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Blues All Around Me:: The Autobiography of B. B. King Paperback – Dec 1999


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Paperback, Dec 1999
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Product details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; Reprint edition (Dec 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380807602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380807604
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,880,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By conjunction on 19 Jan 2011
Format: Hardcover
I finished this book feeling somewhat in awe of a very sincere and hard working man. As far as an autobiography is concerned it is extremely light on detail after about 1970. However the stories of his early years growing up on cotton plantations and his first twenty years in the music business are rivetting. His musical interests are more catholic than you might expect and he is almost the only musician I've ever read about who didn't mess up with drugs. As often with these kind of books the musical detail is fascinating and he got me listening to Count Basie and Bukka White to name but two.

There are also some heartbreaking and interesting stories about racism. Mr King has a firm commitment to a turn the other cheek approach and is a good spokesman for it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johannah on 27 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover
Detailed autobiography , easy to read , left me feeling a bit sorry for BB .
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H.T.Driesten on 3 Sep 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sep 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The only person who can talk about the blues better than Lucille is B.B. King himself. And every blues fan is forever grateful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 43 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
To really get to know the Beale Street Blues Boy... 19 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Wow, I just finished reading this biography and am truly satisfied with my reading. It's been a long time since I read a book this refreshing. Talk about honesty, passion and heart.
The last 3 chapters were especially entertaining, talking from the heart about issues generally left untouched. From page one, I couldn't put the book down.
This book really helps you understand B.B's live performances. For anyone who as seen B.B. King live sometimes gets the feeling that his performance is a routine that dates back 25 years (well, I now know it is!), but this fact doesn't bother my anymore, understanding where the man comes from, better understanding his way of doing things.
Recommended for blues fans and anyone interested in a very entertaining read.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Want to know about B.B. King? Read this book! 3 April 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I can't remember a time I didn't know who B.B. King was, but only in the past few years did I own any of his music. Always a Rock & Roll fan I only discovered it's roots in Blues and Jazz in the past few years. Now I can't get enough of the Blues. I read this book before a much anticipated B.B. King concert I recently attended. I would highly recommend the book, not to mention the Concert. That's the remarkable thing about B.B. King, if you want to see him in concert in a city near you just wait. Even now in his late 70's, B.B. is still on tour booking 250 to 300 one night stands per year. He's been doing this for over 50 years! His autobiography, told in his own simple and patient voice, tells a complete story of this remarkable man. This book reveals the personality and character of B. B. King in a way that no "tell all" biography could. Along the way you also learn much about the history of 20th century music. B.B. is the king of blues, but as his book reveals he has a complex understanding of all forms of modern music. He knew most of the significant musicians of the last 60 years and the book is filled with great anecdotes about many of them. Sadly you also learn about the painful experiences of racism from the perception of a black entertainer who has been on the road since the days of segregation.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
From the Heart 29 Nov 2000
By john thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Reading "Blues All Around Me" is like sitting down with the man himself and having the good sense to just sit and listen and keep your mouth shut. Speaking candidly, B.B. King reveals himself to be a very down-to-earth and genuinely likeable man who rose from an incredibly humble beginning to become the most beloved bluesman of all time. No subject is off-limits, and King approaches them all with the same honesty that he puts into his music. Despite his struggle to succeed and survive in a rascist world, his views on racism will surprise you. Also particularly interesting to me were his insights into his musical influences, developing his signature sound, and his comments about younger bluesmen like Stevie Ray Vaughn, whom he considered almost a son. The stories and comments in this book will stay with you long after you have put it down.
By the way, contributor David Ritz has also collaborated on autobiographies of Etta James, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin. He had the good sense to sit back and listen to these folks as well. Warts and all, these books reveal the artists from the heart.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't put it down. 10 Jun 2010
By Joseph Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a blues musician, but everybody should read this. It's very entertaining, but it also says a lot about the Jim Crow era in the south. This is obviously him telling his own story complete with the imperfections he can an can't see. You have to read between the lines to see what he had to put up with when negotiating with the recording establishment. He did it just like Satchmo, with a big toothy smile for the white people and wink to people of color. I hope the time has come when you don't have to do that anymore. Mr. King, you taught me how to sing through my guitar, not shred like the rockers. Every time I do that bend I think of you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Best Musician's Autobiography I've Ever Read 19 Jan 2010
By Nadeem Muaddi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Blues All Around Me is the best musician's autobiography that I've ever read. Uncensored and unapologetic, B.B. tells it how it was and how it still is - from his days picking cotton to becoming a celebrated music icon.

Unlike other musicians' autobiographies and biographies, B.B. really lets you in - exposing all his vulnerabilities. Little is off boundaries in this tell-all book. In fact, some of the things he reveals might even make you blush.

His story is inspiring, heart-warming and painful all at once. And the way it's written really makes the reader feel like he's talking directly to you. I'm young and new to the world of rhythm and blues, but he's made me a fan for life. I can't wait to see him live.
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