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tv   Second Look  FOX  May 24, 2015 11:00pm-11:31pm PDT

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from picking cotton to crooning with the president. >> ♪ ♪ >> to singing at san quentin. >> the life of famed blue's man bb king. >> plus a look at the man bb king credited with boosting his career. promoter bill graham. and janice joplin talks about why san francisco is such a great place to create music. all straight ahead on a second look.
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>> ♪ ♪ good evening and welcome to a second look. i'm julie haener. tonight we pay our respects to blue's man bb king. who once said i wanted to connect my guitar to human emotions. bb king died earlier this month at the age of 89. >> ♪ ♪ >> bb king credited a preacher uncle for teaching him to play the guitar. he was born in 1925 to sharecroppers in the mississippi delta. he remembered a childhood of hunger pains and poverty. picking cottons and seeing a black man lynched by a mob. he crashed a tractor and left the delta. made his way to delta where he worked as a dj. king played a punishing schedule as many as 233 shows in a year. listed among his legions of
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fans. eric clapton and henderson. he was the first blue's singer to play on the tonight show. b.b. king was inducted into the blue's foundation hall of fame. and received the presidential medal of freedom from president george w. bush. and he sang with president obama. >> ♪ ♪ bb king often delighted his fans and those who love add good story with a tale of how his guitar lucille got its name. it was a story he shared in a 1976 interview. >> the man sitting next to me is a true legend. b.b. meaning. >> blues boy. >> how did you get that name. >> believe it or not i was a disk jockey on the radio in memphis. they used to call me the boy
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from yield street the blues boy. people would write me and they would just abbreviate it b.b. >> stories like that and many others can be found in his book. blues all around. why did you decide to write the book. >> i thought, at this time, in september, november of my years, i better do it now if i'm going to. >> let's get into august. let's just say august. we don't have to get into october or november. >> about 50 years or so, out in the business i didn't think i had enough knowledge to share with the people thinking in terms of what i might do. so now at this time i think i, going to play quite a bit in the business of show business if you will. now i would like to share it. >> there's a couple of stories in the book i find absolutely incredible. one is that you made your first
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on guitar when you were a young boy. >> i used to take the broom that you sweep the floor with and i would take the wire. i would get scolded but i would keep doing it. i would take the wire, nail it up on the top, a nail on the bottom. i put a brick underneath it that would be support like this here. >> a bridge. >> a bridge. put one down there and one there. tighten it up. get a sound. >> of course you didn't make this guitar because this is one of the famous lucilles. i think you're probably the only musician in the world who's instrument is as famous as he is. >> more so. >> more so. >> more so. >> but the first lucille was a $30 guitar wasn't it. >> it was a little more. >> the first guitar i bought was a $15 guitar. >> tell us about that.
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>> how it got the name lucille. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> the one i had at that time was similar to this. when i was 39 i used to play at a place called twist arkansas. twist arkansas was 25 miles west. i used to play and it would get quite cold in the winter. they would take something that looked like a big garbage pail. sit it on the middle of the floor, fill it with carosene. and people would dance around. but one day, two men started
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fighting and knocked it over. and i ran back in to get my guitar and almost lost my life over the guitar. and the next day we found out that the two men were fighting over a woman named lucille that worked in the club. and i named it lucille to remind me to never do that again. i'm playing lucille 17th. and i would just let it sit on the stage to let it learn from lucille 16th. it was given to me at 80 years old. b.b. king was an advocate for
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prisoners. in 1986 b.b. king played at sam quintin and rob roth filed this report. >> sam quintin's prison still looked the same but sure did sound differently. prisoners were allowed to walk out for the first time in years and listen to a live concert. these men no strangers to the blues themselves heard from the master of the blue's b.b. king. >> prison officials say this concert was a reward for these inmates, a reward for behaving well. they say tensions have eased up fighting against prisoners is down and the inmates were a most appreciative audience. >> when they said we would come out, i said fantastic. it was kind of a nice surprise. >> there's a lot of tension around san quentin and a lot of constitutions and i feel this is a time that eases the mind a
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lot. takes your mind off of all the confusion. >> reporter: it wasn't a bad afternoon to be a prison guard either. >> i'm enjoying the show. the little time i can get, start looking and see. but generally today there's more security than anything else. >> reporter: b.b. king has won numerous awards for his brand of blues but he's also been playing in prisons around the country for 15 years. since king was appearing in concert in san francisco he offered to play two shows today in san quentin. >> i look at them as people. but to me such a waste. such a waste seeing so many young people back here. that's what i'm talking about. some of them are here for years and years and years. >> reporter: now all the inmates in san quentin were allowed to watch the show. there were about 1,000 inmates considered high secure risks and they spent the day locked up. there wasn't a b.b.
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king or chuck barry or cannon ball idoly or some of the rock groups. what would we be presenting. >> janice joplin talks about why san francisco was such a haven for musicians.
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life's super scary sounds. and sneaking in without moving the bed.
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as the world remembers legendary blue's man b.b. king we look back at the special role that san francisco played in helping to boost his career. b.b. king credited a 1967 philmore concert. he said when he rolled up to the show and saw long haired white people he thought they had booked him at the wrong place. but when promoter bill graham introduced him to the sold out crowd and everyone stood up, b.b. king says he cried realizing his career was set to take off. for his part, graham credited b.b. king with inspiring a whole generation of artists. >> there would you believe the ár -- there wasn't some of the
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rock groups. b.b. king played the joints for years or otis redding was a black r & b singer who played the southern roots and what rock & roll or the popularity of rock & roll has afforded us was the possibility to use rock & roll as bait. but to present them with some of the people that were it not for them there wouldn't be any rock & roll. bill graham was the man who launched a thousand musical careers. graham was a holocaust survivor who grew up in new york. he learned about the entertainment business in the catskills and brought what he learned to san francisco. ktvu's bob mackenzie filed this appreciation when graham died in 1991. >> bill graham was a little older than the flower children who clustered in the streets and the parks. conspicuously smoking pot, but he shared their politics and taste in music.
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soon he was san francisco's biggest music promoter at the old philmore auditorium he showcased local talent. up star bay area rock bands such adds the jefferson airplanes. >> we don't just want to dance, i don't think we're in the ballroom business only. we're in the business of changing the taste of the public. introducing different types of acts. >> in a business that was mostly about money. graham got a reputation about hard driving and shrewd. the very troubled janice joplin gave him praises. >> he doesn't only bring the popular acts, he brings acts that he thinks will be good for the kids. >> reporter: and he supported things he believed in.
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like the ashbury clinic. >> if you have the ability to do something, do it. if not, shut up. >> rock groups such as the grateful dead owed their fame to bill graham who discovered and promoted them. but they also experienced the darker side of this hot tempered backstage perfectionist who micromanaged everything from the lighting to the soap in the bathroom. graham seriously was seen angrily pacing the hallway as a young artist arrived late. >> it was just like in an old fashioned movie. grabs a fork by the hat and throws it down on the ground and starts jumping up and down on it. i never thought i would see that for real. >> reporter: of course dealing with rock musicians wasn't always a picnic for such a
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driven man. >> bill wanted order and we wanted chaos. there were a million incidents where bill would, just be so frustrated and eyes would bulge out but there was nothing he could do because he loved us so much and we knew it. >> graham became rich and his empire grew to new york and los angeles. but he never let up on his pace. he took on more causes, raising money for famine victims and for cultural classs in bay area schools. clearly he missed the day when going to a rock concert was a kind of political statement. >> everybody was against what was going on in washington and vietnam and the civil rights and, there was a bond. much different today. today the majority of the people -- because of the times we live in are going to be entertained.
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>> he was 60 years old on a november night in 1991, when he and two associates left a concert taking off in driving rain and high winds. the helicopter ran into an electric tower near vallejo. all three were killed. abruptly and inexplicably the roaring engine that was graham was quieted. janice joplin sings and talks about her music. and a little known east bay home to the blues.
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welcome back to a second look. from b.b. king to janice joplin. san francisco in the 1960s hosted one of the biggest musical talents of all time. john wenner one of the cofounders of rolling stone magazine says the city was a musicians dream in part because those who lived in the city embraced new things.
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but he said the police played an important role as well. >> it's a warm, supportive friendly city that's historically the bohemian, the beat. poetry, jazz and similarly today it supports rock & roll. it's the only place where the police in san francisco are reasonable enough or subject to enough public pressure on the part of the newspapers not to close down a rock & roll club. where in cities throughout cities police shut down. janice joplin sat down with ktvu's gary park. >> janice you have broken it up but every place from the street fair to the avalons. you particularly seem far more elated after people jumped to their feet and started dancing and jumped up on their chairs.
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>> it's groovy playing in every one of those places. but we played the avalon and those are our people. we played the jazz festival. really the first place we have played for those type of an audience. those are grown ups, those are not teenie boppers. they're 30, 40s, and when they stood up and started dancing it was like everybody in the world could dig us. like kids can dig up and i understand them. but i don't understand those people. and i didn't understand that enthusiastic responds from them and when they gave it to us it was the most fantastic thing ever. i was dancing all over the stage. i just couldn't standstill. it was all fine. >> we started playing blues and hard rock. sort of rolling stones kind of a thing. played tradition blues down on me is one of the first songs we had. just very ordinary core
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changes. 12 byre blues almost symphonic. >> is there a san francisco sound. and what is it? how did it start. >> the freedom to create here, for some reason like a lot of musicians ended up here and ended up together and we had complete freedom to do whatever they wanted to so they came up with their own music. what do you think sam? [ laughter ] honey. that's what we call knock music baby. >> when we come back on a second look. a look at the blues tradition in a long forgotten corner of
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the bay area with deep roots in the south. ♪ (music throughout) ♪ sfx: (smash) sfx: (roar) ♪ sfx: (roar) sfx: (engine roars) ♪ ♪ ♪
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welcome back to a second look. b.b. king said you don't have to be from mississippi to know the blues. people all over the world have problems and as long as people have problems, the blues won't die. >> reporter: on monday night, some veteran blue's players got together at jimmy's nightclub in oakland to tune up for the hayward russell city blue's festival.
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in the 1950s, the country club in russell city was one of the birthplaces of what's now called west coast blues. russell city itself wasn't a city at all but an unincorporated rural area of what is now hayward. a lot of black people lived there in the 50s and practitioners of the blues like mama whiterspoon performed in the club. the russell city club gave big russell dion his first paying gig. >> i grew up in the country. i came from louisiana. i grew up on a farmment farmment -- farm. when i got to california there was nothing like that. except russell city that's what it was like, louisiana in california. stewart felt that russell
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city shouldn't be forgotten so he organized the two day festival which has its fifth annual outing at the hayward civic center next weekend. >> to have a place unincorporated area of russell city with mostly african americans and mexican people it was kind of a unique, a unique area. it was to itself own self. we call them microclimates in weather but it was a microclimate as far as musical arts was concerned. >> jimmy mamu is another legends dare blue mans who played russell city in the old days. he says what makes a good blue's musician was a whole lot of experience. >> you have to experience heart ache. there's a point in shame, you have to experience love and joy also. and know how to put the two
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together in music to express yourself. >> gino landry says the blues is the documentary of black culture. >> in the year we were brought here we sang about what we, our expectations, our hope, what our life was like. a lot of us about cutting and shooting. but that was the reality and even today, we're still singing about what goes on in the black community. they say people who don't have a written culture don't have a culture. ours has always been sung. >> speaking of singing, teddy blues master watson has been singing the blues for 60 years. he not only sang at russell city, he would go there to hear other singers. >> a good, like big mama thornton, robinson and a lot of
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people in that time came to russell city. >> there's no sad songs in blues. it's just sad hearts. you're singing the blues, hey lighten that heart up a little bit. your woman left you, she done left you for another man you sang it and you express it, you feel better. >> ♪ ♪ and for those who are tapping their feet and swaying along.
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the russell city blues festival is scheduledded for this july in hayward. tickets are now on sale. and that's it for this week's second look. i'm julie haener, thank you for watching.
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