Director John Brewer (Jimi Hendrix: The Guitar Hero, Nat King Kole: Afraid of the Dark) released his documentary on the late B.B. King back in 2012, but it wasn’t released in the US officially until 2014. That said, the film, titled The Life of Riley (B.B. King’s name was Riley B. King), is now available on Netflix. Narrated by Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight), the film features a plethora of musicians, friends, and family, who discuss B.B. King’s long and revolutionary career as an American bluesman, including Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr, Bono, Ronnie Wood, Dr. John, and Solomon Burke. B.B. King hailed from the flat delta land in Mississippi and eventually made his way to Memphis, Tennessee, where he began regular work as a blues artist. He secured a number of record deals, and when rock music took off in the ’60s, a new interest in King’s and other blues artists of his era as they had never experienced before.
His profound influence on many rock artists, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Cream, can forever be heard at the root of these bands’ music. He would go on to play with many famous musicians throughout the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, recording albums like Live at the Regal and recording perhaps his most famous song, The Thrill Is Gone. But despite his great fame, B.B. King always held true to his humble roots, plowing a farm in the Mississippi Delta, and surrounded by the racial segregation and social unrest of the time. Now, most of you probably read these movie posts and think, “I’ll remember it for the RedBox,” or something along those lines. But if you have a Netflix account (and I know you do) you should really sit down and watch this documentary. I promise, you won’t regret it.