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Connecticut Blues Icon Remembers Longtime Friend B.B. King

May 18, 2015

B.B. King was in his prime when he played the Shaboo in the 1970s.

Blue legend B.B. King died Thursday at the age of 89. Connecticut blues singer and former club owner David Foster had a decades long friendship with King, and played with him as recently as last year.

"Of all my experiences in 45 years in the music business, I never met anybody, anybody, that was a nicer man than B.B. King," said Foster.

Foster was the owner of the legendary 1970s Mansfield nightclub the Shaboo Inn. Foster first met King when he booked him to play at the club. "It was royalty, and a very special evening when B.B. came," said Foster. "They would start lining up at about 6:30, and they would just flock there so they could get as close they can get to the stage, and B.B. would show up in a tuxedo to play the Shaboo."

Foster said B.B. King was in his prime when he played the Shaboo a half dozen times in the 1970s. King would invite Foster on stage to sing, and that led to a decades long friendship and musical partnership. "He found out I could sing, and then he started letting me on his shows, and 15 years later I had done 100 cathedrals with him," said Foster.

Foster toured the country with B.B. King and his band. He said what stays with him about touring with King, besides his commanding voice and legendary guitar work, was his generosity. "He was one of the few band leaders that would pay for their health insurance," said Foster, "and then if somebody who had been in his band for ten or 15 years, his health would fail, B.B. would take care of the guy even if he wasn't working."

Foster said the last time he sang with B.B. King was last year at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom.

Foster shared a story about a time B.B. King played at the Shaboo when a hurricane was bearing down. Listen below: