B.B. King’s First Acoustic Guitar Provenance Granddaughter-100% Authentic TeamGo Back
This c. 1930’s Parlor Style Acoustic Guitar was owned, played and used by B.B. King when he was a young child in Itta Bena Mississippi. The evidence suggests that he held, played and learned on this guitar beginning at the age of five (5) years old.
The emergence of this special 1930’s Parlor guitar from his granddaughter, is now, the earliest played and owned B.B. King guitar known to exist on the market, or any B.B. King guitar to have ever been sold or any B.B. King guitar seen in any museum.
No source or indicators are known to document the “non-existence” of this guitar. There are sources, however, that indicate he owned a played the guitar at the young age of five. Leslie Fair met BB King when he was 5 years old, and she recounts BB King always came over to her and her husband, and he always wanted her husband to tune the young Riley King’s guitar. This footage will confirm that BB King had a guitar when he was a young child. (see video footage https://vimeo.com/51639018 )
In addition, a source indicates he was given one of his first guitars by Bukka White (Delta Blues Guitarist), his mother’s first cousin (King’s grandmother and White’s mother were sisters). Bukka played National resonator guitars, typically with a slide.
Parlor guitars are easy to fingerpick and to use the slide technique. In addition, the standard Parlor guitar is smaller, creates a folk sound, and is easier to play.
BB King would later follow Bukka when he was 20 years old to Memphis, Tn. It is documented that he had some mentorship by Bukka, which would give credence to the sourcing of a guitar given to him by Bukka White.
Confirming that this was the guitar that Bukka White gave to BB King or as to exactly where the guitar originated and how B.B. King actually obtained the guitar currently cannot be cor·rob·o·rated. Mentioned through family stories, there was a possibility that the guitar came from the Berclair Cotton Plantation owner. In whatever manner B.B. King obtained the guitar, the fact remains that he used and learned on a guitar during this young time of his life and this Parlor guitar is that exact guitar.
Guitar Name: Parlor Guitar c. 1920-30’s
Guitar length: 36″ length
Guitar width: 8 1/2″ Width
In an interview, B.B. King recounts a red guitar that he purchased with his own money. That guitar was important to him as it was his hard labor that brought the guitar to fruition. But as per family members, absolutely nothing compares to the importance that this particular 1930’s Parlor guitar had in B.B Kings, life, history, and legacy.
Based on the lack of any labeling, the custom eye-hook on the side of the guitar, and hand placed the mother of pearl inlay around the guitar hole, this guitar was not a factory-made sound machine but rather a hand made guitar during this era. Confirming further that this was a hand made guitar, is the customization of the hand etching around the edges of the guitar. Typically, factory-made guitars would have had painted decor around the edges. The etching around the edges of the guitar due to age and storage has created cracking and chipping around the seams and edges of the guitar.
Due to the age and storage of the guitar, the back has cracked. and the original wood at the back seem has lifted. No repairs or alterations have been made to this guitar and it was stored in the original guitar case that B.B. King chose for it.
There is excessive wear on the frets, and the gut made strings that still remain strung up on the guitar. The guitar style is accurate and appropriate for the era and time period. The overall condition is fair.
The authentication and verification of this guitar lie heavily on the provenance of the guitar. Attorney documents, Trust documents and other proper verification has been provided to and has been vetted by our team, giving ample proof that the lineage was proper and correct. In addition, we corroborated her story and believe that this 1930’s Parlor guitar was gifted to B.B. King’s granddaughter, and in fact, as stated by B.B. King himself, was the actual guitar he learned on.
In interviewing the Granddaughter she states: “When I was twelve my father and my grandmother brought me over to my grandfather, BB King. My grandfather’s hands were folded in his lap, he then said to me, ” … I am giving you my very first love, the first guitar I held in my hands and learned on.” My grandfather put his hand out about to knee height and said “I was younger than you..”
“My grandmother kept this guitar in safekeeping for me until 2013, when she finally handed over it to me. I have had this guitar in my family’s possession ever since B.B. King gifted it to me when I was twelve. He told me that this is the very first guitar he learned and played on and it was the most important guitar that he owned.”