CHICAGO (CBS) — B.B. King’s guitars are among the most famous musical instruments in the world – known to throngs by the names he gave them, “Lucille.”
A guitar by that name that King played later in life is now about to go onto the auction block, and one of the late bluesman’s children is not pleased at all.
CBS 2’s Jim Williams talked to the Chicagoan Shirley King on Wednesday – in a story you’ll only see on CBS 2.
“I would love to be able to keep my daddy’s legacy alive – in my home and outside of my home,” Ms. King said.
Ms. King has her mission covered in her living room with a shrine to her father.
“This is my music table that honors my father,” she said, displaying a table full of photos and figurines.
Outside her home, though, is where Ms. King has little power to decide what happens to the possessions of the late B.B. King – one of the greatest bluesmen in history.
Ms. King described her reaction as “mad” and “angry” that her father’s estate is auctioning off some of his property. Among the items up for auction is the black Gibson ES-345 prototype that B.B. King played later in his life.
He christened that guitar with the “Lucille” name as he did with his other stage guitars through the years.
“This is fighting words to say you are going to take something that exclusive of my father’s, and just put it somebody’s hand that’s going to try to get more money,” Ms. King said.
But B.B. King’s trust has the final say.
“A trust is a legal document that the law recognizes, and it basically tells your trustee – the person you designate to do X, Y, and Z after you die – to distribute it this person, that person, and what is distributed,” explained CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller.
There have been legal battles among B.B. King’s 15 children over his estate. But Shirley King, who has lived in Chicago for 52 years, insists she is not looking for money in making a public plea to keep her dad’s property off the auction block.
“If I had my way, (these possessions) would go in museums worldwide,” Ms. King said. “It should be for people that love and want to keep remembering B.B. King.”
CBS 2’s Williams spoke Wednesday evening with trustee Dennis King – no relation to B.B. King. Dennis King said the majority of B.B. King’s children and grandchildren want the auction to happen.
The auction is set for Saturday, Sept. 21 in Beverly Hills, California and online. Lucille is estimated to be worth between $80,000 and $100,000.