B.B. King: Blue Shadows – Underrated Kent Singles 1958-1962 

Some classics are missing but this selection of the guitarist's often misappropriated work for the Bihari brothers looks good in 180g red vinyl


B.B. King released almost 60 singles on Kent Records from 1958–72, the label a successor to Modern Records and likewise a subsidiary of the Crown Records Corporation, which released King’s albums.

All three labels were owned and directed by the Bihari Brothers, who claimed bogus co-authorship of most of King’s releases, thus cheating him out of his hard-earned royalties. His move to ABC Paramount in 1962 ended that parasitic relationship, although his Kent singles kept on appearing for another decade, and began a much higher-rated run of both single and album successes. 

This album showcases 18 of B.B. King’s singles supposedly recorded on Kent Records between 1958 and 1962 – although 1961 is the likely end date and some were not actually released until 1967 – and most were recorded in Los Angeles.

A few classics are missing – most notably 1959’s Everyday I Have The Blues / Time To Say Goodbye – but at a time when King was releasing at least five singles a year, the quality remains high. Highlights include the blues staples The Worst Thing In My Life and Sugar Mama, King’s first Kent single You Know I Go For You / Why Do Everything Happen To Me, the gospel searching of Army Of The Lord, and the sophistication of Peace Of Mind.

It’s is always good to have such classic if underrated blues back in circulation and this one has the additional attraction of being produced on fetching 180g red vinyl.

Beautician Blues; Blue Shadows; Days Of Old; The Worst Thing In My Life; I Stay In The Mood; Sugar Mama; Mean Ole Frisco; You Know I Go For You; Why Do Everything Happen To Me (25.31) – The Fool (A Fool Too Long); I Can Hear My Name; Treat Me Right (Oh Baby); Army Of The Lord; Partin’ Time; Walkin’ Dr Bill; Someday; Please Accept My Love; Peace Of Mind (24.45)
King (g) plus horn & rhythm sections, organ, piano and vocal quartet, Los Angeles, 1958–61.
Waxtime In Color 950723/LP