This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

BB King: The Life of Riley

BB King opens his heart and tells the story of how an oppressed and orphaned young man came to influence and earn the unmitigated praise of the music industry and its following to carry the title of king of the blues.

Filmed on location all over America, as well as in the UK, this picture brings to life the heat- and gin-soaked plantations where it all began, with full cooperation of the BB King museum, owners of vaults and archives so precious and immense that several trips had to be made to revisit the collection and partake of its many gems. Prejudice and segregation has stained the lives of countless black persons and BB 'Riley' King made sure that through his music, he never allowed it to mar his spirit.

This is the essence of the story that makes a beautiful film, both informative and visually captivating.

Release date:

1 hour, 35 minutes

Last on

Sun 31 May 2015 23:00

Interview on BBC Breakfast

Interview on BBC Breakfast
Director Jon Brewer talks about what it was like to make a documentary on blues legend BB King.

Watch the interview on the BBC Breakfast website

BBC Four Blues Collection

BBC Four - Blues collection

Watch programmes about influential blues musicians including B.B. King and Muddy Waters.

Related Links