CT Women

Opinion | Pop Culture

B. B. King, My Soundtrack for Suffering

What the late King of the Blues reminded me about the King of Kings.
B. B. King, My Soundtrack for Suffering
Tom Beetz / Flickr

When blues guitarist B. B. King died last week, the web lit up with tributes, and San Francisco jazz station KCSM devoted all of that day’s programming to selections from King’s vast repertoire.

Such a response is all the more striking, given the blues’ obscurity on modern radio. I’ve been a fan of the blues for nearly two decades, but at most it usually garners a one-hour radio program here, a weekly program there—usually on jazz stations (which face a struggle of their own). The Bay Area, where I live, has relatively plentiful blues airtime, with two separate stations devoting a combined six hours a week to the form. But it’s rare, perhaps impossible, to find radio stations dedicated to the blues, outside of those on satellite or the Internet.

Both jazz and the blues are distinctly American musical forms “rooted in the African-American experience.” While jazz encompasses incredible rhythmic and harmonic complexity—which can ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.

Information about CT Women
CT Women exists to highlight writing by Christian women. We cover trends, ideas, and leaders that shape how women are living out the gospel in our time. Learn more by meeting our advisors and editors.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.