’s development from a musician touring the Chitlin’ Circuit in the South. The exhibit examines how the Civil Rights movement shaped the music of the time.

Lucille's Gift Shop

Lucille's Gift Shop

From B.B. King guitar picks to coffee mugs, Lucille's Gift Shop has the perfect gift to help commemorate your visit the B.B. King Museum!

B.B. King The Man

The Early Years

Born near the tiny settlement of Berclair in 1925, Riley B. King learned soon enough that life in the Mississippi Delta could bring heartache as well as hardship. His parents separated when he was four and his mother died five years later, at which point Riley began living with his grandmother.

After his grandmother died, Riley began living and working on a small farm owned by a friendly white man who taught him about kindness, respect and hard work. Through him, Riley learned to judge people by actions, not skin color.

Coming of Age with the Blues

African-American music was changing as Riley was coming of age in the 1940s. Spirituals were now competing with gospel and the blues.

Headed for Memphis

Seeing that music could be a means to a better life, Riley considered Memphis. His reluctance to move because of a new wife and a steady job faded when he damaged a tractor. Fearing the wrath of his employer, he grabbed his guitar and headed to Memphis. He gained a year’s wisdom from his cousin, blues musician, Bukka White and returned to the farm long enough to work off his debt. He left again to pursue music, this time for good.

B.B. King in Memphis

Riley soon had his own radio show on WDIA, nightclub gigs and recording sessions. In 1951, “Three O’Clock Blues,” entered Billboard charts.

For over 10 years, B.B. and his band toured the Chitlin’ Circuit, a loose network of African-American clubs across the southeastern United States.

From Indianola to Icon

B.B.‘s electrified, big-band style fell out of favor with the general public until the mid 1960s when audiences began to rediscover him, partly due to the influx of British bands. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Eric Clapton’s Cream had grown up admiring and imitating recordings of B.B. and other blues performers.

B.B. King – the Icon

Along the way to becoming an international icon, B.B. had heeded his mother’s advice. He treated the people he encountered with honesty, civility, and compassion. And the work ethic he learned in his youth guided the businesslike management practices he applied to his large traveling entourage.

As you roam through the Museum exhibition and collection, you will see how well these philosophies repaid him, and how much this man from the Delta has contributed to American culture. For millions of fans the world over, B.B. King, a man of character as well as talent, will always rule.

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